Scotty and I have both been blessed with amazing mothers and today we’d like to recognize the essential role they’ve played in our lives. Thank you Bethy and Rea for how you’ve loved us so sacrificially and fully. The day that stands out in my mind as a monumental one for both Scotty and me and our moms is the day that Scotty and I got married. Without our moms this day would never have been possible. From the obvious fact that they gave us life to the less obvious ways in which they formed us into people who were able to love – our wedding was a tribute not only to the love that Scotty and I shared but to the love we’ve received from our moms.
And as today is set aside to honor our moms, we thought we would each like to share something about our own mothers. One of things I admire most about my mom is her love of life. I do not know anyone who grabs life the way my mom does. She had not lost her sense of wonder. I have given her a hard time in the past about how she finds so many things to be “amazing” or “extraordinary” but I’ve grown to appreciate her ability to find beauty in the small details of life, to be excited about things that pass others by. There is a power to the sort of mindset that can overcome the dreariness of the mundane and turn ordinary things into little miracles. It’s an outlook that one often sees in children – the amazement that each new discovery brings. Tragically I think that many many people lose that as they grow older and life become routine and those little things that once brought wonder have faded into the background. My mom has not allowed that to happen to her. Her awareness of the world is vast – she’s well-read, well-travelled, well-educated, very aware of the tragedy that exists in this world – and yet still appreciates the beauty of a good story or a flower in bloom or a well-cooked meal. Her experiences have not made her jaded, as has happened to so many, they’ve only increased her desire to learn and experience more. This is a gift and one that she has passed on to so many. I hope that one day I too am able to pass this on to my children and to inspire them to really see and embrace this world in all of its broken beauty.
Scotty: When it comes to my mom, the dedication that she has shown me throughout my life began before I was even born. In my eagerness to meet the world, my mom endured weeks of bed-rest so that I would not be born prematurely. Of course, to my mom’s dismay, I changed my mind and was born some time after my due date. To say that my mom patiently endured me constantly keeping her on her toes is an understatement of colossal magnitude, but on this day in particular I want to highlight some of the qualities that I greatly admire about her – especially her enthusiasm, encouragement and participation in my life. For example, my own great love for sailing is a direct product of my mom’s enthusiasm for the sport and patient teaching on the waters of Chautauqua Lake over many summers. Then there are the countless hours she dedicated to going over lists of spelling-bee words with me in preparation for spelling-bees that, for whatever reason, seemed very enticing to me in the 6th and 7th grades. Whatever it was that I pursued, my mom has constantly been there to encourage me and to share in my excitement – from the lower rungs of being the school mascot to the perhaps more respectable decision to move overseas in order to pursue more education. My mom has demonstrated her devotion and love for me time and again in so many ways throughout my life, and for that I am so very blessed and grateful. I look forward to one day being able to pass down to our own children many of the joys and lessons that I have learned from you. -Scotty
So thank you to Rea and Bethy – thank you for all the less than glamorous and often unseen things you did as our moms (diaper changes, laundry, cleaning, etc.) and for the essential gifts of your examples to reach to higher heights, traverse greater distances, love more fully, forgive sincerely, and live more compassionately. We love you!
All pictures by Dalia Shilas, © 2005