Two weeks ago, I spent Easter Sunday with my Mom and my sisters and realized something that should have been obvious. I was sitting across the table from my mother when she said something that was very normal for her but seemed suddenly revelatory to me: “Well, I bought a couple of lottery tickets before lent and did not allow myself to look at the results during the Lenten season. So don’t be surprised if you find a nice surprise in your bank accounts next week!” My mother was only half joking! Somewhere in her extreme optimism, she believed it completely possible that she might win the lottery, and why not?
My Mom is also a very faithful Catholic. Her relationship to her church is not a passive one. She is active in her thinking and has very clear reasons for her beliefs. Her faith has guided her through many changes in her life, including leaving her native country, raising her children (who are a very diverse and challenging brood), loving and caring for my Dad, her husband of 40 years, until his untimely demise to a terrible bout with cancer.
After the previous paragraph, I do not need to talk about my Mom’s courage. My sisters and I have challenged her throughout our lives. By our very individual ways of approaching our lives, we have caused her to consider her traditional teachings, her views on all kinds of issues that impact our lives and hers. Rather than just saying that we are of a different generation and decide not to address our points of views, my sisters and I have seen my mother develop into a very sophisticated philosopher, considering the views of the day against her own upbringing and coming to personal choices that are both in keeping with her principles and considerate of others.
My Mom has made an art of her life! She left a third word country and came the United States, educated herself, gave her children greater opportunities than she had, made a career as a nurse and became a proud home owner. She has unlimited respect and unconditional love from her children–A love she has earned because she has given us that same love and respect always. Nothing came easily, but she never complained. She simply worked hard and patiently!
If you, my readers have not figured out by now where this is going, you only need to read the mission statement at the top of the page. At Easter dinner two weeks ago, it became clear to me that my motto, “Faith, Courage and Patience. Hard Work Is a Given” did not come to me accidentally. These are the principles that my Mom has always lived by, and they have infected my life in a most profound way. These very special gifts are like weapons to fight the war of life. I have never believed at any point that I was losing the game of life. That profound belief has given me the patience and courage to go on and make real my visions. As I consider my life and its potential, I cannot imagine any of it without the quiet strength and love of the woman I endearingly call: Mouse!
And so I dedicate this, my most important blog post to date to my Mommy, my Hero, Nicole Lafond, who gave me all the resources necessary to live this life, and without whose quiet influence this blog would not exist!
May 8, 2011 (Mother’s Day)