Thursday, May 7, 2015

9 Lessons I Learned From My Mother

Exhibit A*
This Sunday is Mother's Day, and though it will be my second one without a mother, I don't think it's going to feel any better than the first one did without her.

The internet has suggestions on how to make the day easier, for sure. But the patheticness of googling "Mother's Day + No Mother" made me cry torrents. "Hold a ritual," "Reminisce over old photos," "Write a letter to your mother and read it aloud," google said. None of that sounds like something I want to do.

What I want, is my mother here, in my house, in all of her smart-aleck glory, muttering the most biting jokes you'd ever think you'd hear from a senior citizen's side mouth. That's the balm I need -- the humor from her, once again.

Anyway, all of the suggested activities for "Mother's Day + No Mother" are in the attempt to block the loss out of your mind. I don't want to block her out of my mind on Mother's Day. I want to think of her as she comes to my mind on Sunday, when I ask,

Where's my coffee-loving friend who was as wild about the perfect cup of java as I was?

Who will sneak out with me for hot fudge sundaes on a Sunday afternoon at 1:00 when we say we're going grocery shopping?

Who else is going to lean in with a low roar of a whisper that's not such a whisper, commenting on someone's too short skirt.

This Sunday, I fully understand and accept that I will be missing my mother. And the day won't feel right. I don't want to push her out of my mind and forget her.

I want to feel the miss of her, the loss of her presence, the void of her spirit. This Mother's Day, I will miss my mother, and I will talk about her, exaggerate a story or two, and more than anything, I will be remembering the important things I learned from her:

1. Tell a good story with a straight face, no matter how outrageous it is. Never crack a smile during the delivery, and if people say they don't believe you, tell them it matters not... you were there, and it happened.

2. Buy what you want, but know that it will go on sale. A $300 dress picked up for $150 will feel infinitely more wonderful than five $50 dresses. This rule applies especially to shoes.

3. Never let anyone talk down to you. You may not win, but they'll leave knowing you are a force to be reckoned with.

4. Walk straight and proud when you approach people. People will know who they are talking to before they even hear the words from your mouth.

5. If you can help someone, do it. If someone is too scared to ask for help, offer it. If someone needs you before they even know they do, be there to make sure the thought never has a chance to cross their mind.

6. Better to let someone who is burying themselves finish talking until they have dug their hole, rather than grabbing the shovel from them and beginning on your own hole.

7. High heels will always be worth knees swelling to the size of basketballs the next day.

8. When you apply for a job, tell them you are the best for it. After they've hired you, give them reason to tell you, you're the best for it.

9. When given the choice between sun and anything, always choose sun. *see Exhibit A*



  1. Great advise. ;-) I hope this holiday comes and goes with a little more healing for you.

    1. So very sweet of you, Nicole. Thank you.

  2. Alexandra, this is a wonderful list of lessons. I'm so sorry your mom died, and that you have to celebrate Mother's Day without her, but this list inspired me to write my own. I have you and your mom to thank for that.

    1. Thank you, Dana. I am so happy to know you. xo

  3. I love this. Happy Mother's Day, Alexandra! XO

    1. I love seeing you, Anna. Thank you. xo

  4. These are such beautiful lessons. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

    1. I did, A. I went to see my son a school and it was great. xo



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