My Nana taught me that it's okay to be different and not do or like what everyone else does. She gave me a love of the arts. I spent many weekends with her listening to all kinds of music from Willie Nelson to Frank Sinatra to Maria Callas. If it moved me, it needed to be in my life even if others poo-pooed it. According to Grandma, music and art could speak to us and, if we listened, we could learn from it. She was right.
Nana also taught me which fork to use at a formal dinner party and then said "if you get it wrong and your host, or anyone else at the table, makes fun of your error, leave. You don't want to have dinner with someone that uses education or manners to make others feel bad about themselves." She was right about that, too.
I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Peggy as a child. She would take me out for Saturday afternoon cruises to the local Sonic Drive-In with her friends while the BeeGee's played on her radio. I always had fun with her and felt like I could be myself - and she encouraged that. She never talked to me like I was a little kid or treated me as though I had nothing to contribute to the conversations happening around me. She made me feel that my thoughts and opinions were valuable. She taught me to speak my mind and stand up for myself because what I had to say was important no matter how old I was. Aunt Peggy also taught me the value of having a massive shoe collection but that's a story for another time....
Last but certainly not least is my Mother. She has taught me many valuable lessons throughout my life (too numerous to list) but some of the most important things she taught me were to be creative, work with what I have (a lesson she learned when she was growing up), and that it's okay to laugh and be silly regardless of our age.
As a kid, I remember her whistling as she cooked dinner or hung laundry in the backyard. She would write her college notes with bright, colored pencils. She would make mud pies with me in the back yard. Mom would buy me construction paper, crayons, glue, glitter, colored pipe cleaners, modeling clay - whatever I needed to "create." Never once did she tell me to not get messy or that I should color in the lines. If anything, she thought I should color wherever I wanted to - as long as it wasn't on walls. Mom and I used to skip together down grocery store aisles while shopping. We got looks from other people that were shopping but we didn't care. It was fun, made us smile, and what could be more important than that?
Mom always had time for me no matter what she was doing or how busy she might be. She never acted like I was bothering her even when she had been studying long hours for one of her college exams. I knew (know) that I could go to her if I had a problem and that she would listen without judgment. And that still holds true. She is my confidant and my best friend.
I don't know where or who I would be without these women. Thank you for everything that you have given me, done for me, and instilled in me. I love you all.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!