Sunday, January 1, 2012

new years day

Today, is the start of another year.  Most people think of resolutions to make or new adventures to seek.  But I am thinking of my mother today.  It would have been her 60th birthday, but she passed away in 2001.  I can't help but remember her smile and sweet attitude toward life on this day ((and every other day)).
I spent some time yesterday reading through old notes she wrote me.  I counted seven handwritten notes dated between October 2000 and April 2001 and there were many more without dates written during the same time ((I can tell by the stationary she used and things she wrote about)).  I was struck reading her words that felt familiar, yet far away.  Her penmanship near perfect, and her genuine care as a mother coming through with each curve of the ink.  She wrote this one in January 2001, when I returned to college for the spring semester:
It started me thinking about how I've long resisted making resolutions.  I'm not sure why, but I've honestly thought it somewhat silly.  After spending some time with family last week for my cousin's wedding, and being told repeatedly how much I remind them ((relatives on mom's side)) of her, I am left to wonder how much of me really is her since I was twenty years old when she passed.
Re-reading those letters and notes brought reminders of her personality that I do hope shine through me in 2012.  They're not so much resolutions, but reminders of who my mother was and what I hope to carry on as her daughter...

Memorizing Scripture + prayer -I found this verse written in her 2001 planner and have it saved in a scrapbook I made of her life on the first page: I have set the Lord always before me; because He is a at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8.  She mentioned praying for me in nearly every note she wrote.
Letter writing + encouraging notes  -as I already mentioned, Mom wrote me a ton of letters.  She would often place notes of encouragement in my bag I'd find whenever I was away from home.
Cooking + eating -I do love to cook and have a rather simple style and I know I get that from Mom.  But I also thank her for my appetite!
Shopping for clothes -I noticed she wrote in a few of her notes about going shopping for an outfit or something to wear.  I shop at a lot of the same stores as her today ((Target, Marshalls, etc.)) and while it's important to look nice, I think she instilled her frugality in me!
Decorating a home -another letter mentioned searching for throw pillows for the living room.  She would love to help me decorate or at least talk through plans for our house.

May the new year bring you and your family great joy.  And as we miss those who are no longer with us, may we find ways to honor their memory and celebrate their life too.  Thank you for letting me share such stories here.
Happy 2012! 

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