We just left June, the month in which we celebrate fathers, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother. Her birthday was in June, and she would have been 86 this year. I lost her when I was 24, and have now lived my life longer without her than with her.

I’m not feeling sad or melancholy, though. Instead, I’m feeling grateful. I’m grateful for the many gifts she gave me. Thoughgratitude-journal she was a single mom, she somehow managed to see that I took more than one music lesson a week, participated in Girl Scouts, and theater, and college bowl. Now that I am a parent of teenagers, and work with many as clients, I appreciate her efforts all the more.

But what did she really give me, beyond the activities and the uniforms? She gave me grit, and persistence, and drive. By enabling me to participate in so many things, she gave me a love of music and art that feeds my soul. She taught me lessons about kindness and generosity, about meeting people where they are, not where you think they should be. I believe she taught me how to love fiercely.

I’m not sure that I fully expressed to her how grateful I was for these gifts. I certainly tried, but I hadn’t yet lived enough  to know how precious her gifts were. What I can do today is let those around me know how grateful I am for their presence and for the gifts they offer to my life.

In that spirit, thanks for taking the time to read this post.  If you’re feeling grateful, let someone know.