This has been a hard week and a half for me, in fact so hard that I didn’t even write a Monday Motivation last week because every time I would try to put my thoughts into words, they came out so wrong and tears were too close to the surface.  It was a week and a half ago that our small community was rocked by the death of a beautiful mother and her 3-year-old son in a car accident.

Living in a small town has advantages and disadvantages and one of the advantages being that you have the chance to really get to know people.  It’s a given that you will run into people you know pretty much everywhere and this particular mother was well-loved by many in the community.  She was a mother of all boys, just like me, and we often would chat at soccer games, church or school events about the craziness of raising boys.  And she was doing an amazing job.  Her oldest son is one of my 6-year-old’s best friends and he is the type of little boy that you love to have around.  The times I have had him in my home or when we see him at school or soccer he always greets us with a huge hug and a smile on his face.  And the thought that her little boy no longer has his mother completely breaks my heart.

But there is one thing that I know without a doubt and that is that he knew that his mother loved him completely and that she showed him everyday.  I know because he knows how to show love towards others, even at his young age, and in today’s world that is a really rare trait.  And I know she’ll still be close by loving him and guiding him until the beautiful day when they are reunited as a family.

So I’ve been really thinking and pondering about the type of mother that I am.  And, to be honest, I’ve been worried that I’m not doing enough to show my boys how much I love them and to teach them to love others as well.   I do tell them that I love them every day but I worry that it might not be enough.  When you look at all of the things that we feel responsible for teaching our boys I think that some of the most important things are teaching them to love others and themselves and teaching them how to serve and not be selfish.   This mother was always serving, and in fact spent a lot of her time volunteering and helping others in need and I’m sure her kids have learned that from her example.  As I have thought about her, this quote came to mind and I think it can describe her life perfectly:

When I read that quote I really started contemplating what is important in my life and especially in the lives of the little guys that I have brought into the world.  When I realize how short and fragile life really is, it makes me want to slow down and appreciate the little things I have and makes me want to be a better person.   I just want to pull my boys into my arms several times a day and tell them how much I love them.  I want them to know without a doubt that they are my #1 priority and that I love being their mommy, even through the difficult times that we have.  The past 9 months I have made some major changes in my life and in my goals.  Changes that would give me the opportunity to be with my family more and to have the ability to put them first in my priorities.  Those decisions were very difficult for me.  It meant giving up a good paycheck, recognition and in some cases even friends and social life. But I gave up something good for something so much better in the grand scheme of things.  People have questioned my decision and said that I still need to  focus on myself in order to be happy, but in reality when my family is happy, I am happy. I have found so much peace in my life that I didn’t realize was missing.   Just like the above quote, when I get to heaven I hope to be remembered for the service and love I gave to my family and the people around me, not for the material things I was able to purchase or the associations with “important” people that I had made. .   And I still have goals and dreams and things I am working towards, but this time I get to have my family involved every step of the way.

I am so grateful that I have a chance to tell my boys that I love them today and that I have the chance to sit with them and read them bedtime stories and sing them songs and not have anything else in the world pulling me away from the things that are most important.   And I’m also feeling more patient with their messes and arguments and I’m feeling more sensitive to their little problems that to them are huge.  Life is short and in some cases is gone too quickly and even though I still have a long ways to go, my main goal right now is to make sure that the people that I love know how important and loved they really are.   Make sure to hug your family today and let them know how much you love them.

Have a happy Monday and a wonderful week!