Dear Mama,

Thank you for teaching me to focus on what matters most in life.

I will always remember to appreciate the beauty around me, to always have a bluebird house (and to stop and look at the bluebird eggs with children), to make time for traditions, to bake together in the kitchen (and not be afraid to make a mess), to laugh, to sing and harmonize, to play an instrument, to write thank you notes, to make time for family. I will always be grateful for the “little things in life” like a ripe cantaloupe, a beautiful song, tacky Christmas lights, a full tank of gas, a clean car, and an organized kitchen. I will remember to do all of this because of your example to me.

I will never be rude, or selfish, or harsh with children; I will not judge others or be jealous of what others have, I will not want “bigger and better,” because you’ve taught me that more often than not, a simpler life is better. I will invest wisely and make sure I budget for vacations and memories, because those were always your favorite ways to spend money. I will not cut people off with my speech, be impatient, or drive recklessly. (Thanks to your advice and Papa’s, I will always “drive defensively.”) I learned what to do and what not to do from your example to me.

I will always put the Lord first, read my Bible, be kind, and love those most important to me. I will listen to positive voices, not negative ones, even while I’m getting ready or driving in my car (like you do).  I will stay organized with my planner and notes like you taught me to so well (although I may not ever write as many notes as you do!) I will always stick to my North Carolina Southern roots, saying “Yes ma’am and yes sir,” and I’ll teach my future kids to do the same. I will always love a screened in porch the way you do, because there’s nothing quite like it. And I will take time to slow down and rest, because it’s important to maintain your life that way. I’ll sing hymns and think of you every time, because they are your favorite. I learned these beautiful and important lessons because of your example to me.

I love you, Mama. Happy birthday and mother’s day!

(photos taken last week in her adorable backyard, when I celebrated her birthday in Nashville)

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COMMENTS

What a beautiful tribute to your mama. I enjoyed learning even more about the amazing person I always knew she was. She has taught you so many lifelong lessons through her example…things that are wonderful to stop and appreciate. Thank you for blessing me with your words…quite the challenge for any of us mamas to live up to!

Debbie Miller ..Mom

I read this yesterday and it has taken me this long to compose myself. Thank you my precious daughter. All these things I learned from my daddy and mama and grandparents. So you will pass them along too. God is so good.
I love you so….Mom

Oh, this is just simply beautiful. I can only imagine how happy it made your mama 😉

Nancy, this was amazing! Your mama inspires me through your writing-what a wonderful woman!

Love your mama! These are all amazing things to have learned from her!

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