Today mom turns 60 so I figured it was time to officially set the record straight. She is NOT a saint. My mom gets tired and cranky and makes mistakes. And her hair truly is an unholy mess. That’s part of what makes her human though and is probably partly a result of having such a spirited daughter like me (I can take credit for quite a few of those grey hairs).
She is however, without a doubt, one of the most caring people I have ever known. She has dedicated the majority of her life to helping others whether they walk on twos or fours. So while I wouldn't call her a saint, nor would she want to be, I would instead call her a hero. And if she were to be a Marvel superhero, she would probably be the female version of Ironman - brilliant but with billions of animals and vet bills instead of dollars and a suit of cat and dog hair rather than an indestructible exoskeleton. Since Marvel superheroes are her absolute favorite I am sure she would appreciate that comparison and coincidently they are both from America. But perhaps mop women would be better suited to her ... pee puddles don't stand a chance with MOP WOMAN!
You all know my mom as Carol Hine and are familiar with the amazing things she has done and the sacrifices she has made for SAINTS - valuing each animal's right to dignity and compassion and committing to care for them for their remaining days whether that means a week or ten years or for dogs like Maud and (brown) Buddy or Phoebe (the red whirling wonder) and Diesel - inevitably she winds up with more of the later type though. But she has also done and continues to do incredible acts of caring outside of SAINTS.
Although she is a nurse and caring is kind of her job, she doesn’t treat it like a job. She provides her patients with the best care she can, even the grouchy ones. She does her best to make sure they are comfortable and well cared for, but are also doing what they need to get better themselves – and this isn’t always the easy way for her or her patients. Sometimes that means taking the time to teach them how to do something for themselves, like change their own colostomy bag.
She is the same way as a mom. Many times when I wanted her to make a decision or do something for me, she refused. But this has made me and all her children more capable and confident. She taught us to fish for ourselves in this crazy world where I see so many young people unable to fend for themselves and far too often crippled at the smallest of challenges. Although she never taught to cook, so I married a man who could.
She also taught me by example to be caring and she instilled in me the importance of being kind to others. She frequently welcomed friends and family members who needed help a place to stay in our home for as long as they needed to get back on their feet. She has continued to do so even in her SAINTS capacity, despite having been burned on more than one occasion.
As with the animals she rescues, she chooses to see the good in everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt. And to that end, she can sometimes be generous to a fault - often handing over her last $5 or $20 to anyone who asks, for example the person asking for money outside bank. How convenient for her that she was near a bank machine .... true story! Or when she insists on bringing all five grandchildren presents at each of their birthdays so that no one "feels left out"!
My mom’s constant and colossal generosity with her time, money and spirit is truly something rare and special in today's world. While a saint may be defined as someone close God, my mom is often close to broke. With her bank account perpetually in the red, but at lest her karma is on the up. She gives much more than she takes or receives. If only we all lived our lives that way (but hopefully with more stylish hair)!
In honour of my Mom’s sixth birthday I will be participating in a sort of caring boot camp for myself - performing 60 acts of caring. Some will be big, some small, and others I hope to incorporate as part of my daily life and will therefore do multiple times.
Here are a few examples - some I have already done over the past two weeks or plan to do in the coming months …
1. Call family members more often.
2. Spend more time with family.
3. Listen more. Talk less.
4. Buy someone coffee.
5. Bring in treats to work.
6. Pick up litter when walking.
7. Donated money to a charity.
8. Bring in neighbor’s garbage cans.
9. Help someone put away their weights at the gym.
10. Offer to watch a friend or family members child.
11. Empty dishwasher at work.
12. Be a more courteous drivers.
13. Let someone ahead of you in a line.
14. Participate in a charity run or walk for a great cause and help raise funds and awareness.
15. Donate blood (I have an appointment booked for my first time on June 6!)
16. Pay others compliments.
17. Admit when I am wrong (mostly applies to spouse).
18. Apologize when I am cranky.
19. Invite someone over for dinner.
20. Tell someone when they are going a great job.
21. Offer to buy someone lunch.
23. Donate bottles.
24. Donate clothing.
25. Donate toys and book.
26. Spend time talking to a stranger.
27. Smile at someone just because.
28. Get in touch with a long lost friend.
29. Teach someone something new.
30. Give mailperson a thank you note/treat.
31. Have a complain free day.
32. Do a favor without asking for anything in return.
33. Walk or ride bike instead of driving.
34. Spread some positivity online.
35. Take time to listen to someone even if in a hurry.
36. Lend or give someone a book.
37. Donate to the food bank.
38. Give someone flowers.
39. Give someone a nice card or note.
40. Don't participate in gossip.
41. Let someone else waiting have your parking spot.
42. Wipe down the slide and swings at the after a rain fall.
43. Offer someone.
44. Tell a fellow mom or dad they are doing a great job.
45. Write a thank you note and bake treats for daycare.
46. Don't criticize others.
47. Don't get hung up on problems, work towards solutions.
48. Be kind to self.
49. Weed neighbours garden.
50. Mow someone's lawn.
51. Leave a large tip for a server.
52. Mail grandparents (not on Facebook) photos
53. Give someone flowers.
54. Pick up dog poop around neighbourhood.
55. Treat someone to a movie.
56. Offer to be a designated driver.
57. Try to do it myself before asking for help.
58. Encourage others to do acts of caring.
59. Stop embarrassing mom (mostly through posting photos and making fun of her hair)
Wishing you a very happy birthday MOMMY!!! I hope I make you as proud as I am of you.
All my love
PS. you can kill me later ... hopefully with kindness ;)
If this has at all motivated those reading to do their own acts of caring please leave a comment about what you plan to do since I am still looking for inspiration for more things I can do too! Thank you.