The Other Mother

Well I’m no quitter. No post last night. Traveling all day. I’ve had potential service opps. come my way only to fall flat.

For example, yesterday when we boarded, we were in the very last row. An elderly couple sat in the row I would be sitting in alone (I believe a first; my daughter insisted her father sit next to her, thereby leaving me to the solo seat in the neighboring aisle my husband usually occupies). The gentleman was in my seat.

In a flash it occurred to me to let him have it. But then I quickly (and accurately) assessed that if I sat at the window seat I would have to inconvenience them frequently since my husband and the children would still be consulting me throughout the flight regarding their sundry needs.

To minimize disrupting them, I gently advised them, they moved over and I took my assigned seat. Later I offered them my Craisins in my Protein snack pack. The gentleman accepted. I offered him a piece of gum. He declined.

Both times I went to the restroom – I did the thing the little sign asks you to do for the next visitor. I (with enough paper towels to make a conservationist cringe) cleaned that sink within an inch of its life. I’m telling you that freakin’ sink looked beautiful!

I was patient when the housekeeper and kennel owner wanted to chat after we arrived home. I was patient with my husband when he was annoyed with me for being patient with them.

I played fetch in our long basement with our 9 month old labradoodle (whom I SWEAR has kangaroo in his gene pool) whom I missed very much.

After the children were cleaned up and put to bed, after I was cleaned up and had a pb&j sandwich, I binged.

“Reality” television. My DVR was bursting with my guilty favorites. I will not specify. Not yet. Not til we know each other more intimately.

I was mentally fried. I was also escaping the feeling of failure so soon. I was disturbed; not content with my last post and service report and definitely disappointed that I had either missed or had not the opportunity to serve in the ninja way I proclaimed when I threw that gauntlet down.

I would redeem myself today I committed when I awoke this morning. I unpacked. And unpacked. And unpacked. I put my son to work on some homework since he’d missed three days school. Then it was time for puppy school.

With that came freezing rain.

Charlie, aforementioned puppy, dragged my five year old daughter and I (mostly I) to puppy school. LOUD. It was Charlie’s first day. My fingers still smell like processed, chicken liver hearts and they’re pretty raw from all the rearing up he was doing. Afterwards, we were off in the freezing rain to keep a promise to my nieces that they could come sleep over. They live 25 minutes away, normally. Round trip today it took two hours.

While driving I thought – ooooh! – good day to go check the local grocery store for carts and help bring them back up. I was going to do extra to pay penance for my paltry last two days.

With the kids tucked deep into Skylanders, I told my husband to listen for them, and darted off to the store. Nothing. Whomever was on cart patrol was ALL over it; employee of the month dammit.

Help. Me. To. Help. YOU. Sigh.

Did I mention I’ve also been combing our computers for an excel worksheet I’d brainstormed in August, listing service ideas?

After a loooooong, hot shower, I sat down at the kitchen table and – hallelujah! – found it. I read it. And I’m breathing again.

Some of what I had listed takes some planning. Some costs some money to accomplish. But surprisingly most are simple kindnesses that take only an extra moment of effort, of generosity of time and spirit and not much else. But they’re sure to put a positive spin on someone’s moment, maybe even day.

One of the actions listed was to make a prayer list of people I know who are having difficulties and then pray for them.

My relationship with God will eek out, it’s inevitable. But no matter what you believe, there is scientific evidence that prayer works. Kinda eerie, but true. I’m not clear on how or to what extent, but honestly, can it hurt to use my thoughts, energy, intention to send light, love, healing, protection and guidance to the individuals I hold in my mind?

I don’t think it can hurt. But it might, maybe, just help. And I may never know.

What I do know is that I sat for over half an hour thinking of others and the challenges they are currently facing. Some of them I don’t even like.

As a result, aside from petitioning for their well-being, I’ve discovered some additional targets for anonymous service as well.

Then to validate that this prayer thing counts (i.e. to make myself feel better) I read through a bunch of Mother Theresa quotes (I am not Catholic, however her poem, Anyway, is my life mission statement).

“If we have no peace; it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Theresa.

She just summed up my blog’s purpose in a line versus my multiple verbose explanations.

Anyway…I do feel better.

Thanks MT. Again.



One Comment

  1. Kelly Mobeck says:

    Hi Anne Other, Can I just say I am in love with your sharing, it’s real, I can relate, and have been empowered to take on acts of service. Thank you! I can’t wait to read more, it’s on my list of daily reads, THANK YOU!

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