Just last week, as I was writing on a couple of Mother’s Day cards for my mom and grandma, I was also reminiscing about all the things they’ve passed on to me. I’m not talking about the tangible stuff like some fancy jewelry or a precious painting, but wisdom they’ve imparted over the years.
I don’t see them as often as I want to, having moved away over 7,000 miles away almost 20 years ago. My grandma will be turning 94 in a couple of weeks. She’s healthier than my mom (her daughter) who has not fully recovered from a stroke 13 years ago. I miss them both and their constant mothering and practicality dearly as I am writing this and I hope to visit them both soon.
My grandma is an excellent cook and baker. She’ll feed the entire town if we let her. When I was newly-married, she mailed me some typewritten and handwritten recipes of dishes I love. I still have those recipes to this day, tucked away in a nifty binder that has moved with me at least five times since then.
My mom may not be as talented in the kitchen as grandma is, but she was a gifted pianist, crocheter and sewer. She could fix anything involving a needle and thread. I may not have a lot of it sometimes, but I learned patience and persistence from her and her needlework pursuits.
Not in any order but here are 10 lessons both these strong women in my family have taught me:
- Don’t be dependent on anyone for money.
- Don’t ever stop working, even when you have kids.
- Invest in jewelry, not clothes.
- Put on lipstick and always look your best. You never know who you’re going to run into at the grocery store.
- Learn how to cook. I heard that loud and clear.
- Lower your expectations of people or you’ll always be disappointed.
- Find joy in the little things.
- Walk everywhere, for good health. My grandma must be on to something here. She’s almost 94, after all.
- Don’t be wasteful. Side note: Both of them never threw away anything. Before I moved away, I chanced upon tons of empty Gerber baby food jars in my mom’s kitchen. My daughter and I both love reusing jars of all shapes and sizes. Cheers to four generations of jar collectors! It does run in some families apparently.
- Pamper yourself, and not only on Mother’s Day. Enough said.
Hats off to all the hard-working, strong and resilient mothers out there. Have a blessed Mother’s Day y’all!