As I was drinking my umpty-zillionith cuppa coffee this morning, I mulled over what to write about Mother’s Day today. I pondered writing anything at all because I wasn’t sure it would be very moving or uplifting. But then I had an epiphany. I would write about the women in my life who have been nurturing, loving figures to me and while they obviously aren’t my real mother, they have given me many gifts in my life.
And now …. (drum roll) Love Love and Love to these fabulous women:
1. My grandma – she made me tuna fish sammiches filled with love, taught me how to knit and crochet, commiserated with me about the odd behavior of my mom, didn’t blink an eye when I told my family that I was planning to live with someone (I was 28, mind) and made some awesome pasta. She always comes through any medium I speak with nowadays to remind me that we remain connected, in this life and in any other.
2. My godmother, Aunt Connie – the rational one in the family – always level headed and thoughtful. She was my example for how to be a truly fun and cool “Godmommy of Love” and we share a sense of humor and a tender heart. I love her so so so much!
3. My coach, Rixie: She came into my life when I needed her the most and has stood by me through ups and downs, traveled the paths with me, always holding my hand and bringing baskets of food and love. She’s my coach, yeah, but she’s also one of the dearest women I know and I would not be who I am today without her loving, warm, wise presence.
4. Gail Shookoff Moskowitz – Gail was my therapist in Richmond for many years. I adored her. She, like Rixie, helped me through some of the hardest and most hellish times of my life and helped me see and love the real Lisa. If I can be of service to just one person the way Gail was for me, I will be joyful. One of the stories I most remember is going to our weekly standing Monday appointment. She came out and apologized all over the place because something happened and she accidentally scheduled someone in that spot. This person drove an hour from their hometown for the appt and she couldn’t turn them away. I was devastated (don’t ask, I was really pitiful back then) but tried hard not to show it. She asked me to come back at 8pm that evening and I responded that it was too late for her and she needed to go home. She said “Let ME take care of YOU. Come back even if you are in your pajamas, okay?” and I never forgot that. I had (and still struggle with) issues with others taking care of me since my natural instinct is to care for them first. She showed me that it was okay to let someone do that. I think of her often and really valued our relationship.
5. My cousin Dani : Dani was my strength during the last days we had with Lauren. She made me laugh, let me vent, jumped in and coordinated things and was one of the ones that keep me going. She’s a magnificent woman – intelligent, beautiful, caring, sincere, ultra-snarky and just a great person. I am proud to call her a soul sister.
6. My beloved goddaughter, Lauren who was one of the lovingest figures of my life. She taught me what unconditional love feels like to give AND receive. She allowed me to give to her without reservation and except for the MySpace thing (heh), she was never critical or judgemental. She just loved me back in the same measure. She helped me feel that I really did have a child of the heart and she always acknowledged that connection. That meant more to me than perhaps even she knew (or maybe she did, being an angel and all that!).
and finally … my mom: I would not be the woman I am today if it were not for my mom’s influence. She loves me fiercely, did every single thing she could for me and worked her ass off to give me a good life. She showed enormous strength in handling the life she was given with my dad (by the end of her marriage she had a blind, leg-less very sick husband and a 14 year old daughter) and I honestly don’t know if I could do what she did every single day. My enormous heart comes straight from her, no question. And that’s one of the best parts of who I am. So, for that alone, I thank you mom.
Not too soppy, hey?
HMD to all those out there who nurture and love others, be they children, family, friends or strangers. This world needs all of the love it can get.