Turn The Page

September 1, 2012

Guess what Dee (Dee is code for mom – for those of you that didn’t already know)?

It’s your turn.

The spotlight is all yours tonight. Not that you need a spotlight. Your light has always shined so bright.

As much as I’d like to tell your story, I know it’s not my story to tell.

So, I won’t delve into your details…but…I will show off our Senior Portraits…

And I will say this…

I feel lucky every day to have a mother as fearless as you. I am so sorry I don’t tell you this more often. I actually feel incredibly guilty about the fact that I am not capable of giving you the kind of attention you deserve right now. I promise, at some point in our lives, I will give you back every bit of love, attention and affection you have given me. I’ve been buried deep in Natalie Daily Land for a while. I’ve been admittedly taking more than I give. I am sincerely grateful for the people who continue to be patient with me through this “process.” I hope you stick around to see the day I return all the favors (not like you really have a choice). Trust me, no one will cash in like you. You’re going to hit the mother@#$%ing jackpot.

Seeing as how the rest of your life is about to begin…

I wanted to remind you that YOU ARE FEARLESS. I know you’re sort of scared. I know retirement (WOO HOO!) wasn’t an easy decision for you to make, but you’ve got this Dee. YOU HAVE GOT THIS. You have put yourself out there, picked yourself up and put the pieces back together with the most gorgeous smile on your face – more times than any human being I know. NOTHING can stop you. NOBODY is ever going to put your fire out.

I would also like to offer you a little bit of advice. I feel like it’s only fair. I’ve been listening to you (well, I’ve been hearing the words that have been coming out of your mouth) for the past 30 or so years. It’s your turn to listen up…

Dance, Dee. Dance like a lunatic. This should not be difficult for you.

Sing, Dee. Make up your own words if you must. This drives me insane, but you’re getting pretty old, I’ll let it slide.

Laugh, Dee. Never stop laughing. Just never stop. Laugh so hard you can’t talk, or breathe. It’s one of my favorite things you do. It makes me laugh so hard I can’t talk, or breathe.

Cry, Dee. Cry for the good and the bad. I know both kinds of times are to come, and I think it’s good to get it all out.

Shop, Dee. You are so beautiful. Keep dressing up. I hope to hell I age as well as you.

Cook, Dee. I’m hungry and could really go for some of your tacos or my favorite chicken broccoli casserole right now. Cook for me Dee.

Stand, Dee. Stand up for yourself. You deserve the best. You deserve more than the best. I never want you to settle for less. You have let a few people take advantage of your kindness and generosity over the years. In fact, I have seen you really (and undeservedly) get your feelings hurt. If you don’t stand up for yourself, I’ll do it for you. Believe me when I say – any @#$%head that has the nerve to hurt your feelings would rather deal with your wrath than mine.

Live, Dee. Do all the things you have ever wanted to do. Cross ALL of those things off your list. There is nothing standing in your way. Right? Ready…set…go.

And most importantly…LOVE, Dee. Promise me you’ll never give up on love. Love like you didn’t lose the love of your life. Love like you’ve never been disappointed. Love like there is a man out there strong enough to be a real life partner to you. Love like the romantic I know you are and have always been. Love like the dreamers we are and have always been. Love like you are not afraid to get hurt a hundred times – if that’s what it takes. Love like a heartbreaker Dee – because you can – because you’re smokin’ hot. Promise me you won’t play it safe in love. Be reckless in love Dee. Promise me you’ll always be open to LOVE.

I would really like to congratulate you on your retirement. But I don’t feel like “congratulations” cuts it.

Instead, I want you to know that not one day goes by that I don’t feel like my lungs would collapse without you. I know I should tell you this more often. Again, I am so sorry that I don’t. Lord knows you never let me forget how much you love me.

I promised myself I would try not to share too much (I know you hate that), but I want to acknowledge what you’ve been through. And how little help you’ve had along the way. I don’t know why these were your circumstances. I don’t know why any one person would have to endure AND survive so much. I have to believe it was the only way you were going to be the woman you are today.

YOU ARE INCOMPARABLE.

I am one very lucky spoiled brat.

So, turn the page Dee. Start the next chapter. Do it without fear of what’s to come. Do it without angst regarding the unknown. All you’d have to do is flash any obstacle one of your unforgettable smiles anyway. Problem. Solved.

I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of what you’ve done. Of who you are. Of where you’ve been. And of where I know you’re going to go (mostly because I know I get to tag along…hee hee).

I love you stars and moons mom. You are bat @#$% crazy – but you are the most beautiful woman I have ever known. You are the most incredible woman I will ever know. You are the most incredible woman most people will ever know (I might be a little biased).

And I love this picture of us (except for my teeth, was I chewing on rocks?)…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana September 1, 2012 at 6:43 am

This was very sweet of you, Natalie! Great advice for your mom. I wish her the best in this next chapter of her life. Retirement sounds amazing and I hope your mom enjoys all aspects and does the things she loves! Love you both!

XO,
Dana

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Dana September 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

And let’s hope we both age like our mothers!

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Sue Hepner September 1, 2012 at 8:32 am

You forgot to sight me as an example of how not to retire…but seriously your blog is wonderful, even if I am just here for the pictures…

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Natalie September 22, 2012 at 2:29 am

Thank you for reading Sue. Or just looking at the pictures. Either way, I appreciate it/you.

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Delores Paulsen September 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Speechless would be a good start from your Mom (Dee). This was so beautiful that I laughed so hard, I cried in between and I again praise your talents and way with words.
BTW the tooth thing comes from sucking ur index finger in case you forgot….sorry but since you asked:)
I did Turn the Page and it wasn’t easy but I know I can do anything after the way you expressed my life and what’s to come in the future. Love you Stars N Moons.

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Delores Paulsen September 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Dana, thanks for the kind words, your Mom and I so appreciate the two of you:)

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Michael Sparks September 3, 2012 at 5:27 am

Natalie – you know how special of a person your Mother is to me. I am so proud of her (and envious) as she begins this new chapter in her life and proud of you for the beautiful and heartfelt recognition, the attitude of gratitude and the life coaching guidance you gave her in moving forward with retirement, but most importantly is your endearing expression of love for her.

One of the privileges each of us is given in our lifetime is “to be who we are.” I want to see your Mother take that privilege and live it to its fullest. It is because of “who she is” that has made her so endearing to all of us.

Whenever we would be going somewhere to do something together I would say to her “let’s go make a memory.” Eventually, It is those treasured memories that we will have to fall back on and make us smile. My worry is that I just hope that when the time comes I can still remember the memories and I’m not just sitting there crapping in my drawers trying to remember who she is!!! ;0)

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Corinne September 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Your mom is one fantastic lady. I really enjoyed meeting her and chatting about life, liberty, and burgers (well, not so much that last one, though it did come up maybe once or twice).

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Natalie September 22, 2012 at 2:30 am

Laughing. My mom is a pretty cool chick. But I don’t want to hear the word “burger” for a few more days. I need a little break…

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