Sunday, May 8, 2011

Don't Tell Mama What You Know

Day Eight: A Picture of Someone/Something That Has the Biggest Impact on You

Last Thanksgiving, I changed my Facebook status to this: "This year, I am thankful for my friends, without whom law school would not be bearable; my family, without whom law school would not be possible; and Beckett, without whom law school would not be worth it." I stand by this. Since graduation is a mere 2 weeks away, perhaps it is more appropriate than ever before.

My grandmother has this poem framed in her home. I think I've had it memorized since I was six. I'm going to post it, and maybe it will help explain why picking just one person who has had an impact on me would be nearly impossible.

Bits and Pieces

Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. People. People important to you, People unimportant to you cross your life, touch it with love and move on. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you, and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go and leave such a gaping hole. Children leave parents, friends leave friends. Acquaintances move on. People change homes. People grow apart. Enemies hate and move on. Friends love and move on. You think of the many people who have moved in and out of your hazy memory. You look at those present and wonder. I believe in God's master plan in lives. He moves people in and out of each other's lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have ever touched your life. You are more because of them, and would be less if they had not touched you. Pray that you accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and never question and never regret. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces.


But, I suppose I could try to elaborate.

Beckett, My Slobbering Little Superman: You would have had the biggest impact on me, no matter how you turned out, due to the nature of your arrival. Surprise doesn't even begin to describe it! You have, obviously, changed and impacted my life in a million different ways. Not that I always accepted these changes. We managed to grow up together. And while things have been unimaginably altered by your mere presence, the most obvious of these changes is this: In two weeks, I will have a law degree. And that, puddin' pop, is all because of you.

My Friends: To try to say something about each of you individually would take the rest of the afternoon, so I'll simply say this: "I get by with a little help from my friends." I have said for years that I'm one of the luckiest girls in the world. I have an army of people I consider best friends. You know who you are and I hope you know you are treasured, adored, appreciated, and loved.

There is another group of people that need to be mentioned as having had a great impact on my life, and one in particular. St. James School alums, feel free to make fun, but I have an English degree (which I could not love or enjoy more) because of one person: Dr. Browning, my senior Engligh teacher.  I have to give him (at least some) credit for this because of this story:  One day after lunch, I was leaving the Fine Arts Building to head to class. I was walking across the quad and who do I see, but Dr. Browning waving at me, trying to get my attention. He made a beeline for me and stopped me to tell me he had just read my personal narrative I had turned in 2 days earlier. And then he told me 2 things that pretty much changed everything: I was smart. And I was funny.  While I'm thanking one English teacher, I should probably thank a few more: Dr. Sterling, Dr. Kaufman, and Dr. Silverstein. And for good measure, Professor Baker (you taught me Law and Lit, which after 2 years of law school, helped me remember how much I love studying literature!).

Since today is Mother's Day, here's this:

                                                    My Mom, B, and me, Easter, 2007

Mom, our relationship has been, well, contentious for years. I think this is part of the complex mother/daughter relationship. I know that you think I try everything in my power to be nothing like you, and generally, we are very different. But then there's this:

I sit on the bathroom counter to put on my make-up in the mornings because that's how you do it.

My sophomore year of college, I bought the iron I bought because it's the one that you have.

I cook with a dish towel over my shoulder because that's how you cook.

If I love to read, it's because I watched you read voraciously my whole life.  (We do, however, have vastly divergent taste).

I have stacks of books everywhere, each with a pencil for a bookmark, because I grew up watching you read multiple books at once.

I'm particular about the way that t-shirts and towels are folded. They have to be folded the way you taught me how to fold them.

If I have a strong work ethic, it's because I watched you pour your heart and soul into your job, even when you thought no one would care that you cared.

I love dogs, but think they belong outside, because that's how you see it.

And I have an address book that, even though everyone's addresses and phone numbers are written neatly inside, every envelope with an address on it I have ever gotten is stuck inside in an delightfully unorganized, yet organized way. That's the way that you do it.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

Bets, I know this past year has been hell and I just want you to know how much I love you and how proud I am of you for finishing what you started. I know it hasn't always been easy. Thinking of you this Mother's Day and knowing that things will only get better from here. -Hill

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