This post initially posted on my old blog Running From Nothing: Open Roads. Open Minds in January 2012. I’ve made it a bit more relevant, but love that it still holds such fire in me.
Beauty fades, and lust can die, but the compassion of a mother and the legs of a runner will always be there.
Speaking with my mother quite candidly about parenting, I’ve come to the realization that I hit the Million Dollar Jackpot- not just any ‘ole lottery. Vividly describing, brutally honest, gentle in delivery, firm in message, my mother has reminded me time and time again over these past 6 years, to take a deep breath. It can be difficult to listen to her directions to take a step back. I simply stop reacting, and just act.
Her voice reminds me of a time, 19 years ago, when sitting on my bed, lost in thoughts I never wish to revisit, my mother, brave and newly widowed, sat with me and rubbed my head for hours. She kissed each tear and held my wringing hands until I fell asleep in her arms. Her voice reminds me of a gymnastics trip she neither had the time nor energy to take to Hanover, Pennsylvania; however, she took it with me, smiling and taking pictures the entire journey. Her voice reminds me of the past 32 years when I’ve raised my voice and she has remained calm, and when she’s raised her voice and I’ve drowned her out. She is someone I want to emulate in motherhood, but also as a woman. Her strength, beauty and passions outweigh her, sometimes silly temper, confusion about where her keys are, the (inherited by me) suitcase she carries around trying to pass off as a handbag, and affinity for a real paper planner.
What is good enough?
Being an amazing mother has never been enough for her. She has the be the best person in the world- not because she tries, but because she is. And, as if this wasn’t enough, she completed the Philadelphia ING Half Marathon at 63 years old… and is a driving force in my daily runs to not give up on myself.
Often we hear behind ever great man/woman is a great man/woman. But for me, behind each mile, literally and figuratively are men and women who were a driving in force in keeping me moving forward. Friends, new and old- some not even in my life anymore. Family, past and present… those we will forever miss, the memories tying together loose ends, regardless of the fray they threaten.
What’s the driving force behind you? Each mile you take… what’s keeps you moving forward? Take a moment. Assess. Give thanks. Reach out. Support someone else.