Inspire Others...
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I thought this post may be appropriate given the holiday. With this being my first official Mother’s Day Weekend coming up, I have been calculating all of my different and new opinions about,motherhood, my own mother and how difficult it must truly be for your mother to see you walk down that aisle on your wedding day and be “given” to someone else who symbolically vows to do the job she once and will forever do for you… To love, to cherish, to have and to hold, to comfort in sickness and in health, forsaking all other…

My new perspective, which I think you can’t really comprehend until you have your own baby, which I now do, has entirely changed with respect to my mother and all mothers and how we should honor them every single day by telling them how well they prepared us for that Big Day.

I look at my son daily, who is now 9 months and am constantly wishing I could freeze time and keep him at this size and age. He will always be my little baby and I will always think of him and remember him the way he is now. Like all moms, I will worry about him finding that person I feel competent to make those vows to him. The questions of my own competence begin… Will I raise him well enough to identify who this person will be? Will I prepare him to discover himself and then know who he will need to marry in order to live a full and complete life? How will I know if I do a good enough job for my child before he walks that aisle? The answer is… your children will tell you… so…

Dearest
Mom,

I look around my house today at the little shrine I’ve made within these walls to
the family I have, the wedding day I received and the home that we have built.
I catch myself saying things to Cash that you said to me when I was little. I
deeply hope that I can shape and inspire Cash’s life the way that you have
mine. You gave me life but you also made me live it.

Thanks
to you:

In my house, I will always have droves of vintage and antique glassware

I will always buy, things in odd numbers for spatial decorating

I will always have an enormously oversized dining room table to serve as my
household nucleus, because you must have enough room there to never turn anyone away.

I will forever know every word to every Beatles song ever sung

Yellow roses will be my favorite flower, because it is yours

I will crochet until my hands won’t work because you always impressed me and for
some reason I just think it is what a mom should do!

I will randomly think up reasons and ways to donate to Greenhill Humane Society

I will NEVER cut my hair above my shoulders

I will always be grateful to you for all the sacrifice you made along the way to
make me, ME

On our wedding days, we can see how moms aren’t always receiving the gratitude they deserve. Most weddings, mine included, have the father escort the bride down the aisle. This is symbolic in its own way but can sometimes be a sadly painful vision to moms who have spent just as much or more time raising their daughter and feel that they should be the one to let her go. This is not inappropriate or selfish of moms in any way but in fact should be reflective of how much they care about their daughters and how emotional they are about their daughter’s future. They want to be there to ensure that person promising to honor and protect will do the job. Moms should be a part of this.

Obvious solutions would be having both parents escort you, or even just mom escort you down the aisle. Both are a beautiful way to include her. Another option, if you have always envisioned those pictures of coming up the aisle with Dad, is the Ribbon Bouquet. Here is how I brought mom (and grandma and others) with me up that aisle:

Around my bouquet, I made a ribbon wrap. I sent out a note to all the women in my life who were significant to making me a “woman” whether they were young and I had coached them or they were a part of my husband’s family who also changed my life by raising him. I asked each woman to send me a piece of ribbon that either represented our relationship, or themselves. All of my relationships to these women were different and yet all of them were so similar.

What this ribbon wrapped around my bouquet symbolized to me was a team of powerful women “holding my hand” as I did the biggest thing in my life, walking up that aisle on my wedding day.

My main goal was to create an incredibly powerful bond with the empowerment of becoming a best friend, wife and of course, eventually a mother. I will always be me, but after your wedding day you are different, better, and I wanted as many strong influences of successful “women” there with me all day to usher me into this new role.

The bouquet ribbon was built like this: I took a long ivory satin ribbon and stretched it out horizontally, I then laid down, in order from left to right each person’s ribbons:

My volleyball players (who had been with me longer or at the same time I met Billy and who had made me the coach I am) farthest left, so they would be closest to the bouquet when wrapped. Each girl chose a ribbon that she either wore in her hair on game day, just liked the fabric because it reflected her personality (lots of animal print here!) or thought of me when they chose it.

I got a piece of ribbon from each of my bridesmaids reflecting our journeys together: Canadian ribbon, UO ribbon and others.

The volleyball moms were next. Over the 10 years of coaching they had taught me so much about parenting. I will forever remember their wisdom!

Billy’s family was next, from his mom and step mom I received pieces of them that made them moms and shaped their lives, a ballet slipper ribbon and a scrap fabric from a dress she had made while “mom-ing”

Then I had my immediate family to teach me how to be an amazing, eternal WIFE: my step mom with a piece of the dress she married my dad in, both grandmas; one with a piece of her wedding veil (which I can’t believe she cut up for me!) and a piece of her wedding dress. I also used one of their garters and the other an appliqué from her dress collar that I made into a hair
pin. I received a piece of my aunt’s wedding dress. My sister cut up her first horse show blue ribbon… which I know to be incredibly precious to her and I still can’t believe she did that for me either! Such a strong moment in her life, and she GAVE it to me… the power of weddings…

Finally, the last 7 ribbons, the ones that finally wrapped around and touched my hands, were those for my mother. Why seven, and why all leopard print?

Seven is a big superstitious number for me, and always brings me back to mom…. For reasons she probably has never been told. So here is to you again mom!

 

Dear mom,

I know that you may think you didn’t get a spotlight on the wedding day, but you
actually did. Every decision I made had you behind it, including the date,
7/7/12. Seven was the first thing you gave me that changed my life…

1.       There are seven letters in my name
2.       In 1990, when I was seven, we won a really big horse show and had this huge cake that I will never forget. Cake became my favorite food after that cake! Our wedding cake was this same flavor… bet you didn’t know. It was also the first time I remember crying tears of joy.
3.       When I was 14, you came home one night and threw a jersey at me. You said you signed me up for club volleyball and I made the Gold Team…. That jersey was number 7. Volleyball has completely changed my life, and if you hadn’t done that for me who knows where I would be?
4.       When I was 21, we were all out at this party and saw this guy dancing around… You said to me, “Now there is a guy you should marry.” About a month later when we were looking for a roommate to the house you bought us to live in for college, I saw you recruited that same guy… his name was Billy… you sly woman you….
5.       In 2007 I graduated college and you wrote in the card that you “respect me” which I never really knew that had been what I was searching for my entire life until I read it in that card. I have kept every single card you have ever written me and I checked, it isn’t in any others. Who knew that one word would be such a weight lifting off my shoulders? The one trophy I ever truly wanted to earn and have been striving for everyday, my mother’s respect.
6.       When I said I wanted to start my own company and follow my dream with absolutely no idea what it would take to run a business by myself, you sent me a check for $7,000, no strings attached. Look where that has brought me!
7.       When I told you I was going to marry Billy, you said, “It’s about damn time!” we had been together seven years on our wedding day…

All seven of my mother’s ribbons were leopard print. Why? My entire life my mother has taught me to “have my own spots” never do what others are doing, never make yourself conform to the normal, never let anyone tell you what to do. That sticks. It is a mascot, a crest, a uniform and homage to my upbringing. My humble rebellion and empowerment lives in those tiny spots, and my other gave that to me. Thank you mom.

I hope that you brides reading this can take a “piece” of each woman that makes you unique and powerful and carry her with you on the big day. But, more importantly, I hope you honor your mothers and let her hold your hand…

 

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