I just recently read a great book called “At My Pace” by Jill Ebstein that really had my thinking about my grandmother. This book is a beautiful collection of lessons and memories from moms. My mother was great but when I was growing up she was attending nursing school and then worked overnight shifts as a nurse. Which gave me limited time to spend with her and since my father also worked of course I spent most of my days with my grandmother. As a consequence I came to know and love my grandmother like a mother and whenever I think of moms she is the one I think of. Not to say anything bad about my own mother but we just don’t have the bond I had with my grandmother. My grandmother passed away in August of 2015 leaving me devastated. In fact I have not blogged about her at all since her death so this post has been a big difficult. I miss her every single day. “At My Pace” really had me missing her her and thinking about all the lessons she taught me over the years. I love this collection, the advice, the lesson, and the memories it inspires.
AT MY PACE: LESSONS FROM OUR MOTHERS is a collection of 38-stories from grown children – men and women, which seeks to expand a conversation, much as the first book At My Pace: Ordinary Women Tell Extraordinary Stories (2015), only here to the topic is not our journey and whether to lean in but our mom. Each piece is approximately 1,000 words and shows complexity, appreciation, and one specific lesson that each mother gave to her son or daughter. The book is divided into three sections by age range: under 40, 40 to 60, and over 60; all of which were gathered and edited by Jill Ebstein; in addition to her own story about her mom, “My Mother’s Rolling Backpack.”
Here is a great photo of Jill Ebstine with her mother, the inspiration behind this collection. NEWTON, Mass _ At 81-years old, Jill Ebstein’s mom signed up for a formal program in religious studies. Previously unable to attend college and now widowed, her mom set out to take care of unfinished business.Since the books seemed too heavy for her to lug around, her younger classmates chipped in to buy her a rolling backpack. When she completed the course and expressed pride in finally having a ‘real graduation,’ her children flew out for the ceremony. Her son held a party for her at his accounting firm. “We are all unfinished people with opportunities to grow,” writes Ebstein in her newest collection to her At My Pace series of books, called AT MY PACE: LESSONS FROM OUR MOTHERS. While her mom didn’t live to see the book get published, she heard and commented on all the submissions along the way. “It really was a special time with mom and it provided us a distraction, but a meaningful one. It changed our conversation from the need to eat and drink and do physical therapy to the complexity of relationships and the need to find and show gratitude.”
There she is…..me and my grandmother. She was so beautiful and caring. Probably the most important lesson my mother taught me was the gift of tolerance. When I was a teenager I had a lot of struggles during my sophomore year (I won’t get into any of that) but just know that I was struggling and ended up living with my grandmother for about a year. During that time we had many many long talks about many subjects. I remember struggling with the fact that I was very different then others, that I didn’t really fit in at the time. I remember her wise words that I shouldn’t strive to fit in, I should strive to stand out. People will make fun of you in life, they are not always going to agree with you or have the same interests. Just do what your heart tells you to, if you are following your heart then you will always be ok. I remember her going on to explain that in turn when others don’t fit in with me or my friends that I should strive to accept them now that I know how it feels to be left out and not fit in. That I should seek a way to love everyone, be understanding, and listen even if I don’t agree. To make fun or or exclude others makes us a closed-minded person with a narrow view of the world. The world has many things to explore and discover and we should always be open to all of these things and the people in it. I remember this conversation and many more on the same topic and I try to live my life by it. I don’t always agree with everyone but I know that everyone has value and therefore their thoughts and opinions are important to them. I try not to put people down for their thoughts and beliefs and instead look at it as a way to learn new ideas and get insight into people around me. She was a wise woman and I miss her every day!
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