Women And Steel Magnolias


Having recently lost my mother back in November, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to share for my traditional Mother’s Day post this year because this will be the first Mother's Day without her, and I was suddenly at a loss for words.

But then earlier this week, I read a post by Lisa at Peripheral Perceptions, which inspired me to share something.

So thank you, Lisa….x

Lisa brought up the movie, Steel Magnolias, which I had ironically just watched the night before I read her post, so I knew it had to be some sort of 'sign' because the words for this post suddenly came to me.

Here are a few quotes from her stunningly beautiful post on women becoming mothers...

“We’re a lot stronger than we look, aren’t we? To the out­side world, most of us look like little mag­nolia flowers; one good storm away from being destroyed.

But inside.….inside we rival the man of steel. Once women become mothers, they quickly learn about inner strength as well as unpar­al­leled fear. And, Southern or not, we all become steel mag­no­lias to some degree.

Yes, through our mommy expe­ri­ences, our resolve and deter­mi­na­tion become strong as steel, and as beau­tiful as a mag­nolia.”

If you go back into my May archives throughout these past 6 ½ years, you will pretty much read my thoughts and feelings not only about my own mother and motherhood, but women in general.

I adore and admire women so.

And the main reason why I feel this way is because of their strength.

As Lisa shared, to the outside world, most women appear fragile and weak. But it has been my experience that women are anything BUT fragile and weak.

When I think back to my mother and all the things she taught me through quietly observing her, it was her inner strength that impressed me the most - and not only through her life, but also through her death.

I never saw someone so bravely accept and embrace her transition from this world to the next; in spite of any fear she might have had.

She never complained. She never allowed herself to become bitter. She never once said, “Why me?”

In fact, she moved through the final chapter of her life as she did all the other chapters.

With grace, faith, gratitude, and humor.

And like a magnolia, soft, delicate and beautiful, she also contained the inner strength of steel.


So to all you awesome women out there; whether mothers or not.

I would like to take this time to thank you for your beauty and strength. You add so much power to this world.

And know that you are very much respected, admired and loved.

You are steel magnolias…


Happy Mother and Women Day!
X

57 comments

  1. What a beautiful post Ron! The movie, Steel Magnolias, is one of my all-time favorites! I adore itand I cannot count how many times I have watched it. Your love for your mom comes across loud and clear! She was a brave woman indeed! Happy Weekend Ron! Xo Jeanne

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  2. Let me start off with a big {{HUG}} for it being the first Mother's Day since your mom's passing. I'm sure she'd be very touched to read your kind words.
    Steel Magnolias is an excellent movie. I saw it listed while scanning thru the channel guide the day before yesterday. I've seen it a lot, so I didn't tune in. Maybe next time though. So many emotions to go through while watching.
    I feel the same way about my own mom, that she had an inner strength. Some people didn't quite understand her as she didn't make friends with everyone and only those really close to her knew her way.
    It's been many years since she passed. Of course, I still miss her.


    Nice post, Ron. And, such a lovely portrait of your mom. :)


    Hope you enjoy the weekend. xo

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  3. Val DaggattMay 10, 2013

    Good morning, Ron. Oh my, this is a awesomel post. I'm pleased you found the right words to celebrate Mother's Day.


    Yes, indeed, motherhood brings out the best in us. It is strange because just the other day Joe and I were discussing this subject. I was a timid and shy child all my growing up years but the second my son was born I knew suddenly that I would fight the world for him. I became stronger and I never looked back.


    I love that picture of your beautiful mother.


    I must look out for Steel Magnolias. Happy weekend, my friend.

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  4. AkelamaluMay 10, 2013

    Beautiful post and tribute to your mother Ron. As a mother, I thank you. xx

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  5. What a lovely tribute to you mom. Lisa's insights and quiet wisdom have helped me through some tough times lately. Sometimes I even remember to thank her. ;-)

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  6. Thanks, Ron! I hope you are able to find some peace and comfort in your weekend.XO

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  7. Rob LenihanMay 10, 2013

    This is such a beautiful post, Ron. Those first anniversarys are always the toughest. My mom's been gone nearly 11 years now and I still find Mother's Day upsetting. But I think you've really hit upon something here by acknowledging the unique strength that women have.

    It has nothing to do with macho man posturing or getting into fights in saloons--this is the type of strength that we need to get through the daily disasters that life throws at us. If I had a fraction of my mother's strength and goodness I'd be 10 times the man I am today.

    You write so powerfully about your mother's courage during the last days of her life. It's obvious that this beautiful woman had a tremendous amount of "steel magnolia" strength. And she gave this world a fantastic son!

    May God rest her soul and bless you and your entire family. Have a great weekend, buddy, and Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

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  8. SuziCateMay 10, 2013

    Thank you for this lovely post, Ron. I was just thinking this past weekend how we've always considered my mother so fragile and my father so tough...these observation came from watching my mother in all her emotions while my father stuffed his away. In reality, they've proven the opposite-my mother is the one who stood strong though she poured out her emotions upon my brother's death while my father stood in denial unable to face my brother's death. Still, together they make a beautiful team one making up for the other's lack of a certain needed ingredient to get through life...I guess that's what partnership is about.

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  9. Ron, I was thinking of you yesterday and realizing that this will be the first Mother's Day without your mother. I have read many of your posts on Mother's Day these past years, as well as the posts you shared with us when she became ill and eventually passed, and have always sensed the love and admiration you had for her. I know she smiles when she reads your touching words here today.


    I love that photo of your mother. What a beautiful lady.


    Sharing love with you, Ron xo Have a wonderful weekend.

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  10. Hello Jeanne!

    "The movie, Steel Magnolias, is one of my all-time favorites! I adore itand I cannot count how many times I have watched it."



    Isn't that movie AWESOME? And I think it was so utterly ironic that Lisa had posted something about it and I had just watched it the night before. Her post truly inspired me!


    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words, dear lady. Have a wonderful weekend!


    X to you and the girlz!

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  11. Hey there Mary~

    Thank you.

    (((((( You )))))))

    "Steel Magnolias is an excellent movie. I saw it listed while scanning thru the channel guide the day before yesterday. I've seen it a lot, so I didn't tune in. Maybe next time though. So many emotions to go through while watching."

    I bought the DVD earlier this year and just so happened to watch it before reading Lisa's post, so I knew it had to be some kind of sign :) Yes, Steel Magnolias is an EXCELLENT movie that contains a roller coaster ride of emotions. One minute you're laughing, the next minute you're crying.

    "It's been many years since she passed. Of course, I still miss her."



    (((((( You ))))))


    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet and loving words. Have a wonderful weekend and Mother's Day!


    X

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  12. Goooood morning Valerie!

    It was just to ironic that I had watched the movie the night before and then read Lisa's post the following day. Her words inspired my own words.

    " It is strange because just the other day Joe and I were discussing this subject. I was a timid and shy child all my growing up years but the second my son was born I knew suddenly that I would fight the world for him. I became stronger and I never looked back."



    (((((( You ))))))


    So Lisa is right, motherhood does make a woman even stronger.


    You ladies ROCK!!!!!


    Yes, if you ever have a chance to watch Steel Magnolias, I think will find it a remarkable film. The filmed is based on a true story.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Happy Mother's Day to you and have a lovely weekend!


    X

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  13. Good Morning Pearl~


    Thank you....x


    Happy Mother's Day to you, m'dear! Have a lovely weekend!


    (((((( You ))))))


    X

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  14. Helloooooo Cheryl~


    Thank you :)


    ((((( You )))))


    Yes, I just recently discovered Lisa's blog through SuziCate and so enjoy reading her daily words of wisdom and insight. Awesome lady, she is.


    As well as YOU! So glad we met!


    Thank you for stopping by, dear lady, and have a lovely weekend!

    X

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  15. Hey there Bijoux!


    Thank you :)


    ((((((( You )))))))


    Happy Mother's Day to you, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!


    X

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  16. Hey there Rob~

    "Those first anniversarys are always the toughest. My mom's been gone nearly 11 years now and I still find Mother's Day upsetting."

    Yes, and I think when it comes to our parents, we will always find Mother's Day and Father's Day very melancholy and reflective.

    "It has nothing to do with macho man posturing or getting into fights in saloons--this is the type of strength that we need to get through the daily disasters that life throws at us. If I had a fraction of my mother's strength and goodness I'd be 10 times the man I am today."



    You hit the nail on the head, Rob. And I TOTALLY agree with you!!!!


    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind and beautiful words, buddy. THANK YOU.


    Have a terrific weekend!!!!


    X

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  17. Hola Denise~


    Thank you for your sweet words.


    (((((( You ))))))


    For the past two weeks, I've been thinking about my mother a lot and missing her - I can actually feel her around me.


    That photo of my mother is my favorite. She was in her 20's when that photo was taken of her. She looked a lot like Grace Kelly.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a beautiful weekend!


    X

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  18. Hiya Suzi!

    You are so welcome, my friend.

    ((((( You )))))

    And oh boy, did you ever express exactly what I felt myself through observing my own mother and father.

    " In reality, they've proven the opposite-my mother is the one who stood strong though she poured out her emotions upon my brother's death while my father stood in denial unable to face my brother's death."

    Same here. The amazing thing about women is that the strength is quietly INTERNAL, yet the EXTERNAL is soft; never to be confused with weakness.

    " Still, together they make a beautiful team one making up for the other's lack of a certain needed ingredient to get through life...I guess that's what partnership is about."



    You said it! A partnership. A balance.


    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your beautiful words!


    Happy Mother's Day to you! Have a lovely weekend!


    X

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  19. Well, this post definitely got me teary eyed this morning, Ron. And you know, I could feel your mother in these words.


    You're right, women do possess a strength that surpasses any physical strength of us men. Strength is not really about muscle, it's about inner strength.


    Beautiful post, Ron!

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  20. Hiya Matt!

    "Strength is not really about muscle, it's about inner strength."



    *applause*


    A-MEN!


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. Have a terrific weekend!


    X

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  21. Tara made me watch, I mean, i watched "Steel Magnolias" last year for the first time ever. I'd feared it was a "chick flick" and, while it certainly did contain elements that appeal more to women, overall I found the movie not too bad, after all.


    Your mom WAS strong, Ron. Not everybody would accept their fate so easily.


    Have a great weekend!

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  22. Howdy Mark!

    " I'd feared it was a "chick flick" and, while it certainly did contain elements that appeal more to women, overall I found the movie not too bad, after all."

    Isn't it a great film? And it's funny because the film was originally a stage play which ONLY had women in it; the men where referred to, but you never saw them. However, when they wrote the screenplay and made it into a movie, they added the men characters, which personally, I like more because you could SEE them.

    "Your mom WAS strong, Ron. Not everybody would accept their fate so easily."



    Thank you, buddy. And thanks for stopping by. Have a SUPER weekend!


    X to you and Tara!

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  23. Ron, what a loving tribute to your dear mom! I still have my mom with me, but my dad passed 4.5 years ago and I remember my first Father's day without him. Sad, empty. When we kids would ask him what he wanted for Father's Day or birthday or Christmas, he'd always say, Nothing, just write me a nice card. Wish he was still around for us to do that!

    "In fact, she moved through the final chapter of her life as she did all the other chapters.

    "With grace, faith, gratitude, and humor."

    How blessed you are to have had your mom leave you with an impression of strength! Yes, she might have been afraid to go, afraid of the unknown, but what a good memory she left behind. I know you'll miss celebrating Sunday with her, but know you'll always carry her around in your heart!


    Happy weekend to you!

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  24. Hi Ronnie,

    How beautiful this post is and your Mom is looking down on you and sending you love! I just know it!!

    I did not have the fortune to be a Mom, but a true blue woman I am. I feel in my heart that most women are pillars of strenght because they hold up their families in one way or another. They are there in times of adversity and grief. I myself have seen illness of loved ones up close and was there afterwards whatever had to be dealt with.

    There is a lot in our tender little hands. They may look like gentle Magnolias but we wield an iron grip! You are so right ;)

    I loved your pink Magnolia photos. It is uncanny because we have a Magnolia tree in the front yard. It blooms every March( late this year due to the late snowfall).

    Sending much love to the Gentleman you are. I am so fortunate to call you my friend.

    xox

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  25. nite byrdMay 10, 2013

    Steel Magnolias is one of my all time favorite movies. Even though it's about "Southern" women, I think ALL women are some sort of steel flower. Even if it is a chick flick!

    Your mother was an amazing woman. You were so lucky to get her and she was very lucky to get you and your brother. Not every child or mother is so blessed.

    Thank you for another wonderful post, bro! Ya know I love you more than my luggage! ;)

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  26. Oh my! Thank you Ron for the kind shout out (and to Cheryl as well!). I'm so happy my post came at a time that was relevant to your life. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom and I can feel the love and respect you have for her. The portrait is simply lovely. A stunning magnolia indeed...but underneath it all....tough as steel! :-) When my time comes, I hope I embrace the transition with the same grace as she did.

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  27. Jay of The Depp EffectMay 10, 2013

    Oh, how lovely! Thank you, Ron! :)


    Your mother sounds as if she was a wonderful lady. I've thought so before, and each time you mention her, that impression grows. If that is her in the portrait, she was also beautiful!


    I don't feel much like a magnolia, steel or otherwise, but if you say so .. !

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  28. Helloooooooo Lisa!

    You are so welcome!

    Earlier this week after reading your post, I was suddenly hit with inspiration on what to write for today. Your mention of the movie, Steel Magnolias, PLUS the fact that I had these two magnolia tree photos on my computer for the past year and half and have never used them, made everything come together perfectly.

    So again, thank you so much for your beautiful post!

    Have a glorious weekend, my friend!

    And HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!

    ((((( You ))))))

    X

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  29. Hey there Lady Nitebyrd!

    " Even though it's about "Southern" women, I think ALL women are some sort of steel flower. Even if it is a chick flick!"

    You said it! I can watch that movie over and over, and still get the same feelings I got when I first saw it. Great cast! Great direction! Great story!

    Thank you for your sweet and beautiful words, sis!

    "Ya know I love you more than my luggage! ;)"



    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And YOU as well!


    Wasn't the GREATEST line????


    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY and have a fantabulous weekend!


    X ya!

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  30. Bonjour Barb!

    Thank you :) Last night after I finished publishing this post, I read it one more time and cried thinking of my mother.

    " I feel in my heart that most women are pillars of strenght because they hold up their families in one way or another. They are there in times of adversity and grief."

    "There is a lot in our tender little hands. They may look like gentle Magnolias but we wield an iron grip!"

    You said it! And that's why I had to mention ALL women, because whether a mother or not, you're all steel magnolias!



    I took those two photos of the magnolias over a year ago, so I after reading Lisa's post, I knew they would be perfect for this post.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend, and for your sweet words. Have a lovely weekend!


    X to you and D!

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  31. Hey there Debbie!

    " I remember my first Father's day without him. Sad, empty."

    Yes, same with me and my father. Yet for some reason, I ended up REALLY feeling the loss about 6 years after he died. In fact, I wrote about it on this blog. I cried and cried that year.

    "When we kids would ask him what he wanted for Father's Day or birthday or Christmas, he'd always say, Nothing, just write me a nice card."

    Yes, my father was the same way. He never really wanted for anything.

    "I know you'll miss celebrating Sunday with her, but know you'll always carry her around in your heart!"



    You said it!


    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your loving and kind words.


    (((((( You )))))


    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you!!!!!


    X

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  32. Hiya Jay!

    You are so welcome. And I REALLY mean that about women.

    You ladies ROCK!

    " If that is her in the portrait, she was also beautiful!"



    Yes, that was a photo taken of her when she was in her 20's. It's my favorite picture of her. My brother has it in the condo that he and my mother shared.


    And yes, you ARE a magnolia!


    ((((((( You )))))))


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my Libra friend! Have a glorious weekend!

    X

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  33. What a beautiful post, Ron! From all the things you ever shared about your mother on your blog, I could always tell that she was a very special lady. And although I know she was not you biological mother, you and she had a very close bond. Which only goes to show that being a mother really doesn't have anything to do with blood, but rather HEART.


    I love that portrait of her. What a lovely lady!


    My thoughts are with you on Mother's Day.

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  34. Hey ho Robert!

    " Which only goes to show that being a mother really doesn't have anything to do with blood, but rather HEART."

    You are sooooooooo right! Being a mother (or a father) has to do with love, not genetics. My mother and I always felt as though we knew each other in a past life because it's like we always felt related, regardless of whether we were blood related in this life or not.

    Thank you, that's my favorite photo of her. She was in her 20's when that photo was taken. She looked like a movie star!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy, and for your sweet words. Have a most AWESOME weekend!

    X

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  35. Tough one, that first mom's day. ((((((( Ron ))))))))) She's still lovin' ya.


    Mother's Day, eh? (is this where I go 'oh crap.....' and admit it was far from my brain?) I'll have to make a trip and find something for the girl's garden....a pretty hanging basket maybe? *sigh* I suck at remembering stuff lately!


    I don't think I've ever been 'soft' on the outside--but I've watched the transformation in the girl since becoming a mom. And it's amazing to see more of ME in her than I sometimes like. LOL Oh, but she's an amazing mom to the Bug. And an amazing woman, all things told. Very proud of that one--she's done herself proud!


    It's been a while since I watched Steel Magnolias. Maybe now's the time--IF I can decipher the instructions left for the remote controls. LOL If not, I'll placate myself with a 'walk' in the community gardens and just BE for a bit. IF they're not flooded. LOL Ah yes.....springtime in the great midwest! ;-)


    (((((((((((((( Ron ))))))))))))))))
    Call your brother and laugh over some of the silly things the two of you used to pull. I know it'll do your heart good--and I know mom'll be laughing right along with ya.

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  36. Hiya Mel!

    Yes, it's tough the first one. And I was anticipating it back in April; wondering how I was going to feel - that void. But as I was putting this post together, I felt my mother closely with me - almost like a blanket of loving comfort.

    ". And it's amazing to see more of ME in her than I sometimes like. LOL Oh, but she's an amazing mom to the Bug. And an amazing woman, all things told. Very proud of that one--she's done herself proud!:

    SMILING while I read that :)

    Steel Magnolias is a classic! One that I never tired of watching because it's both moving AND humorous!

    " I'll placate myself with a 'walk' in the community gardens and just BE for a bit. IF they're not flooded. LOL Ah yes.....springtime in the great midwest!"

    HA! Yes, we're getting some rain here as well. Hey, a walk in the community gardens sounds wonderful! I will be doing the same tomorrow, spending some quiet time in the park; feeding my friends, the squirrels!

    "Call your brother and laugh over some of the silly things the two of you used to pull. I know it'll do your heart good--and I know mom'll be laughing right along with ya."

    You're reading my mind because that's exactly what I planned on doing.

    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear lady. Have a beautiful weekend and a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!

    (((((((( You ))))))))

    X

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  37. Hey Ron. I've never seen SM believe it or not but just this week I saw a commercial for it with an all black cast and made a note to watch/buy it. I do agree with a woman being strong, we deal with a lot more than the opposite sex, not to make light of their role, but the woman perhaps because our make up are a lot of things to many people: the cook, the nurse, the psychiatrist, etc. the right woman can hold together an entire family, that's strength!

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  38. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! Ron!!!


    Beautiful post, my friend!

    Ya made me all weepy an teary eyed - but in a good way!

    XOXOXOX

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  39. Thank you :)


    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, girl!!!!!!


    Have a faaaaaabulous day tomorrow!


    ((((((( You ))))))


    X

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  40. Hey there Secret Agent Woman~


    You are so welcome! You ladies ROCK!!!! I so admire you all!


    Have a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY tomorrow!


    ((((((( You ))))))


    X ya, girl!

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  41. Hey there V Girl~

    " I've never seen SM believe it or not but just this week I saw a commercial for it with an all black cast and made a note to watch/buy it."

    Yes! I know the one you're referring to because I saw it online a few days ago. I HAVE to get that version because I've never seen it. It has a GREAT too! Queen Latifah is in it and I LOVE her!

    "but the woman perhaps because our make up are a lot of things to many people: the cook, the nurse, the psychiatrist, etc. the right woman can hold together an entire family, that's strength!"



    AMEN! And I couldn't agree with you more!


    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, VAL!


    Have a wonderful day tomorrow!


    (((((( You ))))))


    X

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  42. BrigitteMay 12, 2013

    Beautiful and touching. Your affection for her radiates up to the sky.
    Thanks for sharing that love with us.
    Sending lots of hugs your way!
    >3 Brigitte

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  43. *waving*


    Helloooooo Brigitte!


    What a delight to see your comment and thank you so much for you sweet words, my friend!


    Hope all is going well and that you're enjoying spring in France!


    (((((( You ))))))


    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  44. Thinking of you today, Ron..xo

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  45. Aw...thanks, girl :)


    I spoke to my brother last night right after he got out of work and we both talked about our feelings. We will be talking again tonight.


    Thanks so much for stopping by.

    X

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  46. What a lovely post Ron. Your mother was a brave lady (as was mine). We were both fortunate to have such wonderful mothers to guide us through life.

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  47. Ron, you are amazing. What an absolutely beautiful, inspirational post. All women could benefit from reading it.

    "I adore and admire women so."

    I've known this about you and it attests to the man you are. Honorable, respectful and a true gentleman. Rare today. But it's how your mom raised you. So it attests to the woman she was. Not just beautiful on the outside, but the inside, as well. A true steel magnolia.

    I have to tell you that Magnolia's are my favorite flowers. I never gave it much thought until your post. But maybe it's because of their beauty and resiliency.

    Thank you for the post on this Mother's Day. It was perfect!

    ((HUGS))

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  48. Thank you, Babs :)

    ((((( You ))))))

    "We were both fortunate to have such wonderful mothers to guide us through life."

    We sure were, and I feel very blessed about that.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you had an awesome weekend!

    Much X to you and Mo for being such faaaaabulous women!

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  49. Hellooooooooo Pam!

    Aw..thank you, my friend. Thank you :)

    Your beautiful words touched me deeply.


    I have always had such respect and admiration for women. You ladies are such a fine example of strength.

    "I have to tell you that Magnolia's are my favorite flowers. I never gave it much thought until your post. But maybe it's because of their beauty and resiliency."



    OMG...how wonderful!!!! I love magnolias as well, and right now they're in FULL bloom all over the city. Such gorgeous flowers!


    Thanks a BUNCH for stopping by, Pam.


    Wishing you a FANTABULOUS Mother's Day!


    ((((((((( You ))))))))))


    X ya!

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  50. Herman TurnipMay 12, 2013

    This was an extremely well written and touching post. Without a doubt it's the post of the week. Wow. You won't mind, will you, if I submit this comment then go back and read it again?

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  51. Thank you so much for your sweet, kind and beautiful words, Herman :)

    Please tell Karin that I wish her a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, okay?

    Much thanks for stopping by, buddy. Hope you had a faaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X to you, Karin, and Mr. Tyler!

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  52. I'm in tears. You know how much your posts about your mother have moved me... her strength.... her attitude... her belief. What an amazing tribute to your mother, and to all mothers. Once again, you have moved me so much!

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  53. Hellooooooo Katherine!

    Thank you, dear friend. Thank you :)

    This post is for ALL mothers and ALL women.

    You ladies ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope you had a most faaaaaaaabulous weekend and Mother's Day! In fact, I was thinking of you earlier today and hoping you were doing something special for yourself, with your children.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by!

    ((((((( You )))))))

    X

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  54. I have to imagine this was a bittersweet holiday for you. It's nice time to reflect but also painful to think that person is no longer physically there. I'm glad you found some solace in the film. I love how movies can do that for us.

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  55. Yes, it was a bittersweet holiday this year, Jen. I spent the afternoon sitting in Washington Square Park; reminiscing.

    Both the film and Lisa's post came at the perfect time.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    X

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  56. Aww, what a nice post! And I thank you. I've often thought that mothering is not for the faint of heart. Not that you have a lot of choie once you are in it! I know your mother would appreciate this post as well. Hope you are having a great weekend, friend!

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