Letter from Brenda

Mother’s Day letter 2007

Dearest Mother,

I’m so glad there’s a holiday set aside for mothers. It’s more important than Father’s Day because a mother does so many intangible things that go unnoticed & unappreciated. Today, my goal is to verbalize a few of those ‘intangibles’.

mombabyI am so thankful that you expected great things of me – you expected me to succeed in life. One of the jobs of a mother is to surround her young child with little successes (walking, speaking, using the toilet, cleaning a room, playing an instrument, learning to read & write, taking a test, or performing in front an audience). This establishes a paradigm of success.

pianogirlWhen I chose to play the piano, you did not allow me to fail. You were strong enough when I was weak to ensure success. This may be the single most important thing you gave me.

Life is fraught with disappointment & failure. When faced with these emotions, I turned to the piano to express my anger, pain, & frustration. I was able to turn to something I was good at to offset the failure & pain everyone experiences at every turn in life.

diplomaYou also encouraged me to get my education. Wow! What an emotional roller coaster ride that was. Thousands of dollars in phone bills were spent coaxing, encouraging, & listening to me on my journey toward educational success. I barely made it but all that matters today is that there’s another mark in the ‘success’ column.

I got my 1st Master’s Degree in Higher Education, Online Teaching & Learning in July 2012. I am nearly finished with my 2nd Master’s in Course Design (11/23/13).

You made sure I was surrounded by success.

gavelI was recently denied disability by the Administrative Law Judge. He was very descriptive in his ruling. There were accusations of ‘a tendency toward being a drug addict’, of not having enough physical, debilitating pain; he cited that there were many other jobs I could still do but I just wasn’t looking hard enough for them… and on & on. (I won disability in late 2009).

I was depressed for 3 hours. I began to believe the things he said about me. Then I thought about who I really am: I can play the piano beautifully; I have a Bachelor’s degree; I am a successful broadcaster; I had a successful career in trucking; I am an invaluable part of my brother’s life; I have lost weight so that now, at the age of 45, I look the best I ever have. I have the intellectual ability, physical beauty, & strength of character to do WHATEVER I set my mind to.

I am NOT a drug addict; I did NOT pretend to be in pain – my pain WAS valid whether he thinks so or not; I found a way to get the surgery I needed so that I could have my life back – with or without his approval & I AM succeeding at life no matter the odds or setbacks!

Why & how? My mother made sure I was surrounded by success from my birth to this day! You have taught me how to handle roadblocks, pain, negativity from others, & any other disgusting thing life throws at me. My self concept is fabulous because of you.

I look back at my life & see success! This defines who I was yesterday, who I am today & who I will be tomorrow.

sockiebootsThis is the role of a ‘mother’: to shape her child’s self concept. You are a smashing success with THIS child! I hope I have become what you envisioned me to be when I was still in diapers & pink sockie boots, while you sang to me & smiled at me & told me your hopes & dreams for me.

Thank you, Mother, for surrounding me with success.

All My Love – Brenda

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