Saturday, May 11, 2013

Like Oxygen

"Smile, breathe and go slowly." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

My sister, Mary Claire, and my mom, Linda -- December 2012

For the past few days I've been reading about other people's mothers.  They've distilled their mom's wisdom into some bits and pieces.  They were able to list particular traits or sayings that their mother's had that were carefully passed on to them.

I tried to think of personality traits of my mom's.  I tried to see if I could chunk out the wisdom. 

I decided that it was impossible.

The presence of my mother is like oxygen.
I simply know it is there.  I take it for granted.  I never consider what it must be like to have no oxygen. I try to take deep breaths and acknowledge the ever present, life-affirming place that oxygen plays in my world but that's as far as I get.

I don't want to consider gasping or begging for oxygen.

So...for today, again, I'm not going to.
Call me childish.  Call me foolish.  
I accept it.
I need my oxygen.

I will however share here a few things that oxygen has given me.

1) The giggle: if you have enough oxygen, you have enough air in those lungs to giggle.  My mom is the best giggler I know.  You actually CANNOT get her going or she will not stop.  It gets awkward and embarrassing...especially in mass.  We have been the recipients of many evil eyes, trust me.

2) The snack: if you have oxygen, then you will need a snack.  Guaranteed.  If you are out of sorts, you are probably hungry.  If you are going on a trip, however short, you MUST have snacks.  If you are on a road trip and don't bring a cooler full of treats well then you have shirked your God-given duty.

3) The ability to choose the right pen -- it's always about the right pen.  If you have enough oxygen, then you have the ability to consider your pen options.  Color coordinate your written word with your stationery, please.  It's the least you can do.  It really does make an impression.

4) The love note: with oxygen, you can definitely find the time to write a little note on a napkin.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  A little "Isle of View" (say it fast) and you're good to go.

5) The ability to enjoy my freedom: Get out there and do something with that oxygen.  Go see something.  Go visit someone. Cheer for your team.  Make the most of it and get going.

6) The chance to be nice:  if you can breathe, well then, you can be nice.  Simple as that.

7) Constancy: yep...I've never known life without oxygen.  Never struggled for it.  Never knew that you could fight for it and never know it.  

My world is full of my mom's amazing presence.  
She is always there, thinking of me, hoping for me, rooting for me. 
Today, I am grateful for my deep-filled lungs of oxygen...otherwise known as my mother's love.

Inhale gratitude, exhale judgment.

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