For the love of Mom

facebook flowers

Last week I saw an interesting post on Facebook titled: “Seeking Kelowna, BC Firefighter named Brent.”

The 300 word post was written by a man named Tom Argall from Brampton, Ontario. He explained that his mother had just been visiting Kelowna and had tripped on a bit of raised sidewalk, falling hard, breaking her arm and bruising her face. Luckily an off-duty firefighter was driving by, stopped and came to her rescue.

Tom ended his post with this:

“I want to thank Brent. I’m over two thousand miles away and I don’t know his last name, but I’m appealing to the six degrees of Facebook to send the message. If you are reading this and you know a Kelowna, B.C. firefighter named Brent, please thank him for me. Shake his hand, hug him, buy him a beer, whatever your preferred expression of gratitude may be. Last Wednesday, wherever he was going, whatever he had planned for the day, whatever was happening in his own life was suddenly irrelevant and secondary to him because a total stranger needed help. We need more people like that in the world.”

He posted his two paragraphs on Facebook a week after the accident on May 1st. Before going to bed that night he was pleasantly surprised it had already been shared by 99 people. When he awoke in the morning he was amazed it had been shared over 250 times. By May 3rd, his request had been shared by a whopping  2400 people, and within an hour of me sharing it, Brent’s last name was revealed as Beselt.

But Tom already knew that, because, by then, he’d received a message from the man he was looking for.

“I’m not on Facebook,” Brent said. “So I sent him a note through my wife’s account after being asked by so many people if it was me. Even friends from Spain and Saskatchewan contacted us about his post. It was crazy. I was just doing what anybody would have done.”

Tom was happy to hear from him. “I read his message to my mom and she cried,” he said. “In a good way.”

The 77 year old, now in a cast and recuperating nicely, was incredibly appreciative and touched by the kindness of a stranger. Not just one stranger, but many.

A nurse had also stopped to help, and then later visited her in the hospital. There were others that offered assistance too.  And now over 2700 people on Facebook have shared a simple request of a son wanting to thank a stranger for helping his beloved mother.

“Brent was a real hero,” Tom said. “ But so was everyone that helped. I’m very grateful to them all.”

Human decency is alive and well in the world, and there are millions of examples of it being displayed every day. Unfortunately It’s the crazy, negative and tragic stories that get most of the press, which can give the impression we shouldn’t expect kindness and compassion from strangers. We should.

The vast majority of us human beings are more loving than we think. Let’s open our eyes, and hearts, to that.

And if anyone knows the nurse named Kim from Kelowna General Hospital who helped Tom’s mom, please let me know. He’d really  like to say thanks.

Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be reached at LoriWelbourne.com

Motherhood has its moments

The most magical moment of my life was holding my first child right after he was born. The only other moment that can match that happened three years later when I was blessed with my second child, a beautiful baby girl.

Would I want to repeat that experience and have a third? No thanks, I’m happy with two, and my husband is as well. Our children, on the other hand, want more.

“I don’t see why we can’t have another baby,” our eight-year-old daughter pleaded recently.

“Yeah,” her 11-year-old brother agreed. “We’ll do all the work, we promise!”

Right. I’m pretty sure I heard them singing that tune a couple of years back when they were begging for dogs. That time, I caved. This time, I won’t.

I loved the baby stage and every time I see a baby, precious memories come flooding back. Yet I never have that longing desire to have more because my family already feels complete. I also don’t want to be outnumbered.

“Why don’t you babysit instead?” I suggested to the kids. “I have friends who have babies. While I visit with the mommies you two could play with their little ones.”

Thinking that was a grand idea, Daisy handed me the phone so I could make instant arrangements. If only I could have been this clever when they were asking for puppies.

One of my best friends has a BBB rating for her current mood in motherhood and I’ll never forget when she first told me about it.

“I find myself feeling either blessed, burdened or buzzed,” she said sipping her glass of wine after dinner. Slurping back a Baileys and coffee at the time, I completely agreed.

Being a mom is the most glorious, rewarding and joyful gift imaginable. Yet it can also be the most challenging, frustrating and overwhelming job ever. Alternating between these mindsets is just part of the gig. If you’re a mom and this never happens to you, you must be a saint. I am not.

I’m just a typical busy mom trying to strike a balance that works well for me and my family while doing my best to feel blessed way more often than burdened or buzzed. Some days are easier than others, but Mother’s Day should be a breeze.

On that day I’m likely to receive wonderful homemade gifts and be showered with love and affection. If I’m really lucky, the kids will pick up their stuff lying all over the house, figure out where it goes, and put it away.

In honour of my inspiring grandmothers, my loving mother-in-law and my beautiful mother who brought me into this world when she was still just a child herself, I thank all the mothers out there who are also doing their best. Whether we’re rich or poor, working or not, married or single, all good moms want the same thing: to raise healthy, happy people who feel loved and love life.

Isn’t that what we wished for them the first time we held them in our arms?

To watch my son interviewing kids for Mother’s Day, please visit KidTalkWithSam.com or CLICK HERE to watch on YouTube.

Finding my fridge again

The first time my son held a crayon in his hand and made a big red streak on the paper in front of him, my heart swelled with pride.

It was just a scribble to everyone else, but to me, my little man, who was still in diapers at the time, had just created the most beautiful work of art I had ever laid eyes on.

I remember my daughter’s first masterpiece as well. And, as with most “firsts”, I’ve held onto them along with all my treasured mementos of their childhood.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve kept all their art over the years, but that would be a bold faced lie. The fact is, I’ve gotten pretty good at getting rid of their stuff without them even noticing.

In the beginning I couldn’t fathom throwing away anything they created. It felt as wrong as throwing away one of their photos. But my sentiment was eventually overtaken by common sense when the sheer volume of art kept me from finding the fridge.

Sensitive to their feelings, I obviously didn’t want my kids thinking I didn’t appreciate their art, so I was very careful when I disposed of it. One day I wasn’t careful enough.

“Um… what exactly is this doing in here?” our six year old daughter demanded to know when she found a pinecone with one googly eye and a couple of feathers glued to it in the kitchen garbage.

“I’m sorry, Daisy,” I said with guilt. “It was broken and on the floor and I didn’t think you’d want it anymore.”

“This birdy was very special to me!” she said, starting to cry. “Where’s his beak? And where’s his other eye?”

“The puppies were playing with it,” I replied. “I think they must have eaten them by accident.”

Judging by the look of horror on her face, that was the wrong thing to say.

I’ve gotten better at throwing out their arts and crafts since then. I cover them up with lots of rubbish, not just a little bit, or I put them in the big garbage bin outside.  And I’m trying to hold on to their things longer, just in case it’s as special as the pinecone birdy was.

After a proper showing, they now go into hiding for a little while so I can test if the art is actually missed by its artist. If no mention is made after a certain amount of time, it eventually gets discreetly tossed away.

Not everything of course. If it’s on a flat piece of paper and can hang on the wall and then fit in a folder, its chances of survival increases exponentially. Or if it’s a present for a special occasion it’s also spared.

“What do you want for Mother’s Day?” my husband asked me yesterday.

“Something homemade from the kids,” I said.

“You always say that,” he replied. “Can’t we buy you something you’ll like?”

“No, I can do that myself,” I said. “I really just want them to give me something they’ve created special for me.”

And whatever I end up getting from them for Mother’s Day will be proudly displayed. Even if it’s a one-eyed partially feathered pinecone bird with a missing beak, I will keep it forever. Or at least a very long time.

To read other columns by Lori visit her at loriwelbourne.com

To view her comedy skits visit loriandlisa.com