Friday, April 11, 2008

WARNING: Scattered and Sappy post ...

I am often amazed when people approach me in public to acknowledge what a beautiful family I have. "Your children are so lovely, what a blessing of love." A seasoned mother whispered on at church. Little did she know we bribed them with sprinkled donuts. Today at the mall, an elderly lady approached me "What a beautiful family. I can feel your love." I smiled and thanked her. But what I really thought was: Whatever. How can SHE feel our love? What a sap! Last week, when reading a new library book about the world's greatest mom, Jay exploded at the ending demanding that the book was lying. "SHE can't be the best mommy cause you are! We love you the mostest." Today, Jay approached me and asked me why I called the husband, "My love" all the time. All of these moments make me step back to admire the love. The unconditional love.

I didn't really think about cycles of love until I sat down this morning to check my email. My parents returned from their trip to Poland and sent me pictures documenting their trip. The first hundred were ordinary pictures of villages, castles, storks, fountains, churches, and statues the same pictures they send each time they travel. They frequent Poland as often as I frequent my salon for highlights.

The last hundred of pictures were of my mother Mamusia and her father. My Dziadek suddenly had been stricken down with Alzheimers and needed hospice care to monitor his new medications. He had been there since the holidays. My parents traveled to see him and return him home to reunite with his wife of 60+ years.

My Dziadek and my Mamusia, leaving hospice care.

My Babcia (grandma) greeting my Dziadek, as my Mamusia smiles.

Reunited.

60 years of marriage is incredible. But, their marriage wasn't perfect. I clearly remember my Babcia describing her soul mate Michael dying in the war. She thought of him often. I clearly remember my Mamusia describing the affects of alcoholism that my Dziadek suffered through for years. But the love of family prevailed.

My weekend project is to photo shop that middle picture to perfection. I plan on blowing it up, framing it, and displaying it in a high traffic area of my abode. I once read that one of the many secrets to a happy family is to display a picture of the parents in each one of the children's rooms. Sounds sappy, I know. But think about it. The children have a constant reminder of love.
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Monkey see and monkey do.
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I want THAT picture of my mother with her happily married but not perfect parents framed in my house to remind us that love is what binds us together.
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My family and I are incredibly lucky and are humbled by our lives. We have not witnessed much abuse or drama. Not every family is so lucky. An old colleague of mine was mentally and physically abused by her husband for years and finally fled with her beautiful daughter. Their loving home is filled with pictures of their family: the mother and daughter. Love binds them.
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I look at my children, my life, my family and I want our cycle to continue forever. Our cycle of love. I am off to photo shop, frame, and preserve that memory. I want them to remember that our family is one filled with generations of love.
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I encourage you to place a picture of loved ones in your children's rooms. Fill their rooms and your home with your family and their love.

66classy comments:

Kupiec Baby Blog said...

Hooray, I'm first!

Your kids are so lucky to have such an amazing example in you...even if you are sappy!

Wendi said...

Sappy or not... great story. Even greater family!

*I still want to be first in line at your book signing.

Stella said...

You are absolutely correct, abuse- any type- is all about cycles. More often than not those that abused, were abused themselves constantly and consistently.

The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them and I absolutely agree- Monkey see, Monkey do.

MommyTime said...

I love that you are going to focus on love as part of the antidote. So much healthier than only focusing on fear and avoidance. I, too, think loving photos of family are so important. My kids already know what our wedding photos are, and I want that to continue too, even if we have to have conversations about the harder topics later.

krissy said...

A beautiful post! I like sappy once in awhile.

I have a huge issue with child abuse as well. Lucky for me, the abuse that was in my family was ended when my mother became brave and left my bio father. And lucky for me, my "daddy", my mom's second husband, turned out to be the best dad and grandpa ever.

I sometimes feel humbled too. That I love my family with so much love but the amazing part is that they love me just as much back!

Your a doll!

Lisa said...

I have goose bumps & teary eyes. Yay for love!!! What a beautiful, touching story.

LaskiGal said...

A perfect post. Beautiful words that couldn't be truer. It is a cycle . . . one that can be broken and rebuilt with love.

It is obvious that not only do you get it . . . you give it as well.

Sappy? Who cares? Lovely and heartfelt? Most definitely.

Mama DB said...

Beautiful post! And I do love the pictures. I can "feel" your love.

I love the idea of putting pictures of the parents in the kids' rooms. Love it.

Happy weekend.

Jules said...

Child abuse is a horrid, horrid thing, I agree. I'm glad you started your post with this, but then went on to hi-light the heartwarming joys of true love.
It was a really lovely post and like kupiec baby said, your kids are so very lucky to have such wonderful people in their lives. :)

Eve Grey said...

I sat down with a client & discussed some of these same issues today. It was about the cycle of poor parenting. Most harmful issues in families are cyclical as are the positive. My friend told me the other day, half-jokingly, that I shelter my children. This is true, I do. I will shelter them from the hurts of the world as long as I can & hope that when they are exposed they will be able to deal with my guidance. The news is making me very sad indeed lately.

The MomBabe said...

I've heard that too, about having pictures of the parents and grandparents in every room. ♥ it!

Jenni said...

I think the greatest gift my parents gave us is the example of their marriage. I know so few people my age whose parents are still married. Dave and I are bound and determined to pass that gift on.

Beautiful post!

Amy said...

I've never heard about placeing pictures in every room. It makes sense. My project for 2 weeks from now, when I am in Mexico with my husband is to have lots of tasteful pictures taken of the two of us, so we can have something for our children to gaze upon. Proof of love and security.

Marie around the World said...

Great post !
I liked the "Proof of love and security" (Amy said !)
There is no sappy as long as it's for the good cause.

pam said...

You are so so lucky!

That's all my post was going to say, then I rethought it. And it's not luck. It's work to make such love resonate throughout your home, your family. Your family is lucky - to have you.

Happy Days said...

I didn't find it sappy at all! I love the pictures. I can see the love. Nice post!

Beth said...

What a wonderful post! The pictures are lovely, just lovely!

Irene said...

What a wonderful, WONDERFUL post! And I absolutely LOVE those photos, especially the last one.

I often listen to those horrible stories about abuse and just get sick wondering how someone could do that. But then I realize these people aren't coming from families like mine (or yours).

I remember walking through the mall with my daughter when she was about 4. We were hurrying and I was telling her "Come on sweetie pie!"

And then I walked by this other "interesting" couple with a little one and the mother was yelling some profanities at her boyfriend about where they were going to eat.

And that little maybe 3 year old sat in the middle listening to everything. And I just thought, Holy cow, that poor kid! What a life, and what is he going to turn out like? So sad.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

This is going to sound really random, but today is the anniversary of my dad dying three years ago, and while I have avoided posting about the whole thing (some day), I couldn't escape the issue today, when I saw the photos of your grandpa. My dad was 76, also an alcoholic, and looked very much like your grandpa. Anyway, it's not a bad thing; just a "wow" for me.

Sweet post.

Kendra said...

My heartbreaks for the kiddos that are mistreated. My hubs had to forbid me from watching the news b/c the stories would tear me up. I just can't imagine treating a child like that.

A very sweet post. Happy Friday.

Crystal said...

OHmommy this sappy post is just what I needed this Friday. You are such a beautiful writer. You are such a beautiful Momma, that is evident even in your un-sappy posts. Your children are so lucky and so is OHdaddy.

Flea said...

So sweet. :) I need to post more pictures of the Hunny and myself around the house.

THopgood said...

You have a wonderful way with words. Well said!

Sappy is good, your kids will read that post one day and hear the love oozing from every word typed.

haniaski said...

GREAT POST!!!
BEAUTIFUL STORY!!!

Lisa said...

It's weird--when I was pregnant, each time I had to have picture of the husband and I framed for their rooms. I could never explain my insane desire for this--maybe it was to show love?
Child abuse just breaks my heart--I cannot even imagine how the child must feel :(

Kelly said...

That was a very well written post. I agree, every time I read the paper or watch the news I see some horrible story of something happening to a child. It sickens and saddens me and makes me just want to scoop up my children and hug them all up. They don't know how lucky they are to be in a familiy with so much love. That picture of your grandparents is amazing. I wish mine hadn't passed away so young. I would love a picture like that.

Melissa said...

Abuse doesn't always have to be a vicious cycle. Sometimes someone who was abused by a parent or spouse can identify and make changes so the cycle stops with them.

I know, I'm living proof. My family is built around unconditional love, too. I just haven't told my daughter she has beautiful blood..just wait until the next time she falls ;)

Ruth said...

What a beautiful reunion!!! This really touched me today. I was talking with my Mom last night & for the first time she shared with me her concerns about how the future is closing in on when she might have to move my Dad to a nursing home. He's just not letting her help him enough, and in a home he'll definitely get that care. They've been married 56 years. It hit me hard to think of being separated at that time of their lives. I really hope it doesn't have to happen.

Thanks for the sweet reminder about the photographs in our kids' rooms! As soon as we move, that WILL be one of my priorities!!!

tobymine said...

What a great idea. I had planned on putting pictures of Toby's grandparents in his room (since we don't live close to any of them and I can't think of any other way he will know them WHINE) but I hadn't thought about a picture of DH and me. Brilliant!

I was verbally abused when I was younger and for a long time my mom and I had a horrible relationship. Now that I have moved away from her our relationship rocks. I think it helps that I grew up and became a nicer adult than I was as a child, and she's grown a lot too. When I first held Toby I promised him that I would never do anything to make him feel unloved, as I did a lot as a child. I don't know if I'm doing so hot so far but I'm trying!

Stephanie said...

That's a beautiful post. I think that is a wonderful idea - to put up loving pictures in children's rooms. I have never heard that. Maybe that will be my new project as well.

Tara R. said...

Wonderful photos of your family, and truly heartwarming story of love that spans many generations!

On a darker note: please don't feel sorry for abusers... there are millions of people who were abused (people you know) who broke that cycle. It is not inevitable that an abuser will abuse, it is a choice - that cycle can be broken...

Ashlee said...

I don't think your post was sappy. :0) I loved it. Families are THE most important thing. Too many forget that.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Sappy? Maybe. But still incredible and wonderful.

renatamic said...

at work...
I.AM.CRYING.

have you started writing your book yet??

carrie said...

You made me cry.

What a beautiful sentiment, and that picture - oh, I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Many happy wishes to your family!

greyst said...

That picture of your grandmother and grandfather hugging is adorable! :) Great story!

Pink Lemonade Liz said...

Very touching - I agree about putting pictures everywhere - people tease us about it, but it does remind us of the love we share as a family.

amanda said...

a beautiful story and such beautiful pictures. the pictures truly tell the story all by themselves!

btw - i like the sappy posts :)

April said...

You sap you! You're right, of course! I love what bell hooks said about it in all about love; love requires action. It's a verb. If you haven't read it, I recommend it to you. I think you'd like it.

Miss said...

Beautiful. My room is covered in pictures of people I love and good times we have had. Without them, I dont know where I would find my smile each day.

Kash said...

Love the love!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

What a tremendously wonderful family!!

Karen MEG said...

What a great post, and a wonderful idea. Sappy or not, this is a very important thing, love. And it needs to be celebrated; we need to be reminded of it. What better way than to do it with pictures.

Sorry your grandfather has Alzheimers, but it's good that he's being taken care of. Your grandparents are such a sweet couple :). It's great that you're continuing this cycle of love with your own family unit.

Janice said...

I love sappy- Sappy is good-

Kimmylyn said...

Tears. You caused tears today. It was a beautiful post. So well written.

My home is filled top to bottom with pictures. My hubby hates it, but I love being surrounded by family all the time.

Beautiful post OhMommy!!

The Immoral Matriarch said...

Ok. So. I would have totally been thinking the same thing you were regarding the 'feel the love' comment. LOL.

Now - tell me exactly how to pronounce those words.

imbeingheldhostage said...

You're right, this is sappy--in a wonderful-inspiring sort of way. What great stories you have to tell your children (and those of us eaves-dropping) ;-) Love the pictures!

jennie said...

i fully appreciate sappy and what a great idea about putting a picture of "love" in your child's room.

Christy said...

Beautiful! There is Alzheimer's in our family, and unfortunately have seen its effect first hand, so I find the story especially touching.

We have photos of our parents and grandparents in our house displayed on the wall. It is important to me but also I think of our daughter too see who they were.

andrea j said...

Thanks! That was something great to think about :) My favorite wall hangings are pictures of my family. I think I will get some more framed now!!

Amanda said...

That was beautiful, OHMommy. And what an amazing picture...I felt like I was right there with them! Thank you for sharing :)

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

Very well said. And, the Polish is similar to the Czech. I "understood" without need for translation. I love your grandparents reuniting.

Jane the Sane said...

I love the idea of putting pictures of your family in the kid's room. I will definitely do that.

LunaNik said...

Pictures in every room, eh??? That would mean I'd have to drag my lazy ass to the store to get frames. **sigh** Well, ok, I'll do it. But only because OhMommy told me that I have to. =)

momof3crazykids said...

Wow, we can all see the love of your family. Your children are very lucky! I love the idea of the pictures in the kid's rooms.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I LOVE those pictures! LOVE Them! I know you treasure them.

**P.S. Go look at the post I just threw up.. I think you will laugh! Also, I go to some EXCELLENT barrel races in Ohio!**

secret agent mama said...

Incredible post. Thank you for the reminder. XXOO

Kimber said...

I missed the part about the abuse but i do hink that people can tell when there ins unconditional love in a family. People approach us and ay thing like that too and I want to say back..."sometimes I yell though!"

as a professioal (former) in the field of family and marriage I can tell you that most parents love but not unconditionally.


I love the idea of a photo of the parents.
Kim

Big D said...

amazing one of your most thoughtful posts

Keri said...

When i married my husband and we started planning our family i always told him our marriage must come first... It must be an example of what our children can expect and want out of a marriage.
Love, trust, comfort, and respect. That is what my DH and i try to show our little kidlets.
When M and i hug, Our little Ava comes over and hugs us too. A complete little family.
It makes me feel like i am achieving at least one goal i set out to reach as a mommie. One out of a hundred isn't bad as long as it's the most important one.
LOVE.

mamatulip said...

Such a beautiful post. A lovely tribute to love, family, marriage and life.

Don Mills Diva said...

I missed the intro and I'm sorry because I couldn't agree more with this post. Treating people with love and respect is a learned behaviour and people who never learned it are unable to manage it without a concerted effort - I grew up in a loving family and I am providing that for my son but I try not to take it for granted because some people have no idea what that means...

April said...

I'm kinda bummed that you deleted your first opening paragraph (and I never got a chance to read it) and I only stumbled upon the rest of the post. While the rest of the post is BEAUTIFUL and so true, I'm kinda confused about the abuse part since you deleted it before i could read it.

And now my 2 cents: Don't ever apologize for being "real" in your blog, honey, and feel you have to sugar-coat it. Life is not always puppy dogs and rainbows and it's the REAL stuff that everyone posts about their lives (and yet how it all works out in the end) is what sticks with me and makes me realize that my family is just as "normal" as the next. It makes me love and appreciate my own mother more, DESPITE her faults (that I always used to FIXATE on but now I know she is only human and not perfect.) Does that make sense? I know I just totally rambled on...and I may be way off the mark anyway since I have no idea what your first paragraph said! LOL

Shellie said...

Sappy and all, that was a really good reminder. Thanks.

MamaWise said...

Just thought I would let you know that your Babcia reminds me so much of mine. I swear you and I must be somehow related - I need to do one of those genealogy things. Wouldn't it be great if MamaWise and OHmommy were 5th cousins or something? LOL

tricki_nicki said...

Thanks OHmommy - I'm putting this on my to do list for next week. It seems like I'm always too busy to do it, but after reading this - I'm really gonna!

 

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