Introducing the ‘Know That You Are Loved’ Locket by QueenBeeing
A Tribute to My Other Mother
“Know that you are loved.”
These words, for me, defined my “other” mother—the woman who taught me so much about life and about myself in the nearly 13 years I had the pleasure to know her.
I’ll bet most everyone in her life heard her say those words at least once. Pat Atkinson was, above all, a mother. In addition to being forever stylish, funny, beautiful, generous and classy, Mom had a very special quality: the ability to make people believe they are worthy of being loved.
Not everyone has such a gift.
When I told her nephew about her death, he was devastated. Since he hadn’t seen her in years, I didn’t understand at first why he was so upset—but then it occurred to me.
From conversations we’d previously had, I learned that maybe he hadn’t had the best relationship with some of his nuclear family during his life, and that Mom had done for him what she’d done for me—taught him that he was special, worthy—and that it was ok to be himself, as he was, without prejudice.
That’s because Mom was the kind of woman who never met a person she didn’t at least try to love. In all the years I knew her, rarely heard her speak negative of anyone, even if I believed it was warranted.
She offered my husband and his sister the gift of unconditional love and acceptance in addition to plenty of real, practical life lessons.
Always ahead of her time, she was an active social networker, seasoned iPhone user and a gamer who rarely came across a Facebook game she couldn’t beat.
She supported her kids in their every dream and did anything she could to promote, protect and nurture their creative, individual selves.
She did the same for me when I joined the family and for many of Bill and his sister’s friends, as well as other family members and various others throughout her life.
Before she died, Mom told us that she knew we’d cry when she passed away, but that we needed to remember that we are crying for ourselves, not for her. She said, “I’ll be just fine.” She told us that we were all blessings in her life, and that she was so grateful for each of us.
Not everybody’s so lucky in the mom department. I count myself lucky to have been called her daughter for the past 12 years.
Mom always had an open mind, an open heart and open arms. As Bill and his sister know better than anyone, she embodied love. Both of these two grew up knowing, truly knowing, that they were loved and wanted. They never doubted their mother’s love, because it was pure and unconditional. No matter what happened, they knew that Mom had their backs.
And when I came along, she offered me the same kind of unconditional love and support. In fact, she’d always say that she hoped it didn’t hurt my mother’s feelings, but that I was her daughter, and too bad if I didn’t like it. (Of course I did–I was honored!).
I am so grateful to her for teaching me that unconditional love exists and for making me feel worthy of that love. Her children were so lucky to have her as long as they did, and I’m lucky to have been a part of her life.
“Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.” ~Virginia Satir