So, Mother’s Day is approaching. I’m a mother of a surly teen boy. Everyday I awake and think, “What a strange thing!” Boys are great! I like them. I even married one. Really, though, no one possesses mother’s power.
I write today about my mom. We didn’t always see eye to eye (and sometimes we still don’t.) We had a cantankerous relationship. Still, when I am ill or sad or on the verge of a complete anxiety attack, I want my mom. She’s a genuinely nice person.
My mom grew up as the child of divorced parents during a time when it was not OK to have divorced parents in a small town. She felt bad. She grew up a bit rough. I, as the oldest of four kids, was born four days before my mother turned 20. Within a couple of years, my parents took over the farm of my dad’s parents. Soon, they had my sister and my two brothers. The whole scene was a tall order for two people so young.
Sometime, around when I was thirteen, family farmers – we were dairy farmers – were struggling hard. My parents were afraid of bankruptcy. One day they sold all of our cows but one. Suddenly, my parents had to get jobs off of the farm. I remember using an old-school typewriter to create their resumes. (I was so sure of myself.) They both got blue-collar jobs. We could eat something other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Looking back, I realize the stress of it all lay upon my parents for a very long time. I regret so much I said to them when I was a teenager. But don’t we all? I can be pretty harsh.
Fast forward: After a lifetime of fretting and caring for others, my mother called me about a year ago. She felt sick. She was unwell. She was depressed and felt defeated. She was having a hard time dealing with her mother, my grandmother. My father was making himself ill by refusing to deal with high blood pressure. She felt like she had no power, no way to rise above the constant struggle. Her weight was getting out of control. I became concerned. To me, it seemed she was giving up.
I tend to be the type of person who incessantly looks up ideas and helpful things. I want to help. I don’t always have the means. I quickly remembered a friend who started working at a nutrition place. On an off-chance, I contacted my friend. I connected my mom to her. My mom was so miserable and wouldn’t even look in the mirror. She was angry and took it out on everyone. We forged ahead. She called my friend.
Bam! My mother took the enterprise with my nutritionist friend very seriously. She started paying attention to what she ate. The folks at Be Well Associates, located in State College, Penna. (yes, they do phone consultations), looked over her blood work and determined what foods and nutrition supplements like vitamins she needed for a healthier life.
With help and determination, my mom transformed not only her body but also her attitude. At this time, she has lost nearly 60 pounds. It is NOT a diet. She has learned how to nourish her body and, in doing so, has gained energy and drive. Mom exercises now and has even hired a trainer – something I never thought I’d see.
Since I live in Northern California, I only get to visit Pennsylvania about once a year. When I last visited, I could not keep up with my mom! Her boundless energy enables her to keep up with her young grandchildren. She cooked good and healthy food for everyone. She inspires my dad to eat better and deal with his high blood pressure. She even has renewed patience with my grandmother. Her biggest joy, though, has been purchasing new pretty clothes that fit her instead of wearing clothes to “hide.”
My greatest joy in her transformation is our relationship. I now feel I can talk to my mother, woman to woman. A healthier body does make for a healthier mind. (Uh oh, here come the onions for me!) We talk about many subjects now. Our conversations have moved beyond gossip and nitpicking. We talk civilly about religion, politics, education and current events. We may not always see things the same way, but patience and love outweigh our differences. Instead of feeling drained as I once did following our conversations, I now feel invigorated.
My mom is doing what all mothers can do for their children – inspiring a child. I may be a grown up child, but I am still my mother’s daughter. I am very proud of her.
If you want to find out what your body needs for a healthier you, check out Be Well Associates. The site has a lot of tips, recipes and information. Be Well Associates is a small business, so you will receive personalized attention. The only benefit I am receiving for linking to the site is a healthier mother. I believe in the mission.