How many times have you heard a friend say about someone who's no longer here, "I never got to tell her (or him) how much I really cared."
We've all felt this way at some stage about someone in our lives. Yet it's hard to sit down and tell a person face to face exactly what they mean to you. Sometimes it feels a little artificial, or you're not comfortable expressing yourself so directly. But there is a way to convey those feelings in a manner that's comfortable to you both.
This Mother's Day, write a personal note to your mother telling her what she's contributed to your life. Make this a time to put your differences (or grievances) and search for the positives in your relationship.
Here's a step-by-step approach to composing your message:
1. Set aside some time as soon as possible to start making notes. If you leave yourself a few days to work on this, you'll find that your subconscious mind will start searching for more examples of your mother's gifts to you. So assign it this task and do not be surprised if you start remembering events you have not thought of in decades.
2. Your first list will be of your mother's positive qualities, many of which you will hopefully have modeled.
For example, is she patient, kind, gentle, forthright, accepting, questioning, assertive, accommodating?
Even behaviors like carrying or nagging can be seen in a positive light (she's persistent or concerned). Or you can leave them off the list.
Does she have a good sense of humor, a knack for making other people feel at ease, a way of persuading others to do the right thing?
Is she a good listener, a good hostess, a great organizer?
Look at the way she handles her mothering role, as well as the other roles she plays in her life. How does she juggle it all?
What does she love? Do you share these passions?
3. The next list is her talents. Where does she excel?
For example, is she artistic? Does she paint, draw, sculpt, arrange flowers or decorate well? Do you exhibit the same exercises or maybe a variation?
Does she have a good singing voice? Good looks? An ability for math, English, writing, gardening, science?
What natural talents do you share with her?
4. The final list focuses on what she taught you.
Did she instill specific values, beliefs, attitudes that have served you in your life?
Did she teach you skills that have benefited you in some way?
Did she arrange lessons in other areas where you expressed an interest, so that you could develop new skills or talents? This is a gift too.
5. What is her greatest gift to you?
6. When your list is complete, set an hour or so and write a thank you letter. It does not have to be sweet or sentimental. Just list all the gifts she's given you, whether through heredity, example or teaching, and thank her for them. You can embellish your message if you wish, but the whole point of the exercise is to express your gratitude for what she has contributed to your life.
7. You can handwrite the message or type it into your computer, then print it in a plain or calligraphic font. Whatever feels right for you.
8. Include it with the card you give her on Mother's Day. It will be an occasion she'll never forget.