Things My Mother Taught Me

Mothers and Daughters
The relationship between mothers and daughters can be a difficult one. When I talk to friends and acquaintances about our mothers I am often reminded about how blessed I am to have the special relationship I have with my mother, Eileen. On this Mother’s Day 2011 I want to state this plainly.
Now, I am not saying it has always been butterflies and unicorns. We went through the classic difficult pre-teen and teen years. I am a Cancer, so I was quite the emotional young woman and my mom, the Capricorn, had little tolerance for it. But, as I became and adult and she regained her independence from daily child rearing, our friendship as women has blossomed into something that I find daily reasons to be grateful for.
Meet Eileen
I would like to introduce you to my mother, Eileen Wilkinson. My mother is 6-ish. She is a Capricorn, born Jan. 14. Eileen graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English.
An activist in the 60s and 70s, my mother has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to being aware of how I can contribute to the community locally and globally. A few of the things she has done:

  • VISTA volunteer for a community health center project which, after being shut down by Reagan’s “no more community health centers” politics, I became a Board Member of as a VISTA Volunteer myself ,25 yrs. later. It ended up being the defining moment of my professional life leading me into non-profit work.
  • Executive at Women in Construction, a one hundred percent women run and staffed construction company in Northampton Massachusetts. I went to the office withEileen Wilkinson her quite a bit and recall her interactions with the other women. Respectful kindness without the competition women are always caused of. This was the foundation for my work with Girl’s Inc., The Morningstar Foundation and other women’s organizations.
  • Survived Lymphatic cancer. When she was diagnosed with cancer in a lymph node, she was understandably scared yet brave. I knew my mother, the woman whom I had watched overcome so much, would be OK. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. She did not lose any hair and 7(8?) years later she is still cancer free.

Things My Mother Taught Me
My mother has taught me to seek my personal spiritual path, give my whole heart to my work in the community(which is my calling), always look to enrich myself and expand my learning, survive chaos and struggle with calm surrender, constantly examine my impact on others and the world, learn from and make amends for my own mistakes, forgive others fully and love unconditionally.
My Message to Mom
Mom, I feel blessed to have been carried in your womb. I feel blessed to have been raised by such a strong and compassionate woman. I feel blessed to have developed the friendship that we have. I feel blessed to still be able to call you when I need guidance and support.  I wish this kind of mother daughter relationship on others. The world would be a better place for it.
I love you.

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