Finding Beauty: Love is What You Do

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By Karin Jenkins

The most important day of this month is Sunday, May 13, also referred to as Mother’s Day. Whether you have a mother, or you are a mother yourself, or sadly, you lost your mother, this month invokes a great deal of emotion, especially in women.

Before I lost my mom, she taught me a lot of great life lessons. One was that love wasn’t so much what you said, but what you did. You can say, “I love you,” but if your actions don’t back it up, then the words are meaningless.

I have personally celebrated 36 Mother’s Days. Each one was so full of love. Gifts of flowers, handmade pictures, homemade cards, unidentifiable objects made in school and simply referred to as “paper weights,” and so many wonderful breakfasts in bed. The day was filled with hugs, kisses and little voices saying, “Happy Mother’s Day! I love you, Mommy,” from my daughter, Tara, and my son, Ryan.

Every year I thought my heart would explode with the love, joy and happiness my two precious children brought to me.

Like everything else, time moves on and children grow up and celebrate that special day with their own families.

I will confess, I was feeling a little sorry for myself this year. My daughter has two precious boys to celebrate with in Chicago. My son will be in DeLand, skydiving. They will call me, and I will be happy for that. My grandsons will FaceTime with me and they always make my face hurt from so much smiling. My 3-year-old, Harrison, will proudly report how many times he has used the “big boy” potty, and that he now has 20 teeth. My 2-year-old, Jonathan, will eventually take off all his clothes and run through the house or sit in his rocking chair to converse.

What I really need is hugs and kisses from my grown “babies” maybe now more than ever. I want the one gift they can’t spare right now – time. I want to have them with me for one whole day, so we can talk, share stories, laugh and act silly together. When my kids get together, they are the funniest people you could ever meet.

I also want to make sure they really know who their mother is, was and wants to be. I want them to be able to pass on stories of their mom to the next generation (I think).

I spent every Mother’s Day that I possibly could with my own mother and I am so glad that I did. As a mother myself, spending Mother’s Day with my mom made our bond even tighter as the years went by. She could appreciate where I was, and I could appreciate where she had been.

Opting to not throw myself a pity party, I chose instead to think about the father of my children and how, like magic, he managed to make this Mother’s Day another one of my favorites, even if my kids couldn’t be with me. David is a very thoughtful and romantic guy most of the time, a definite keeper, but this year I don’t think he even realized what a wonderful thing he did for me and how much he proved that love is what you do.

You see, as far back as I can remember, I have had a major fear that if I don’t turn on the bathroom light and look in the toilet, there could be a snake in there. I don’t know why. It’s never happened to me before, or even to anyone I know, but, alas, it is my weird quirk. Year after year, I turn on the light, look for a snake or anything else that could and shouldn’t be in there, and then quickly turn off the light, so I don’t wake up my husband. I then stagger blindly to the seat. This year, David surprised me with something beyond awesome. A blue light that goes on the inside of your toilet bowl. It has a timer, so it stays on all night. Best. Gift. Ever.

He also bought me a battery-operated vacuum cleaner. It can clean while you sleep. That is my kind of appliance. We named it Butler. This item is starting to creep me out a little. I get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and Butler isn’t parked in the hallway where it’s supposed to be. I turn the corner and there it is…waiting for me. Not moving. I feel like I am in some thriller movie starring Butler. David will wake up one morning and find Butler ten times his normal size and I will never be seen or heard from again. That is the kind of stuff I think about in the middle of the night.

Obviously, I didn’t receive either of these gifts on Mother’s Day this year, but close enough to be able to share my story with you this month. I guess the point I am trying to make is that you have the power to make Mother’s Day anything you want. You can be sad that you may not see your children on this special day, or you can be happy with your memories and the fact that you are a mother.

You can be sad that your mother is no longer here, or you can be happy and thankful for all the times you did share this special day with her. Take the pressure off. Celebrate all the little things that happen throughout the year and refer to them as special Mother’s Day moments. Any day I see my kids or talk to them, hug and kiss my grandbabies, or my husband surprises me with a thoughtful gift or gesture – that day is Mother’s Day to me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Karin Jenkins is a Licensed Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and the author of the book, “Pageant Land and the Family Who Lived There.” She has been involved in all aspects of the beauty industry and in show business for over 30 years.

Karin is the mother of two and the grandmother of two. She and her husband David co-own the local family business – Applause Salon in New Smyrna Beach – (386) 426-5454.

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