Growing up as the oldest of seven children, I took my mom for granted as many kids do. I never thought twice about the meals, clean laundry, the clothes she bought and made for us, the books she read to us, the special treats and cookies she made for us after school and so many things she did to make growing up in our house special.
One of the best traditions that she and my Dad did was take all of my family to our grandparents house after 7 AM mass every Sunday to visit and have breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Wachter. As a kid, although I enjoyed it, selfishly, I assumed it was typical and not a big deal. As I look back now, it taught me to value and appreciate the time you spend with your family, especially your parents and grandparents.
When I was in college, I watched my mom take care of her mom, as she died of a stroke. After Grandma Rosemary’s sudden death, she spent the next 10 years taking care, not only of her 7 kids, but also her Dad, who was heartbroken without my Grandma. Every morning she went to his house to make him breakfast and make sure he was okay until he passed away. This memory taught me the meaning of sacrifice and commitment to the people you love.
As an adult, I also watched my mom take care of her younger sister, my Aunt Jo, as she was dying of cancer. She had never been married, so had no spouse to help her and counted on her siblings for support. Although she lived a couple hours away from my mom, she was always by her side helping her through the horrible disease that eventually took her life. Seeing my mom with her sister, taught me how important relationships are with your siblings and how being dependable is one of the most admirable qualities in a person.
Now that I am a mom of a teen and tween, I reflect on how lucky I was to have a role model like her. All of those things she did for everyone around her, big and small, I took for granted as a kid, but now know how significant they were. Not realizing it at the time, watching her, subconsciously helped me develop a value system that has made me who I am today. Strong roots I like to say. I have often heard books and quotes say that parenting is not so much about what you say, but what you do and how you react to situations when your kids are watching. Her beliefs, values, character and the many ways that she showed love to others around her will always be in my heart.
To celebrate my mom I found a cool idea on Pinterest; A scrabble board with all the family names. We love Scrabble and it’s a game my Grandma played often with her. I knew I would need a lot of letter tiles (29 names and more to come…)and I thought it would be cool to link all the families together. It was a puzzle to make work, and I had to re-order letters a few times because I would run out, but I finally got it. Using my cricut and some black vinyl, I cut out the quote and added it to the fabric in the frame. The shadowbox frame from Hobby Lobby was the perfect background.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the sweet Mom’s out there. There is no other love like a Mother’s love.