Women Encouraging Each Other

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I am at the Southern Bloggers Conference this weekend but wanted to make sure you know I’m thinking about you! Here are some words of encouragement from one woman to another (written originally here).

Encouragement from One Woman to Another by Marty's Musings

There are some things that only time and perspective can teach you. If your mom is still alive (or you are blessed with a relationship with another woman that is important to you) I want to share some things that I am learning only through retrospect.

My sister passed away suddenly in 2000. My mom passed away under adverse conditions in 2010. Today I went to my son-in-law’s grandfather’s funeral. I cried. In the church. In the car. After visiting my son at college. Again in the car most of the way home.

Why the tears? Because for so many years I have been the strong one. My sister died and my parents needed to rely on me. My niece needed me to be her family, her rock. My adopted kids needed me to be the constant in their struggles to learn to attach. My dad passed away and my mom needed my strength and presence. When my mom died, settling her estate and dealing with a lawsuit allowed me to postpone the grief.

Today I allowed myself just to feel. To remember the funerals. To be sad.

As much as I believed I had done everything I could to be present and strong, I realize if I could go back there are some things I would do differently. Words I would say and moments I would change. I can’t live in regret, but I can tell you what I’ve learned.

See your mom as as individual. Someone with a past, a present and a desire for a future filled with hope. She is more than just your mom. She has dreams and goals and memories to share. Ask her specific questions. Look at her through eyes that see her afresh.

Tell her she is pretty. Compliment her. My mom could be negative and not take a compliment well. At some point I probably stopped trying. I should have tried harder. Looked in her eyes and told her I was proud when people said I looked like her. Which they did. And I do. Look like her. I look at her pictures now and realize how truly lovely she was.

Tell her you are proud of her. Today as I left my son at his college I told him I was proud of him. He held me and said he was proud of the way I raised him. Yes, I cried.

Say thank you. As a mother, I know nothing means more to me than words of gratitude from a thankful heart. They are balm to my soul.

Affirm her role in your life. Tell her you need her and love her and want her to be a part of your life in whatever way she can. Everyone needs to be needed.

Most of all, tell her she is “beautifully and wonderfully made.”

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  1. Marty, such a lovely memorial post to your mother. I totally understand how you feel. I struggle with unanswered questions! Like did I actually thank my mother for all the things she did for me, i.e. for making my wedding gown copied from the cover of a bridal magazine. And yes, today almost 21 years since we lost her to breast cancer, I cried reading your post. Why didn’t I ask her more about her days in her beloved home state, more about old friends, etc. Part of me says she was not a sentimental person like I am….but maybe she hid that from her daughters. Thanks for a great post…and the tears!

    • Helen, I want to thank you so much for your words today. I had a couple of other readers leave some vicious comments about me and our adoption, so your words of encouragement were great timing and balm to my soul. I write because I’ve learned so much through trials and grief, and I try to live transparently. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I guess it’s a bond you never really get over, just learn to live with. So happy you joined me today.

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you.

  3. Wonderful encouraging post and a lovely blog!
    I’m visiting from over at the Leaving A Legacy blog and now following. 🙂

    • Thanks for visiting and enjoying my blog, Cathy! I do write a lot about the grieving process because I’ve experienced it firsthand, and about adoption and faith as well. I view transparency as vital for women to support each other and lift each other up. I hope you’ll come back soon!

  4. What a powerful post! My mom is facing an Alzheimers diagnosis. I needed to hear these words! Thank you for linking up at Leaving A Legacy. Blessings~Shari

  5. I pray I never forget this post, my mum is not getting any younger. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Titus Tuesdays, have a super blessed day!

    • I am so glad these thoughts resonated with you, Ugochi. It is so much harder to do when you’re busy living life, but it’s so important because our days are all numbered. Have a blessed day!

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