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Do It Good. Love, Mom.

I have gotten about 20 or so emails over the past couple of weeks asking where a new blog was… I have been dragging my feet. So unlike me when it comes to writing, but so like me when it comes to my perfectionism. Here it is. I started this over a week ago, and kept walking away from it. Tonight, I am going to finish it. I am tired of walking away from what is inside me for
fear it won’t be good enough. Tonight, I am going to let it be what it is…
Real.

So my goal when I started writing these blogs was to write 60. I would then have my goal accomplished to create a book from what I have written. Since I was a little girl, one of my life’s goals has been to publish a book, something that could share my thoughts on life with others. Hopefully, once I can, I will publish it and feel one of my life long goals in my hands.

I haven’t written for over two weeks. I have been waiting… wanting it to be perfect… number 60. I wanted to make it really special. Then I was driving today and started thinking about the fact that the more I wait to write it, the less perfect it becomes and the more stress I have to make it so. I have been thinking for months about what this last one should be. What five words could bring it all home. Then I thought about mom, as always… and thought about something she used to say all the time. I found those notes from her that I have saved. The ones she would leave for me in the morning before I left to go to school. They were usually in my cereal bowl she put on the kitchen table for breakfast. She always had a way of reminding me of the little things. But now I know they were the most important things. Like taking the garbage out. I look at that now and I realize how symbolic perhaps that was. Often, it would be followed up with “do it now… if you do, you won’t forget.” That used to make me laugh. I wouldn’t dare forget or I would hear about it for a long time. But now, I find solace in those words. Taking the garbage out is right where I am in my life. I get it mom.

Often her notes were short but seem to have such meaning now. It’s like watching a children’s movie as an adult. It’s a new movie. One note said a few different things but included her “do it good” saying then ended with Love, Mom. I have carried that with me. So simple, but something she used to say all the time. “Do it good.” No matter what it was, she always wanted to remind me there was really only one way to do anything.

And it was about whatever I needed to do that day, or today, or on April 13th or any day I can think of, that was important. I should give with everything I have, and not do things with less. Mom was always good about reminding me of that. I want that
to be my motto for my life. Mom was also a grammatist and always corrected us when we used the wrong words or parts of speech. But she insisted on using “Do it good” as her way of reminding me that I had a choice of how to expend myself and my energy. There was no point in doing something if I wasn’t going to give all of me. I have lived that. And I honor my mother every time I
do.

I turned 38 a few days ago and it was one of the toughest birthdays thus far. I can’t really explain why, except that I don’t feel like I
have done it as “good” as I could have. My life story has had as many crescendos and decrescendos as anyone’s and I have certainly created, torn down, started over, built back up, almost every aspect of my life to date. More than once. My life has been anything but boring.

Birthdays always come around so quickly. I find myself wondering where the year went and what I could have done to maybe stop the passage of time a little bit. I have not yet mastered that feat, and quite honestly know I never will. It’s a nice pipe dream to have when 40 seems just around the corner. Ok, maybe not seems, but IS. The reality of that sinks deeper as I sit here listening to the crickets making sweet music outside my front door.

Do it good. I have made a decision as a matter of fact to not allow less from myself. Even though I feel I often give it much by mistake, or inability to maybe pull my life together at times. I do what I can with what I have. My choice is to do that good. Regardless. When I screw it all up and have to start again, I even screw it all up good… At least there was effort involved. I
feel like life may never make sense otherwise. I think that’s what Mom meant when she said “do it good.”

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 was melancholy for us all. A day we will never forget. Ten years that have changed us to the core of who we are and what we find and maybe do not find important anymore. Our beliefs, our morals, all tested. Who we want to be and the legacy we want to leave are so much more important today than maybe they have ever been. We are a country still mourning, ten years later. We are still rebuilding, still asking if we will ever find forgiveness. In that ability to at some point find the forgiveness to heal, I find comfort in knowing that we will never forget. I believe in our ability to heal and to fill in the holes, not with new faces to replace the old, but new faces to honor and add value to those who left this earth way too soon, and with no choice of their own.

I spent time last Sunday reading through the names on that list. All of them. A few I knew personally. The youngest was a 2-year-old on the flight from Boston. 2,819 people lost their lives that day. The estimated number of children who lost a parent in the tragedy is over 3,000. I thank God that my nephew wasn’t one of them. The love we give our neighbors, our families, our friends and even those strangers we hold the door for heals this country faster. I think Mom would be proud that I want to give that love to anyone who crosses my path. Honestly and truly. There is no excuse not to. And I want to do it good.

I feel a higher intensity when I yearn to give freely, love abundantly, and feel wholly. I am excited about the possibilities.
I am 38 now. I can’t stop time. And writing this tonight, I don’t want to. I am not going to worry about it right now. I am not going to worry about if this is worthy of being blog number 60. Sometimes, things are just as they are and the beauty in that imperfection is it’s perfection.

Right now what I have is a full heart, a strong will and an open mind. And whatever I do with all of that, it will be good. Always.

I have taken out the garbage.
I have loved “good.”
I have discovered a profound meaning in the little things.
I have learned that in the middle of my deepest pain, or my hardest fall, I have a voice inside my heart that whispers as loud and as long as I need it to.
The good I have learned about on a small torn square piece of scrap paper from January of 1991 will be the good that I will hold forever.
I may have, for the first time twenty years later, fully understood what she meant.
I thank you for your patience, mom.
I got it.

Love, Jen.

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