Thursday, November 25, 2010

My mother

Nov 18th is my Mom's Birthday. My mother is a source of strength for me and I often call her to chat. She has become a close friend in the past few years and when something wonderful or bad happens, Mom is often one of the first people I call. I couldn't be the person I am today without her. SO... In light of her 39th birthday (wink, wink) I want to wish her a very Happy Birthday by sharing something that I have been working on...

- Written on June 19, 2010 -

The impact a mother has on her daughter never fully occurred to me until I started thinking about our family reunion this year - it was our Centennial celebration of the Family Farm and was a big deal! I was creating a cook book of family recipes I had collected from various members of my family, and I began thinking about my Baba (Grandma in Ukrainian).
I recall all the days of my girlish youth spent in Baba's kitchen listening to her speak Ukrainian with my mother as we stuffed perogies or cabbage rolls or made pies. Baba would speak in Ukrainian and Mom would respond in English. I think it was partly because Mom's Ukrainian was rusty and she couldn't always find the words. I like to think that it was because she wanted me to feel included in the conversation, even if children at that time were meant to be seen and not heard. It was during those visits where I learned how to be a daughter or "doina". The main rule is, make sure you are helpful. Always try and do what you can so your mom doesn't have to. Let mom be the boss and do what she asks, if it's peeling potatoes, do it! If its getting dill from the garden or doing the dishes, do it. The job of a Ukrainian daughter is equal to a slave. BUT, we do it willingly, steadily, and always without complaint... well almost! It is our job, we are the "doina".
It was here that I also learned what it took to be a mother. It is a job so diverse and vast, but also rewarding. Mother's don't just boss around their daughters, they listen to them, give them advice, share wisdom and they tell stories of their experiences. Mothers also praise and encourage their children, sometimes not verbally, and often you have to look hard to find it. But, mothers share part of who they are with their daughters. Its like they hand over a piece of their soul at the birth of this baby girl. They are happy to watch their daughters grow and nourish that small piece they've planted until one day, the daughter sounds JUST LIKE their mother! Then, moms smile, a silent secret smile, and know that their legacy has officially been passed on."

Smile Mom, and know that your legacy has been passed on to me and I am so very thankful for the lessons and teachings your wisdom has given me. I am a better person because you are my Mother. I love you very much, and Happy Birthday!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When winter finally came

Today is the day that Calgarians will note that winter finally came in 2010. Yesterday was a nice sunny day, with a gentle breeze with a fall-esque nip in the air. Today, it is snowy and cold and windy and, well, winter. I have settled in, after braving the cold, to my couch and a cup of tea to watch my favorite shows on the computer. We have errands that should be done tonight, movies to return to the movie store, or people to go and see... but tonight - on the day that winter finally arrived, we choose to stay inside and keep warm.