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Put them all together they spell...

May 11, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Our youngest daughter is home from college for the summer, meaning we need to restock our food supplies. I went to Wal Mart to do some grocery shopping and noticed as I passed the greeting cards section that there was a young man hurriedly picking out a Mother’s Day card.

I had to wonder if this fellow lived in a cave or perhaps had just been released from some form of incarceration. Being as that I am also a man, I thought that maybe there were mitigating circumstances, that could justify his oversight. Maybe it was just the mind numbing routine of this modern society.

Our lives revolve around a routine of waking up, followed by a hectic day at work or school, then going home for some ‘family time’ and then off to bed; only to wake up and do the same thing the next day. We end up in a rut and cruise through the days, weeks, months and years on autopilot.

One unfortunate side effect of this form of refuge is that we are all taking for granted the only things that matter in the end. We tend to forget the little things that are most precious when our lives are moving routinely forward in a monotonous trance. Plodding forward, until life throws us one of its unexpected curves.

Speaking of unexpected curves: Updating the little soap opera that has been a recent focus of my blogs, my mom spent her Mother’s Day in a nursing home. She was able to recover enough from her recent brush with death to be moved into an assisted care facility and is progressing. Her attitude has remained positive as she continues to battle congestive heart failure and builds her muscle strength back up towards the goal of leaving someday soon, under her own power.

We are all quite happy to have the opportunity to spend with her on her 84th birthday last week and on Mother’s Day. Thinking back to past May’s, I know I have been guilty of taking her for granted. She has been a rock for our family through some tough times and taught us important life lessons through example.

My mom, Alice, lost her own mother when she was still in high school. She took over the duties of mom for her father, brother and younger sister. Despite this she graduated at the top of her class.

Alice moved out for a while after getting married, but moved back in to take care of her dad when her sister left for the convent. I was just a little toddler when her ungrateful brother moved her and our family out of Grandpa’s house while we were visiting her sister in Kentucky. It seems he had become worried that his rightful inheritance would fall into his sister’s hands so he convinced Grandpa to move out and sell the house, so he could use the equity to purchase a house in a better neighborhood.

Lesson One; Forgive those who trespass against us.

One selfish sidebar here, neither her brother nor sister has been to visit her since she has taken ill.

My youngest sisters are twins, and one of them contracted Meningitis. This disease is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. It was a severe case and she was taken to the hospital suffering constant seizures. She survived, but is mentally handicapped and had to be cared for since.

Lesson Two and Three: Empathy, "put oneself into another's shoes," and by looking at the world a little differently, you just might appreciate how much you have to be thankful for.

The list goes on: A Christmas where my dad was out of work and we had little to eat and if not for the generosity of friends from church, there would have been no Santa. My mom lost a kidney to a Staphylococcus infection. My dad was hospitalized for heart problems while I was in high school. Her dad, my grandpa, passed away the night before my wedding. My sister’s miscarriage.

Through all of this, Mom has kept a positive attitude. She has made it a point to take time out for a little fun. This life lesson is the most important. While we may trudge through the daily monotony and watch as the storm of trouble rages ominously on, why not appreciate and give thanks for what we have? Then we can enjoy this short little ride.

In reference, think of me and watch this video. Kozo Thong Song

Now don’t you feel better?

Happy Mother’s Day!


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