My mom adventures in Fort Collins

21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 3

Today’s prompt for the gratitude challenge included this link to a story that is equal parts amazing and inspiring. It is the story of Shelagh, but it’s also the story of a journalist who pieced together Shelagh’s life after her sudden death.

Shelagh, as far as I can tell, is an angel that walked amongst us.

Do you know those people?

I must be lucky, because I feel like I know many of these folks. They appear to be just regular old human beings, but they’re really angels. If you passed them on the street, they wouldn’t warrant a second glance. They look like normal folks, but on the inside they are carrying hearts full of love and minds full of wisdom.

Everyone has a story, so it’s said. It’s shocking how once you hear a person’s story, it often connects you to them in a new and formidable way. See a person at church every week, then hear that they lost their two-year-old to a freak accident. Wow. Pass a neighbor’s house daily, then learn that she patiently cares for her elderly mother and a disabled child. Unreal.

I sometimes think about my mom this way. My mom has no letters behind her name, and she has never traveled outside of the U.S. She never wrote a novel or hiked the Appalachian trail. The American rubrics of “Success” are all absent from her life: small house, simple car, no significant bank account. As far as I can tell, though, she is one of the kindest people on the planet. She sends me newspaper clippings of articles she thinks I’ll find interesting. While I studied abroad as a college student, she saved each of my emails (sent to a colleague, because she didn’t even have an account at the time) and compiled them in a binder. Her telephone voice is so pleasant that while growing up friends calling my house would ask if she worked for the phone company. Before her granddaughters come to visit, she asks me for a detailed shopping list that should include cereal boxes and snack food. She alerts me to family-member’s birthdays and anniversaries so that I might have a jump start on gathering a greeting card. Just today, she consulted me with worry in her voice–thinking she may have just purchased a present for Scout that would be a duplicate of something she already has, all ready to return it for a more perfect gift. She is exceptionally good at holding babies, and she would rather clean my kitchen than sit and relax during her time away from her own home. She taught me how to pray, but never claimed to have all the answers. She is humble and generous, and she makes time for herself by enjoying a glass of wine every so often. My mom is thoughtful and kind and she loves to make other people happy. Additionally, she’s been a caretaker to my dad this past year while he went through an intense medical procedure and long-term rehabilitation, and she did this while still maintaining a full-time job.

Oh, and she’s also a cryer, so I should warn her about this post before she sees it.

I am grateful for all of the people that cross my path and share their stories. I am humbled and bettered by their tales of struggle and growth. Most people are just simply amazing, and we don’t always know it. Today I’m especially grateful for my mom.


2 Comments so far
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Jayme, what a beautiful tribute! Your mom sounds like a wonderful person, who probably also has the gift of humility (ie, quietly doing all she does without great fanfare – like my Mama who has taken care of my Papa over 30 years of his quadriplegia) …

kudos on your gratitude posts!!!! – Virginia : )

Comment by Virginia

Thanks, Virginia. Truly, not sure anything can hold a candle to the caregiver-role that you, your mom, and your entire family have taken over the years. Wow. Nice to see you around, I have to catch up on your blog! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Comment by jaymers

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