She crossed over 11 years ago… and I miss her to this day.
She was raised in an era where women weren't really expected to achieve too much of anything other than marriage and raising a family. And in that respect her life was a total success. She had a long a very happy marriage to my dad (who is still devastated by her loss to this day)… and she raised at least one really cool kid (jury is still out on the other one).
She was a great mum. And I am sure that I look back through rose coloured glasses… but as far as I am concerned, she was incredible. She was my best friend. I told her everything. Much more importantly though, she listened to "my everything". She took me seriously. She appreciated my opinions, my advice. She thought I was smart, and talented, and beautiful… and she made me feel pretty good about myself.
All in all that sounds like quite an accomplishment to me.
But these days SO much more is expected of women.
It's not enough to be a wonderful wife and a loving and caring mother. You are expected to have a career. A successful career. You are expected to achieve things outside of the home, as well as maintaining an amazing home life.
But what if you can't.
What if you don't have the brilliant career, on top of being a wonderful mum, a supportive wife? What if you don't go straight from the board room to the kitchen to the bedroom, with equal flair and enthusiasm for each? Does that make you a failure? Does that make your life not count for anything?
There was a line from an old Star Trek episode on TV last night which said, "He didn't make any significant contributions in his lifetime"… or words to that affect. Now I know it's just an old TV show…. but says who???
Who gets to decide what a "significant contribution" is? My mother never held a career. In her entire life, she barely ever held a job. But she was a good person. A kind person. She had people she loved, and many friends who cared deeply for her. Her impact on this planet is still being felt to this day, over a decade after her passing. And because of all she taught me, I have raised my kids in a similar fashion, with the hope that they will raise theirs in like…. still further perpetuating my mothers influence long into the future.