Gary and I finally caught up on our prenatal appointments this morning and saw our wonderful midwife. And before we started anything, she just looked at us across our kitchen table (seriously, homebirth prenatal appointments are so awesome!) and said "I never met your mom, but in hearing about her from you both, and seeing how you are about your lives and your baby, I can just feel what an amazing woman she was."
What a gift to be reminded that our parents always live on in us. Not that we're aware of it, not that we even notice. But somehow that energy is there. I've had a number of people share this with me in the past few weeks. Even if they didn't know her, they feel like they do. She inspired them, she taught them, she filled them with gratitude for their blessings...one friend, recently back from her daughter's wedding, emailed me how thankful she was to bear witness. That literally just seeing her daughter on her wedding day gave her so much joy. Most of us consider this a given. But Mom's blindness on my wedding day reminded her to appreciate what would ordinarily be taken for granted. Imagine if each of us adopted some form of this once in a while. To be thankful for such minute details. To appreciate seeing your partner's smile, to appreciate feeling sunshine on your skin, that your legs can carry you to your next location.
Mom was always a beauty. I was not. She never struggled with her appearance. I complained constantly about feeling fat, various body parts being larger than they should be, or just overall the wrong shape. And Mom would always chide me: "your body is perfect; it's healthy!" Never have I appreciated this until now. Honestly. Never until this moment, being 7 months pregnant, seeing my belly swell with movement and still being able to run (albeit slowly and with lots of bathroom breaks) did I appreciate the gift of an intact body. What a lot of time wasted. What a lot of time ahead to practice gratitude.