3 Great Lessons & Don’t Forget To Tell Loved Ones

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I think I told her.  I hope I did.  I am unsure.  I think she knew.  I hope she did.  I am pretty sure she did.  I say all of this because one of my best friends from my youth told me a few days ago that her mother passed away.  This wonderful mother of hers was like a second mama to me growing up.

And really beyond my youth as well.

Do you have a second mama?  Don’t forget to tell her…and any of your loved ones…just how much they mean to you and how they have helped you through the years.

Several amazing ways my second mama, Ann, helped me through the years are still helpful to me now.  To honor her, I share some of her best words of wisdom that she gave teenage me, young mom me and evolving me through the years.  I think her words will resonate with a lot of my readers and provide help and comfort during life’s joys and heartbreaks.  This post goes out to my beloved late Ann Lacy and I guarantee that her words will help some of you.  And with that, she lives on.  Because that is what cherished second mamas do…they live on in the hearts of those they touched.

Ann’s Words of Wisdom

*You will be OK…and this time around she told me that indirectly.  When I moved to Texas to attend college, I was insanely homesick for my mom, my little brothers and my cherished pals.  I missed the desert and all that I love about Arizona.  I was very lucky to get to move to my Dad’s loving home in the cool city of Austin and my family there welcomed me with love and open arms.  But I still cried a lot those first few weeks.  My sweet gal pal, Michelle told her mom about my tears.  A week later I received a kind letter from Ann with a loving invitation to return to Arizona to live with their family.  She told me that if I really couldn’t bear the adjustment, I had a home there.  Oh, how I cherished that letter!  With that, I began to heal from my intense homesickness (it is called homesick for a reason) and I wrote back that I would stay and make it work.  But just knowing that I had a plan B and could return made me suddenly OK.  I think she knew that I would choose to stay and then thrive.  I think she knew that just having that invitation extended to me would move me forward.  It was her sweet, kind and loving way of telling me that I would be OK.  And OK I was.  I made amazing memories with my father and family, I met my future husband in Texas and I earned my degree in Journalism from the highly respected University of Texas…and I never ever forgot Ann’s letter, which was the cure for my homesickness.  She knew 🙂

Motherhood is not for Sissies…when I had my first baby, Ann sent me this darling magnet that I kept on my fridge for years.  I have since misplaced it and I hope and pray that it will be found when we move out of this home someday, but it lives on in my mind and heart.  Of all the wonderful cards and gifts I received about my firstborn’s arrival, nothing resonated with me more than this, simple but oh so powerful, magnet that came from her heart to mine. I have thought about those words of wisdom so many times through the years.  When both of my kiddos had to be admitted at the children’s hospital through the years (both are fine now, thankfully), when my teens and I had power struggle disagreements (normal but tough), when my firstborn went off to college.  In fact, I have said the words aloud when I needed that reminder, that push and that release.  Motherhood is not for sissies.  Thanks for that, Ann.  So dang true.

You don’t ever get over it, you eventually get on with it…and these wise words, which helped me process my grief with the loss of my younger brother in 2002.  Oh, sweet Ann!  She sent me yet another touching card as I was forced to walk through one of life’s hardest chapters.  Losing a very close loved one so unexpectedly is a gut punch mixed with an electric shock to the system and topped with an unimaginable heartbreak that is felt intensely through every bone and deep into one’s black and blue heart.  Nothing prepares you.  Each day brought sympathy cards that helped me so much but the heartache just continued and was all consuming…this combined with having a baby and a toddler to care for daily.  Then Ann’s card arrived.  Ann had known my brother since he ran around in diapers and I knew her heart also hurt for myself and for my mom.  In her card to me, she shared words of wisdom that would see me through.  She wrote, “when Bill (her husband) passed away, someone told me that you don’t ever get over it, but you eventually get on with it and that has helped me”…oh my, Ann!  Boy, did it help me!  When I finally stopped crying and had a good day, I remember I was driving with two sweetly occupied car seats behind me.  And I thought of Ann’s words that day.  I immediately felt free…freed from the guilt of feeling happy.  And I knew, in that instant, that my brother would want me to smile and be happy again, to get on with it and he knew that I will never get over it, but moving forward is the best way to honor his happy memory.  Again, thank you, Ann.

When I got the news of Ann’s passing, I shouted no!  No!  Please no!  I didn’t get to tell her all these things that she did for me, said to me, wrote to me that helped me so much.

I think I told her.  I hope I did.  I am unsure.  I think she knew.  I hope she did.  I am pretty sure she did.

The funny thing is that if she read this, I would probably get the perfect card in the mail with the perfect words.  I will miss getting her perfect card in 2020 when I become an empty nester.

I miss her.  Thankfully through Facebook, we were in touch these last few years.

Remember the three great lessons she taught me.

And remember…don’t forget to tell your loved ones.

I love and miss you, Ann Lacy.