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Seeing Past Your Defenses

This is the beginning of a series of how I am getting to see the profoundly amazing people I have been blessed with. I thought it fitting that I start with my mom. I have been blessed with an unconditionally loving mother. Hearing the stories of other people, known and unknown, where parents haven’t been the most supportive and some even abusive, I am one of the lucky ones.

The perfect parent is an illusive concept and in a way every parent is perfect. Perfect for who we are to become and that becomes our choice and creative endeavor, no matter what the circumstances. Having said that, I profoundly realize how perfect my parents are for me, in so many amazing and supportive ways. I almost feel guilty that I haven’t created peace on earth yet…lol. I am going to focus on my mom first, though, for she is the first person I knew.

One thing I never doubted is my mother’s love. She may not have been thrilled with many of my choices in life but there was never any doubt she loved me. There was never any doubt that she would stand by me. There was no doubt, no matter how upset she would ever be with me that she would defend me to her death if needs be. I know, she instilled that in me with my children. Example is the greatest teacher.

What I failed to truly appreciate though I had an inkling was the amazing accomplishments this phenomenal women has done, and the incredible energy of love and compassion she brings to the world, not just her children. I am praised regularly for the many things I do and have done in my life. I have to admit that I am amazing and haven’t even scratched the surface of what and who I can be but I am humbled by my mother’s life and accomplishment.

Starting her life, she lost her father when he was wrongly executed in the Spanish Civil War then while still a child her mother contracted tuberculosis and spent most of her time in quarantined in a tuberculosis sanitarium. Luckily she had a very large family and her grandmother, aunts and uncles helped raise her and her sister.

She went to college to become an elementary school teacher in the 1950, not many women got higher education then but she did and while in college toured with a flamenco dance troupe and also competed in sports. She actually danced for the Prince of Spain with her troupe. Unfortunately he failed to act on her beauty so I am not a princess…lol She is gorgeous by the way.

Then my dad, the handsome American pen pal joined the army, got stationed in Germany and went to visit. They fell in love, got married and my mother left the culture she knew and her entire family to cross an ocean and begin a new life. It certainly wasn’t all roses to say the least. Lean years raising 5 children on a shoestring in a strange country. In spite of those being “lean” years, I never felt a lack. She always found a way to feed us, cloth us, teach us and love us. There was a lot of laughter and love with a sprinkling of yelling and what we lovingly call “The Spanish Inquisition” … lol

Once the original 4 were in school, my baby brother came as a surprise later on, she went back to the workforce and taught Spanish. Her students did well and many advance placed in college, she also served as chair of her department as well. When my baby brother showed up, she again took 5 years off to take care of him in spite of the financial hit. I respect that so very much.

She was a celebrity in our town as a teacher but also as a person who was compassionate. She asks questions and actually truly listens. A skill that I am still learning but her level is expert. She reaches out to people and makes connections. Another skill I am still learning. She loves and cares even when its uncomfortable and doesn’t shy away when the going gets rough. She speaks her mind and bears her soul so you know the real her, completely authentic and that is profoundly beautiful. Another skill I am still learning.

Now she is 81 and still beautiful and still doing just about everything no matter what pain she might have. She takes care of my dad who is having some health problems and is grateful that he is still with her. They will be married for 60 years in July. Her house is way better put together than mine and always clean. She cooks regularly for the two of them. A skill I actually have but don’t ever have the motivation to do. I admire all of that in her.

We are blessed to be great friends now. Until recently I thought I was protecting her and didn’t share all of me with her but I realize now that it was me who was afraid I might disappoint her and that was the real reason. Now I fully understand just how powerful and amazing she is and that she can handle and wants to handle all of me, as her friend and as my mother. What greater gift than being able to share all of yourself with another and have them share that with you. I am profoundly grateful for this brilliant and amazing mother and so happy to have her friendship. Blessed is an understatement and seeing it clearly for the gift that it is, priceless.

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