Friday, November 28, 2008

Tips From My Mom #8

I am a night person. My true inner clock prefers that I stay up until the wee hours of the morning and spend a large chunk of the next day comfortably asleep in bed. I was able to indulge this preference when I was in my teens (not so much anymore) because my mom allowed it. Once she let me sleep until 4:00 in the afternoon just to see how long I would go before waking up.

Upon waking I would often find little handwritten notes on my nightstand telling me where everyone was so I wouldn't stumble around in a foggy haze thinking "I wonder where everybody is".
There would sometimes be torn corners from a notepad that read "went to the store" or on the back on an envelope I'd see "went to feed the horses".

I'd wake up, read these notes, and be somehow comforted by knowing what was going on in my little world.

If I had to get up early for some reason I typically found time in the afternoon for a glorious nap (on top of the covers with the window open and the curtain fluttering beside me). As a theater major I would often nap before opening night and once again Ma would leave me a small note (see above for one such note), a yellow rose (my favorite) and a small bottle of champagne.

Ma was and is a great communicator.

Not only with her notes but with the big stuff as well; love, security, trust, humanity, compassion, honesty, respect, struggles. There were certainly ups and downs, as with any family, but I never doubted for a second that I was loved and I firmly believe that this was because of communication.

Communication does not always mean that you have the answers. It can mean you have no idea what the hell is going on or how to respond. It allows for vulnerability and humanness. It means that you share part of yourself with those you love, warts and all. Ma taught me this by example and I have always cherished her for that.

I'm not sure I have mastered this exactly but I do believe that the folks I love are well aware of it. Communication and love - thanks Ma!
Hey, I think I am starting to see a theme with those smiley faces (see header).


Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

What a great post. I'm so glad I have so many of my mother's handwritten notes which would be some of my "if the house were burning items" that I would take with me.

lettuce said...


how wonderful you kept some of those notes

MarmiteToasty said...

To love and to be loved are the two most important elements of life..

Lovely post Gary, you mum sounds like a beautiful mum... you truely were blessed..


J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Gary - your mom rules! I'm a night owl too - still am and always was - and am NOT a morning person. My mom used to indulge me too - though she often regretted when she did so during the week because I was a real bear to get up the next day (despite my swearing that I'd get right up and ready for school).

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, handsome man.

Pauline said...

Mom's can be like that, thank goodness :)

Barbara said...

Communication is EVERYTHING! When it breaks down, you are doomed.

I love your mom and I don't even know her. I'm wishing I had left similar notes of encouragement for my son as he often slept well into the afternoon. Maybe it's not too late -- next time he comes home!

Lisa said...

Very nice post. Makes me want to write more of those to my boys! Communication is key and I'm realizing that more everyday.


Ma said...

Hi sweetie! Doesn't surprise me that you saved all those notes. You really are a special and wonderful son! You make it sooooo easy to be proud of you! You're amazing! Love you so much! Love as always' mom xxxooo

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I always brighten when I see "tips from my mom" in your title!! this post is so wonderful - communication is key. good lesson mom! what a blessing that you saved many of these little bits of love.

I cracked up when I saw a smiley face in your mom's note and instantly thought of how you honor your mom every single second of every day by having that silly wonderful smiley face in the follow the bliss header!

hope you had a terrific thanksgiving and are off to a good start with the holiday season.


lettuce said...

just looking at your christmas childrens books...

do you know The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey? by S. Wojciechowski

if not, do do do search it out, its wonderful

(might make you cry tho)

edward said...

great notes. do mom's still write notes? or do they text?

Gary said...

Gregg - Oh, those house burning down items. I was very concerned with that as a child. My list included all of my stuffed animals. Priorities! What kinds of notes did your mom leave?

Letty - I have added your book suggestion to my side bar. Thank you. In doing some online research on this title it seems to be the kind of book I can get behind. I'll pick it up this weekend. You sure do know your children's books.

Toasty - Have you ever seen Moulin Rouge? In the movie they often repeat "The greatest thing, you'll ever learn it to love and be loved in return". Without love what does anything else matter?

J.DZ-S - So it seems that when we get together we must indulge in our true nature and stay up all night (if it can be followed by a long sleep well into the next day). I have a great image of you as a bear, remind me to tell you about it.

Pauline - Thank goodness indeed!

Barbara - You are so sweet. I love that mom has 'fans' so to speak. What is is about boys? Do they all like to stay up late and sleep all day?

Lisa - Your boys seem fantastic and very close to their mom. You must be doing something right.

Ma - Any ideas for #9?

Kimy - I actually didn't realize about the smiley face until I was looking through the little notes. It is like the chicken and the egg bit. Do I love happy faces because she added them to these notes and things or did she add them to her writing because I liked them. I can't really remember. But either way it was amazing when I realized the connection between them and the header. Smiley faces rock and I can dress it up for the holidays.

Edward - Good question. Maybe both. In general I don't think people write with pen and paper as much anymore. Even I have put aside my journal writing to focus on this here blog.

WAT said...

This is a cool post. My family has always looked down upon anyone who sleeps in past 9, but I'm right there with you man! I'm a total night owl, and would give anything to be able to stay in bed till 11 or noon! Makes total sense if I'm going to bed around 3 or 4 a.m. right?!

I see no harm in sleeping period. Unless that's all you do with your life. LOLOL!

Lynda said...

Just finished reading Tips From Mom # 8. Loved this blog-Mom's Rock!

My Mom was a note communicator as well. Always a note to encourage me when I traveled for business, or when she would leave to go grocery shopping.

I, as well, have saved some of my Mom's note's. When Mom passed away, a friend of hers from Florida sent me a letter she had
written. It was beautiful as she told of her "little blonde beauties," my sister and I, and how happy she was with her life. She went on to talk about my Dad and how he was working shifts on the railroad, how she missed him when he was gone. Again, I have saved that letter as well. Both Mom's notes & letter's are precious
memories that are never forgotten!

Hope you are well.


Aileen said...

Beautiful post!

What a great lesson to pass on to one's child- about love and communication!

Anonymous said...

It was great to read your blog and catch up Gary, I sure an impressed I always knew you would make a wonderful life for yourself.
Much love...... Chris "horsemen's Palace"

Salty Miss Jill said...

I hope you always keep and treasure these sounds. Sounds like you do. :)

Gary said...

Jill - I do and I probably will keep them around. I have a bunch more scattered here and there, pasted in journals, in boxes, etc. One can get really lost once you start walking down the road of reminiscence.

Chris! It is amazing to hear from you after all these years. You make me remember my days as a skinny, long haired kid with big dreams.

Aileen - true. My latest thoughts about mom center around cleaning. Maybe not so deep but very necessary.

Lynda - I hope you can share these with me at some point. Maybe at our White Christmas slumber party?

Wat - Thank goodness I never had that guilt. Although I do enjoy catching my ZZZZZZZZZZZs I think I balance it out with being productive. I liken myself to a small child who runs around all day and then crashes. Play hard, work hard, sleep hard. That's me. :)

Jay said...

How hard does your Mom rock?

Reya Mellicker said...

I love these little notes. I, too, am a note writer, almost compulsive about it. i.e. Dogs were out at 4:30. They have had their dinner.

Or, Thai food in fridge. Help yourselves!

Strangely my roommates are not as into the note writing as I am. Did you ever leave notes for your mom, late at night before going to sleep?

Pod said...

those notes are real treasures. i found a load of podule notes to mum after she passed away, i should post some perhaps
top o'the mornin' to ya!

Gary said...

She rocks hard Jay, she rocks hard.

Reya - I am sure that I must have left notes whose contents were probably about waking me up to do something or other. Oh the days when I was actually awakened by a warm smile and a hot cup of tea instead of an alarm. (btw, you have a little note headed your way.)

Poddy - Top o'the morning to you as well, glad to see you back. Hold on to your treasures but share when you can.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Hey Gary - I'll be in NYC December 21 and 22, would love to meet ya for coffee or dinner or lunch or . . .

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Well, I hope your image of me as a bear is as a small bear . . . . I'm totally NOT the grizzly kind. :-)

Gary said...

J.DZ-S - Grrrr! You are the bear whose porridge is just right.


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