Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day in Cuenca ECUADOR - Today I honor my mom - Ana Rosa!

Feliz día de las madres -
A vendor walks the streets of El Centro selling flowers and balloons for this highly celebrated day in Ecuador.  
This was the first Mothers' Day that I didn't have my mom to share my words of gratitude and love with.  It's been 3 months since mom died, and though I know her pain and suffering is over I miss her so much.  When Bo and I moved to Cuenca and mom was far away in Oregon, just knowing I could visit her and hold and hug her, or call her and talk to her via MagicJack or Skype made living far away acceptable.  Now I have my memories of my precious mom - and I can focus on the good ones which make me smile.

Today I honored my mom quietly and not with tears but with joy.  I'm joyful for the mom she was to me.  She always told me how much she loved me and she always encouraged me to live my life to the fullest.  I still remember her words of encouragement and her gentle touch.  I remember her laughter and her funny stories.  Mostly, I remember all she taught me from the time I was old enough to learn from her.  She was a mom who taught me to cook and bake, to keep a home in excellence, and to treat others with respect and kindness.  She taught me to be creative and to enjoy and share my God-given gifts and talents.  She gave me confidence by helping me to see myself through her eyes and to believe I was who she told me I was - not just because she was my mom but because she truly believed in me and whom I would become.

One of the most precious gifts my mom ever gave me was a little card that I now have framed and sitting on my desk and which I read daily.  It says:
Today and always, please know that I see you.
I see the path you've made that's all your own.
I see the many unique talents and gifts you  have to share.
I see your brilliance, your enthusiasm, and how deeply you care and hurt sometimes.
I see your hard-earned wisdom, your soft pure innocence, 
your courage and compassion, your unconditional goodness.
I see what a difference you make in this world,
and I hope you know how very much I love you,
and how proud I'll always be to have a daughter as wonderful as you.

Sometimes it's the tiniest of treasures that can touch ones heart forever.  This little card touches me more than my mom could have ever imagined when she picked it and gave it to me years ago.  I know she picked it especially for me because it's what she believed about her daughter - me.  Because of my mom I'm able to go on living my life with a hope and desire that I will continue to make a difference while on this earth - a difference that would have made her truly proud of me.  

If my mom were still alive, today I would have thanked her for being the best mom she knew how to be for me, and I would have told her that I will forever love her and am blessed to have had the gift of being born of, raised by, and loved by her.  She, for me, was the best and God's perfect mom for me!

I miss my mom more than words can express!  She was 82 and living with us in Honduras when this was taken.  
My Mom - Ana Rosa Diaz.  She was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in NYC.  Photo taken when she was 16 and so lovely!

Ana Rosa loved to dress beautifully, and she was the prettiest of moms when I was growing up!

I loved my mom with all my heart -
and I know she loved me!
Yes, my mom was a beautiful woman - outside and inside!  She always put on her makeup and jewelry, smelled like "Windsong" perfume and loved to laugh.  Her favorite flowers were roses, her favorite color was pink, and she loved to give to the poor and less fortunate - whether a homemade meal, or from her own meager finances - she always gave from her heart!  Mom loved pizza with anchovies, she was the greatest of cooks, but mostly she loved her children more than anyone or anything.
One of the greatest of gifts was having a husband and mom who adored each other.  She called my Bo her "Bosito."  She loved her son-in-law so much that she always said, "You're not my son-in-law, you're my SON."  He called her "mom,"  and he took care of her as if she were his own mom.  That is the greatest of blessings in my memories of our times together.
Thank you Bo, for loving my mom with all your heart - and how she loved you!  These photos were taken on her 87th birthday,  one year before she died. 
Yes, today is the day to show our loved ones, especially our parents, our gratitude and love for who they were and now are in our lives.  I know my mom and dad did the best they could in learning to be parents, raising their children together, and making good decisions and not so good decisions along their own journeys in life. My mom had many regrets and expressed them to me during her last few years alive.  I was able to do the same with her - and so we were both forgiven and able to love each other genuinely.  We will all have twinges of regrets for the things we could have done differently.  What's important is we GET TO forgive and to embrace each other right where we are today.  Love and forgive one another while you have each other and make grand memories today.  

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." -- Washington Irving

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