“Gratitude For The Memories”

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One of the things I’m grateful for are the memories I hold deep within my heart: the memories of the birth of each of my five children; the memories of birthday parties and Christmas mornings; and the gratitude for the memories of the emotions that I felt.

Fits Like A GloveI’m grateful for the memory of the feelings of a first date and how it felt the moment I fell in love; for the memory of the excitement of a first kiss; of the feelings to be held in the arms of the one you love for the first time.

I’m grateful for the memories of my kid’s tiny hands in mine; for how wonderful it feltRuthless People that I could fix a boo-boo; for the moments of watching them sleep when they were younger; for the memories of their laughter when they were little and the laughter as they grew older.

I’m grateful for the memories of family parties filled with aunts, uncles and more cousins than you could count. I’m grateful for the memories of my school days and for the nights I spent with my best friends.

tommy-memorialI’m grateful for the memories of my loved ones that have passed on; for the love that I still feel for them and for the love they felt for me; and I’m grateful for all the memories of time spent with them and the difference they made in my life.

I’m grateful for the memories of my first book being published; for the memories of howbnwindow1 it felt the day I submitted my manuscripts to the publisher; and for the memories of the moment that I first held my new book in my hands.

I’m grateful for the good memories that are embedded deep within my heart and soul. No one can take that away from me and on the days I feel a bit sad it’s those memories that can wash that away.

Good memories are stronger than any bad ones.

Today I sit remembering all those wonderful memories and for that I’m grateful.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

open minded book signing

“The Home In My Heart”

 

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A beating heart is a most precious gift, yet the heart is so much more. Our heart is our home.

I lived in a house for over twenty years with my five children. I moved five years ago and the worst part of it all was that I was saddened by the loss of all that we had in that house, the good times and the bad. It was filled with memories and pencil marks on the wall marking the kid’s height as they grew. It held the sounds of babies crying that grew into the sounds of teenagers laughing. It held everything that was important to me. It held one of the biggest parts of my life.

Yet then I realized that all that I believed  had been living in that house was actually living in my heart and that “my heart is my home.”

The heart is the keeper of our dreams and accomplishments; the guardian of our precious memories; it’s the lens to all those pictures in our minds and the teacher of all that we’ve learned. It holds our deepest secrets and our biggest truths. It holds all that is and all that will be.

My house was a just a building made up of walls, windows and doors, yet it was my heart that filled it with all that it needed to become a “home.”

And  that home lives in my heart.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Love Them Enough To Let Them Go”

Two of my children moved across the country, and people always ask me how I manage missing them and not having them home for every holiday. My answer is this: I love themkids1 enough to let them go.

I’ve learned a thing or two raising five kids in the last 28 years and learning to let them go without a struggle, or  too many tears, or guilt is one of the biggest ones.

No one said it was easy, but it does get easier as you learn how to do it and I’ll tell you this, my kids are thankful that I’ve learned how to do it. My one son told me that he couldn’t do “at home” what he could accomplish across the country. He told me that the best thing I did for him was to let him go and do it on his own. And he did, and I’m so proud of him for it.

What I had to learn is that as much as I want to protect them and shelter them from the craziness of the world, I can’t. They’ll never learn what they need to learn; they’ll never make mistakes that will become valuable lessons for them; and most importantly, they’ll never learn how to stand on their own and be strong.

I realized that I had to learn from my own mistakes and I shouldn’t interfere with their free will to do the same. It’s a simple concept, yet hard to do, but if you truly want the best for your child, you have to love them enough to let them go. And trust me, they always come back.

It’s a funny thing: love travels across the miles with them, and their love for me travels back. Love can’t be taken from them, love goes with them.

I didn’t learn this lesson overnight, as my oldest son would tell you, but as the years passed my faith in them increased. I knew I had taught them right from wrong, and one day they’d have to take all I taught them and do it on their own. And I’m proud to say that they’re all doing pretty well!

I see so many parents struggle with letting their kids go, enabling bad behaviors, doing everything for them that these kids grow into adults who don’t know how to do anything for themselves. They don’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry; they don’t know how to battle their own demons because someone does it for them. They don’t know how to grow up because someone won’t let them. They don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions because someone is always making excuses for them.

And that’s the worst thing you could do to your child.

kids2I’ve been a mom for almost 28 years and have loved every minute of it (well, most every minute of it!) It was so much easier when they were younger and thought everything we said was truth; when we could simply kiss a boo-boo and make it go away; that loving them was enough for them.

And then they grow older and challenge what we say; broken hearts replace simple boo-boo’s that we can’t kiss away; and loving them suddenly doesn’t seem like enough. They want our love, yet they also want the freedom to live their life the way they want to, not the way we had hoped.

They want the right to do it on their own, learn their own lessons, and make their own mistakes, and if you can’t love them enough to let them go, they’ll do all those things but come crying back to you to fix it when it goes wrong…and you can’t do that. Why?

Because then you become an enabler, and an enabler does so because they can’t control their own life, and if you really love your child, why would you enable them? Why would you enable their bad behavior? Why would you enable them to stay dependent on you?

I know, it’s a slippery slope, but I know from my own experience as a parent that the best thing I could have ever done for my kids is to “love them enough to let them go;” love them enough to live their life the way they want; love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

I miss my  three older kids who are scattered throughout the country, but I know they’re happy, living their dreams, and doing well. And isn’t that what any parent wants?

I’d rather take the hurt of missing them than put guilt on them for living far away.

As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.

And they were very happy that I was the kind of mom who could “love them enough to let them go.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Then and Now”

“Dear Children”

If you want to see time pass quickly, become a parent. Nothing speeds up time more than watching your child grow into an adult, and suddenly, you’re left with a profound timeunderstanding of how precious time really is. And if you are a parent, you know exactly what I mean.

In my book, “Waking Up,” I wrote a story called “A Letter To My Children,” and together with Sutton Thomas, we wrote a song called “Dear Children.” Here’s just a small excerpt from the story:

“Life changed from that exact moment that you took your first breath, and with that breath, I held mine. I held my breath out of excitement of a new baby placed in my arms and out of fear as to all the responsibilities that were now a part of my life, from that day forward.

You, my children, were all my dreams come true, yet with each one of you came the nightmare of hoping that you’d always be okay, that you’d never get hurt, that your life would be without any feelings of low self-esteem, or anger, or sadness that I had ever felt. I could teach you how to protect yourselves, but I wouldn’t be able to stop the outside world from coming in.

The love of parent never dies, not with time, not with distance, not with death; the love of a parent grows stronger with each passing day; with each new milestone you reach and each heartache you encounter. Your mistakes and mine becomes lessons for us, and with each mistake, together we become better and stronger for it.

You, my child, are forever and always within and around my heart.”

Time and our children are precious…embrace them both.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Motherhood”

I wrote a story called “A Letter to My Children,” which can be found in my new book, “Waking Up.” I remember the day I wrote it, and I remember WHY I wrote it.

It was a balmy, summer night and as my kids were floating in and out of the house, and those that didn’t live home had called me, I started to think about all the things they don’t yet know about parenthood…what they don’t know about “motherhood.”

Being a mom has been the greatest role I’ve had in life, and as much I love being a writer, I believe I was born to be a mom. I wasn’t perfect and I know I made some mistakes along the way, yet everything I was as a mother was born out of love.a letter to my children

“And on the day the first of you was born, I was re-born. I was not longer just a married woman; I was born again as a mother. Life changed from that exact moment that you took your first breath, and with that breath, I held mine. I held my breath out of excitement of a new baby placed in my arms, and out of fear to all the responsibilities that were not a part of my life, from that day forward.””

“The love of a mother never dies, not with time, not with distance, not with death; the love of a mother grows stronger with each passing day, with each new milestone you reach and each heartache you encounter. Your mistakes become lessons for us, and with each mistake, together we become stronger and better for it.”

“There is nothing that can or will break or lessen the love a mother has for her children; the heart of a mother is the heart of her child.”

I love my five beautiful children; they’re all unique in their own way, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d like to think I gave them the strength to be who they are and to dream big. I know I made mistakes, yet my children and I learned through both their mistakes and mine. We’re all stronger for it. And isn’t “strength” one of the greatest gift we can give our children?

“There is the proverbial knowing that our children are not here to love us; we are here to love them.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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