Friday, May 11, 2007


Every family has a few months out of the year that are bombarded with birthdays. We are nearing the end of our most hectic birthday months of the year and with the beginning of spring sports and other activities, I couldn’t be more pleased. For it has been a rush of candles, gift wrap and frosting since March 1, and I don’t think I can stand eating one more piece of birthday cake or blow up one more balloon.

Except I will.

Saturday is my Grandma’s 89th birthday.

Each year, the coming of Grandma’s birthday has coincided with Mother’s Day in some capacity, whether falling directly on it, or occurring the day before. It has always been my focus when planning the weekend. It has always been the reason that my entire family gets together and celebrates. She is the reason.

So Mother’s Day becomes about all of us (currently the count stands at 16). We get to exchange frantic emails about menus and who will be bringing what. We get to plead to the weather gods to bring sunshine. We get to have our toenails painted (girls) and wear our Hawaiian shirts (boys). We get to just be. All 16 of us, with Grandma, our “matriarch”.

And that is what defines the weekend for me.

For there is no greater gift I could want for Mother’s Day than to be sitting in the sun with my kids, my mom, my cousin and my aunts, basking in the glow of my Grandma.

It makes it all worth it. She makes it all worth it.

For all the moments when I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed, all I have to do is think of her and how she managed raising three children after losing her husband when the youngest (my mom) was only 6 months old.

When I feel like I can’t handle the bickering, the whining and complaining, I think of her and her seemingly endless amount of patience that she had for my brother, cousin and myself when we were kids (and believe me, we dished out our own fair share of whining and complaining).

And when I sigh and feel sorry for myself when faced with a pile of laundry the size of Mt. Everest, I think of her and how she had to sew my mom and aunt’s dresses herself (and I can barely manage a button).

Being a mom is more than having a day on the calendar. Being a mom isn’t even about having kids, it’s about love. It’s about being part of the world in which you live and trying to make a difference. It’s about making the most of what you have and sharing that with others. It’s about not letting a not-so-ideal situation get you down, but picking yourself up and forging on, no matter what. It’s about seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty. It’s about feeling. Feeling hopeful.

Grandma taught me that.

She taught me that with her endless servings of optimism.

I hope that I can pass it on.

Now, go hug your mother, or aunt, or brother, or kids - and have a great weekend.


Princess Extraordinaire said...

I loved this post. I can tell you care deply for not only your Grandma but for you entire family. My Grandma died last year in May and I remember her fondly.....I have been blessed with a wonderful Grandma as well and I feel her even todaay...Happy (early) mother's Day to you!

mom said...

This is a wonderful tribute to my mom! I know it will bring trears to her eyes like it did mine. And I am so glad to see her through your eyes. She really IS an inspiration!

Nothing pleases her more than these family gatherings. I am so very happy that we all show up.

So, cheers to you, Carol!

jen said...

happy mother's day, friend. sounds like you'll be surrounded with love and light.

and what a lovely tribute to your grandma. and how beautiful, carrie..seeing your mom's comment too. talk about a circle of women.

Seattle Mamacita said...

I had a grandma just as you describe// only she is here now in spirit...thanks for this post, I tried to write my own tribute for my Tia Licha who is the mother of all mothers leaving behind 10 of the most beautiful cousins on this earth. Hpapy mothers day to you!

Tabba said...

What a beautiful post & what a wonderful source of inspiration. I will praying to the weather gods for all of you. That sunshine may light your day of celebrating.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Thank you -- what a beautiful tribute. Happy Mother's Day!

yerdoingitwrong said...

I love this post, too. YOU have a wonderful Mother's day, love. Let that precious family spoil you rotten!!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

What a touching tribute to your grandmother!

She sounds like an amazing are you!

Happy Mother's Day.

Left Coast Sister said...

She sounds great... and I'm sure she's so proud of having offspring like you!!
They just don't make 'em like they did in her generation, do they? No running water, no electricity, no Target... how did they survive??

mk said...

Oh that is good!!! Happy Mothers Day and Happy Birthday to grandma!

The kids are getting so big!!!!

Lisa Fine Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Happy Birthdaysssss! This was so sweet. Truly. We are just coming out of a birthday season is well. That's funny.


Rock the Cradle said...

Here's to your grandma, your mom, and you.

No surprise you're carrying on a grand family tradition of "being part of the world in which you live and trying to make a difference...making the most of what you have and sharing that with others"

What a wonderful legacy to have!

jennster said...

this is so sweet.. i love that your mom read it and commented on it!!!!!!

Lisa said...

I hope it was a wonderful day for you and your family. What a great tribute your your grandmother.

sweatpantsmom said...

Beautiful post. Your grandma sounds like an amazing woman.

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

kim said...

that was so sweet ... it make me wish i knew your Grandma too :)