Honoring Mom: Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh

Honoring Mom: Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh

This week’s inspiration comes from my mom. I mention my father quite a bit in these columns and his timeless words of wisdom. But today, I’d like to credit my mom for a few things she’s taught me that continue to inspire me.

Mom was a great note writer. Every Wednesday during her 8 a.m. hair appointment at the “beauty parlor,” she would use her time under the hairdryer to write her notes–her bread-and-butter notes–she called them.

Have you ever heard that term, bread-and-butter note?

I grew up with her routine and that ritual so, for me, it meant thanking people for anything and everything, which my mother did regularly and with great heart. I kidded her that sometimes it seemed like she would write a thank-you note to respond to a thank-you note just to keep the conversation going!

Every week she came to the beauty parlor with her list, address book, stamps, stationery, and her favorite letter-writing pen.

She was prepared to be grateful.

This year, I decided to “be like Mom” and thank everyone with a handwritten note who has given to Madison’s 1 in 50 campaign for Pathfinders for Autism. I crafted custom notecards, coordinating return address labels, got a gold glitter pen, and even found sparkly hearts to seal each note.

Just like Mom, I prepared to be grateful.

But as I began to write my notes, two “unlike Mom” things happened.

First, I forgot to keep a list of the notes I’d written. I wrote a few cards when the initial donations came in. But when Pathfinders sent me the master list of all who had donated, I could not for the life of me remember who I’d thanked!


So I had to reach out to the early donors and ask them if they had received a note from me. Yes, that was terribly embarrassing, but I played it off as I wasn’t sure I used enough postage. (I know, that’s terrible, but at least I’m being honest now! Mom would like that.)

Then, the unthinkable happened. I wrote half of the next batch of notes upside down! In my effort to be efficient, I stacked 20 unfolded notecards in a pile and wrote them all before putting them in the envelopes. As I folded them, I realized I’d written on the wrong portion of the card for half of them.

I was mortified.

Now perfectionist-Becky (from my pre-paralysis days) would have rewritten every one of those notes.

But not today.

This that’s-the-way-it-is-deal-with-it Becky paused, took a deep breath, and then laughed so loud I woke up the dog.

I took my glitter pen, drew a big sparkly heart and an arrow to the note’s upside-down text, and wrote, “Sorry, it’s been one of those days!”

Mom would have laughed so hard, too. I can still hear her encouraging voice comforting me, even now, 13 years after we lost her. “B-B honey, it’s okay. We all make mistakes.”

Then she’d add with that classic Southern charm, “I think you’re doing mighty well.”

I’m trying, Mom!

Thanks for teaching me to be grateful, prepared, and willing to laugh when life doesn’t go exactly as planned.

So my apologies to all who may have received a non-traditional thank-you note from me and if by chance I have forgotten to thank you, please reply to this email and let me know.

How about you? What have you learned from your mom that has helped you navigate your life? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Yes, those are my grandkids featured in the first photo. They certainly brighten my day with their laughter!

P.P.S. Madison’s links are below for those new to my Thoughtful Thursdays. Welcome!

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