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I recorded this episode with my mom in February when she was visiting me for my book launch. It was one of the most joyous moments of my life. We had no idea that Mother’s Day would keep us apart three months later. I have always struggled with living far away from my parents and now that my mom is alone, the distance keeps me up at night.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year – we all feel the distance. Whether your mom is around the corner and you can’t see her because of social distancing, or your mom lives far away and you can’t travel, or you mom has passed away, or your mom is not in your life, or you are trying to be a mom – this day is extra hard this year. It’s a day that has an underlying sadness for all of us.

If you’re feeling that sense of sadness and you are lucky enough to have your mom in your life, I encourage you to get on the phone, FaceTime or Zoom and ask your mom to tell you her story. I can’t think of a more generous gift to give than to honor our mothers and ask them to tell us their stories. It’s a gift of time. Nothing says I love you more than saying “Mom, tell me your story.” 

If your mom is in heaven, I encourage you to write her a letter. I’m sure you have already written many. Another letter always feels good. I also encourage you to connect with @thememorycircle – a platform where people gather in grief. It’s founder, and my friend, Barri Leiner Grant will be on the next lovespeaks series episode titled “Speaking of Loss.” Community and story are remedies for grief.

Here are a few things I learned about my mom when I asked her to tell me her story:

  • She would like to be remembered as JLo
  • My mother modeled in New York as a young child
  • Her biggest regret is not being educated
  • She didn’t even consider how hard it was having a double name herself when she named me Sally Lou
  • She overpacks because Hollywood starlets did too
  • She was never able to tell her father she loved him
  • She has no idea how she got the tickets to The Mike Douglas Show

As we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday, listen to and speak the stories that make you who you are today. Be proud of who you are, where you come from and where you are going. Mother yourself in the most beautiful way through the gift of story.

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