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post by Doris McCraw
I lost my mother in February of 2011. I still miss her, and thought I would share a letter she might have written to me about how to be a loving person and live in this world without letting it define or defeat me. So, Mom, I hope you are looking down and smiling for you were a great teacher.
First, I want you to know how much I love you. I know as you travel this world there will be times when it will not seem worth it. Times when you just want to give up on yourself and the world. I taught you better than that. In case you have forgotten or perhaps need to have a handy reminder, I’ll share my thoughts about how to survive and thrive.
I will start with, forgive yourself. You won’t be able to forgive any one else if you don’t know how to forgive yourself. I know, you did some things that weren't necessarily good, but remember, you were doing the best you could at that time. That does not mean you get to repeat the mistake. To do so is only going to make you feel worse about yourself. Sweetheart, give yourself a break and get on with your life. Don’t let the past ruin your future.
Remember the story of Mr. Flemming’s father. He chose to not like a whole race of people, but would and did hire individuals. As long as those individuals worked for him, they were treated equally, including sitting at the table with everyone else. He would be angry if anyone made unflattering remarks. I’m not saying you should dislike a group of people. What I am saying is, respond to people as individuals. Do not let yourself get caught up in the rhetoric of 'if one, then all'. Treat others like you want to be treated, even when they don’t return the favor.
Get over the idea of “it’s not fair”. Life isn’t fair, but it is good. Life and living will be what you make it. When you get caught up in the ‘not fair’ mindset you miss so much of the wonderful parts of life. When you get down, or are feeling put upon, give yourself ten minutes to feel sorry for yourself, then get up and do something productive. Let the hurt go. It may not be easy, that’s for sure. You can forgive and not forget. To hold onto hurt only hurts you, not the person who did the hurting. If they didn't care when the hurt happened, why would they care now. Think on that one for a while.
You can do or be whatever you want, just remember there are consequences. Consequences are not good or bad, they just are. You are totally responsible for the decisions you make about your life. Yes, you may have people who will help you, but you are the only one you have to live with your whole life. Make sure you’re the kind of person you want to be around.
I know there are many other ‘rules’ your could probably stand to hear, but these are good ones to help you survive and thrive. I wish you well, know I love you and whatever happens do your best to be happy, to be alive, for that is the true gift.
Love, Your Mother
|My mother loved roses.|
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I know she was always so supportive of my creative work. I sometimes hear her voice when I've finished a novel or piece of history writing telling me, "I'm so proud of you."
Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
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