One monkey don’t stop this show.
This was what my mom said when someone she was counting on did not do as they said. I remember being all set to go to the park after church one Sunday and the other family we were to go with backed out. The problem was they had the grill we were to use to cook out at the park. My mom said oh well. We went home put all the food on our backyard pit to cook loaded in the truck and spent the afternoon at the park just like we planned.
But the time this struck me the most was one 4th of July when she was to drive from SC to NY for our annual family cookout. My mom was the backbone of our family. She was counted one to do the planning and most of the cooking for these things. She was counting on my cousin to do the driving as my mom was to have Chemo that morning and my sister was a double amputee who was still getting her bearings in dealing with her handicap. She goes to pick up my cousin and he says I just can’t leave right now. My mom with her handicapped daughter 12 year-old son and 3 grandkids got in a Tahoe with a trailer hitch and began to drive. When she got tired she passed the wheel to my sister. Yes the one with ONE arm. When they got to Maryland to pick up my son I asked where my cousin was she looked at me and said home I guess. I was a little reluctant to let my child join this ride along even if for only the last 4 hours. I whispered to my sister “What the hell were yall thinking” She said mom got in the truck and said “one monkey don’t stop this show. You ready to drive?” What was I going to say no? I said OK and here we are. I looked at my mom and knew that her picture had to be in the dictionary by the word strength.
From this I have learned to do the things I want to do by my self even if nobody else wants to. I have gone to concerts, movies, restaurants and even on trips solo and loved it. I have moved myself across 3 states with just my kids and have enjoyed my life to the fullest. If you want to come you are welcome but remember “one monkey will not stop this show!”
Remember who you are and whose you are.
This is what my mom always said to us when we left home for a date or to go somewhere without them. In college I would get these little cards from her with this at the end. This little tidbit has kept me out of trouble and gotten my into some trouble as well. Knowing who you are is a powerful thing. Knowing who I am has given me the courage not to compromise my values and knowing whose I am has always let me know that I am loved totally and completely. For all of the important decisions in my life I try to keep in mind who I am and whose I am. When I do that I am rarely disappointed with the decision I made.
You are responsible for you.
This is one of those momisms that sticks in your side. It sometimes feels like this pain and other times it is liberating. It is a pain when people treat me badly and I want to strike back. That is when I hear “you are not responsible for how they treat you but you are responsible for how you treat them”. So, more often that not, I take a deep breath and try to be as polite as I can. On the other hand, I have reminded ex lovers and friends that I am not responsible for your happiness, you are. I will not take responsibility for anyone else’s life as I have a hard enough time handling the one that I am responsible for.
If you want to feel better do something for somebody else.
We would get so upset with my mom because even during chemo she would go sit in the hospital with people. She would always remind us that taking your eyes off self helps to keep you grounded.
This one has helped me get through my parents’ birthdays and all the holidays I have had to endure since they passed. When I feel the sorrow and pity coming on I go out and do something nice for someone and it gives me such a lift. A few mother’s days ago I gave a brunch at my house for ladies from the nursing home. We had a blast! We talked about everything from politics to sex. The brunch turned into an all day affair with great ladies who had not had anyone who wanted to listen to them in years. I got some great advice and funny stories for years to come.
Just keep on living.
This one actually came from my grandma. Every time we would say I would never …….she would say to us just keep on living. Now I get it. All those things don’t seem so crazy anymore nor do some of the things I thought made her crazy. Mix up the kids names, give a friend my last dollar, stay up all night cooking for a holiday, cry when I am hurt by a friend, stay in a bad marriage, let my kid…. Every time I cross over to one of those I would nevers I smile. Just keep on living.