The Power of Writing Intentions – A Mother’s Day Story

For a very long time, I missed sharing Mother’s Day with my Mom. We lived far from each other. For 32 years, from the time I was 21 until the time I was 53 years old, I lived about 1000 miles from my Mom.

At one point I thought I would move closer to my parents, when I moved back to Illinois in 1990 working for IBM in Chicago, but my Mom got a tremendous job opportunity to work at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and she took it.

Later my parents moved to Florida and San Antonio in their retirement. These were good moves for them and nice vacation spots for me.

We would also travel together from time to time.

Mom on our trip to Paris in 2014.

Through all the years, my Mom and I talked on the phone once a week about our lives and our future.

Sometimes, I would notice how hard it was to be so far from my Mom.

I didn’t have the luxury of living near my parents when my kids were young, and I was a single parent. That was a tough time, but I had meaningful conversations with my Mom every week and visits at Christmas time and beautiful trips to natural parks with my sons.

Walking among the Redwoods in 2009

As my Mom grew older, she began to have conversations with me about her death, and how I probably wouldn’t be able to be with her when she died. She likes to think through everything.

It seemed to bother her that I wouldn’t be there. Yet, we both accepted the idea that I wouldn’t be with her at the end of her life.

Gradually, my Mom began to call me on a daily basis after my father died in 2008. I started to worry about her. I knew something was changing, and I wanted to help, but I felt that I couldn’t do anything.

It was about this time, that I added an intention to my yearly intention last.

Every year since 1995, I have created a list of intentions/vision statements that had no date attached to them.

For example, after I divorced, I would write: I have a peaceful, supportive relationship with my ex-husband. Many intentions seemed to work.

The intention that I added for mother was a rather outlandish one:

My Mom lives with me in California and we love cooking meals together and looking out at the Redwoods.

Every year, I imagined living in a beautiful home and cooking with her in a magnificent new kitchen. I wrote these knowing that my Mom loved living in San Antonio and never wanted to move to California. Probably the most outlandish part is that I don’t love to cook. I guess, I just liked the idea of a beautiful kitchen.

I am not quite sure why I wrote this intention for several years, but I kept writing it every year.

Our lives changed drastically in March of 2015. My Mom had a heart attack and stroke, when she was 85.

My brother and his family were on vacation out of the country when this happened, and I flew down to be with her in San Antonio. Through a series of unusual events it became clear that my Mom wouldn’t be able to thrive in San Antonio anymore. I asked her to come and live with me, and after some careful consideration, she chose to move back to Illinois.

It felt strange to have this particular intention come true.

My Mom still doesn’t want to live in California, but we have visited there since she moved in with me. One of my friends told me our house looks like a California chalet, so maybe this is as close to California as we will get. We don’t have a magnificent new kitchen, but we have a warm and friendly house.

Mom with us on a family vacation to Cape Cod in August 2018

The last four years have been some of the best years of my life. I never realized how much I missed having someone who loved me unconditionally with me every day.

Being a caregiver isn’t always easy, but our shared life is good. There are times when my Mom drives me crazy, but I am very lucky that we are two peas in a pod in so many ways. My Mom keeps active and optimistic, which is wonderful, and makes everything easier for me.

I believe more than ever in the power of writing intentions. Intentions are some of the most powerful writing we can do. They are like prayers in writing. You can’t force them to happen. Sometimes, it’s when you least expect an intention to be possible, that it becomes a reality.

So, go ahead and write intentions that seem unlikely to come true.

When you remain unattached to how the intention will be fulfilled, you never know how or when life will bring those intentions into being.

My Mom and oldest son earlier in April 2019