She would have been waiting by the phone to hear how the big event turned out. Always my biggest cheerleader, her support meant more to me than anything. I’d fill her in on every detail from the hot items in the Silent Auction to the *big bids* in the Live Auction. She’d enjoy hearing every tiny detail and when I had finished she would quietly say “I’m so proud of you Jen, another great Montrose Auction. You worked so hard, now it’s time to rest and treat yourself.”
I missed that conversation this year – really missed it. I imagined it in my head, gazed at her beautiful pictures and thought about what she would say to me about this year’s event. Sadly, I didn’t find out. But I did remember her advice – her wise, thoughtful words which always touched my soul. After a hard period in life which involved either long work hours or a challenging time, mom would always remind me to stop and treat myself.
This treating of oneself is not selfish, nor is it indulgent. As mom modeled so beautifully, it is a way to achieve balance and love yourself as God loves you. A treat can come in the form of a steaming hot cup of coffee with a friend, or an elegant dinner outing. It can also come in the form of a mini shopping spree or a long nature walk on a beautiful forest trail or sandy beach. Whatever the activity, it is meant to take a person out of the mundane duties of life and transport her to a place of peace and happiness – a place where God can be experienced from the inside.
Tomorrow will mark the six month anniversary of my beloved mom Joan’s passing home to God. It is unfathomable to me that this beautiful, light filled soul is no longer on this earth with us. Her presence is so big – so alive in so many, especially in her beloved grandchildren. When I shared these thoughts with a good friend today, she responded “your mom can do so much more good from heaven – trust me!” I thought about that for sometime and will admit that I selfishly didn’t want to believe it but I know it is true. Like St. Therese, the Little Flower – I know mom will spend her heaven doing good on earth. And like my brother Joe shared at her funeral, we will spend our earth doing good in mom’s name.
The loss of one so bright and full of love is extremely difficult but as I watch our family persevere – I am confident Joan is with us. My beloved dad just spent a week manning the phones for the Needy Line at church. This meant that he had to be available 24/7 to help anyone in need. This is something he and mom used to do together. Despite his sadness, his deep faith and commitment to her has led him to continue serving so heroically in her name. His service inspires me to be a better person.
Dad will visit tomorrow to help me with Andrew’s school pick up and I want to be sure to treat him and bring a little of mom’s love to his day. (Sugar free treats, of course!) So go on – treat yourself – you deserve it, God loves you and wants you to be happy! (And so does my beautiful mom!)