A Very Special Mother’s Day 2015

2x2 blogAbout 15-years ago I had an idea, and it wasn’t just some idea, it was a movement – at least in my head. It had several layers and I felt it would be a blessing for my family. It was for my parents first and foremost, Bump & Tommy Gaines. I wanted to do something that mattered, something that they could enjoy over and over again. It was also my sons to give a sense of history and frame where they came from. And finally it was for my siblings as a keepsake, a reminder for all of us that no matter where we are in life, we came from very good stock. I wanted to put together a family video with history and stories and plenty of laughter and reflection. We get so turned around in life and I wanted a piece that would center us, and remind us to stick together.

I may have had that idea 15 years ago, but I didn’t really start to push through until several years later. Due to my own frenetic pace with work and the distractions of life in general, something else always seemed to get in the way. Once I became serious enough, I moved to have a family portrait made and it came out beautifully. My parents absolutely loved it. I didn’t tell anyone what I was really up to, but that portrait was to be the cornerstone of the video. I took a video camera home and attempted to interview my parents. Now that was funny. They did as most of us do when a camera is introduced, they froze. So I went back several times until I could get them to relax just enough to get a story or two. My parents have a lot of stories and I wanted them all if I could only get them to talk. I’m sure that my mom knew what I was trying to do with the interviews and showing them pictures to get them to reflect, but she was all about family so she didn’t mind at all. Then I started collecting family pictures from my parents first and then from most of my siblings being it so I had very few of my own. I scanned and placed them in folders on my computer along with some notes, a couple of outlines as well as the video clips. I was still waiting on pictures from family so I paused, I didn’t want to leave anything out. We’re all very busy and while I came back a few times to re-visit where I was, after a while work and life took over.

Two years ago my computer crashed. I did manage to back up two short videos, but the rest of the videos along with practically all of the pictures that I collected from my family were lost. It knocked the wind of out me, it was a gut-punch and I can admit that it took a while before I got back up again. I told my folks about the loss of data – mainly most of my writing – but not about my family project. I made a decision to start over but I allowed life to push the pause button yet again.

Two weeks ago I got the call that no one wants, I lost my mom. Bernice “Bump” Gaines was the last of her siblings and the compass for my family. Three days before her 85th birthday and 18-days before Mother’s Day she went home to be the Lord. Her health had been failing for a few years now. I was on a trip when I got the news and had to hit the ground running once I got back. On the day I was make the 3-hour drive to my hometown of Fort Pierce, Florida my sister Janice called to tell me that the family requested that I put together a slide show for mama. I had wanted to do this project the entire time, but I wanted to do it for her while she was here – not after she’s gone. On top of that, the focus would have to be different now and I have even fewer pictures than I had before due to my crash. I made the video. I stumbled through. Going through those pictures made it both beautiful and brutal at the same time.

I never did get the pictures I was waiting on.  I certainly wish that I had pushed through on my original project, but if you think this post is about regret, or my pain, then you missed it. None of us can change what happened last night so what does that say about what happened or didn’t happen years ago? No, this post is about today. I’m encouraging myself and you as well, that if there’s something in your heart that you want to do, something that matters and would bless others – then do it and do it now. There will always be work and life issues, but make the things that matter a priority. Forget about it being perfect or having all your dots in a row. The good stuff and sometimes the very best stuff frequently happens while we’re stumbling along on the path to the things that matter. I’m also encouraging you to take some pictures. Sure we have fond memories, but pictures frame the moment – take them. I don’t have a picture of just me and my mom and I wish that I had several of them during different times in my life…her life. Take some pictures.

This video is not something that mourns my mother, instead it’s a celebration of who she is. Bump continues to be huge source of inspiration for me and my family.  It may not appeal to you,  it’s full of faces that you may not recognize, but it’s also full of love that you won’t be able to ignore. This wasn’t the project I wanted or dreamed of doing, but it’s the project that matters to my family today.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama, it’s my first one without you. Know that you are loved.  I’m sure you’re up there having a great time and flashing that million dollar smile.
With more love than I could ever explain,
Greg,
Your baby-boy

If this post touched you in anyway, subscribe to this blog first and then email at least 10 or more of your friends who you feel would also enjoy a good read.  Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for being here! Greg

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17 Responses to A Very Special Mother’s Day 2015

  1. Tonya Farquharson says:

    Thank you Greg for such a beautiful testimony to the family and to Moms wonderful life. We enjoyed the best of her years and will continue to live by her teachings. This mothers day is the first of many but one I will remember forever.

    Love you dearly.. Tonya

  2. Yvonne Brown says:

    Thank you for sharing her life with us! That was an awesome tribute.

  3. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Yvonne, and thanks for being here. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.
    Greg

  4. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Tonya, she was and still is something else. We were blessed to have her.

  5. Diana says:

    That was beautiful Greg! Thanks for sharing and reminding all of us how important this moment is!. Love you

  6. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Diana, love you back.

  7. Janice Cheatham says:

    A very touching and encouraging testimony for our family to embrace. My mother laid the groundwork with thoughts for us to continue to frame her wishes of a family united in spirit and in love. Then, pass this unity on to our children, grandchildren, etc. Her only wishes were that we remain together as a family full of love for one another. Great job Greg!!!

  8. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Janice, glad you enjoyed it and I’m sure she would too.

  9. Barbara Gaines says:

    What a wonderful tribute. I know she is beaming with pride on her “baby boy”. I will keep in mind about the pictures and I know you will remind us. You’ve inspired me to get back to organizing our pictures. Thanks much for sharing. Love you much.

  10. Julia says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your family with us Greg. Love and prayers to you and your family. The Ledger’s

  11. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks so much for dropping by Barbara and caring enough to leave a comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed it, I really appreciate you.

  12. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Julia, I appreciate you, glad you enjoyed it.

  13. Theressa says:

    I am so impressed with this video. Y’all surely did (do) love your mother. Anybody watching this video can feel it. There is no doubt in my mind that her nuturing will reap big dividends for generation after generation. I already see it among her children and grandchildren. How blessed I feel to have known her and touched the lives of most of you. Keep the smiles; keep the love; keep up the special celebrations; pass the history to the little ones, and keep on taking care of your dad.

    One question keeps messing up my mind: What is the history of the “Bump” nickname?

  14. Elizabeth Oole says:

    Beautiful Greg, thank you for sharing. Life is to be celebrated.

  15. Mike Hill says:

    Greg, you touched a chord with me with this beautiful post.Life is so fleeting. Your post reminds us to pause and reflect on the blessings right before our eyes.

  16. Tina Givens says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Greg! So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  17. Sylvester Pittman says:

    What a beautifully awesome video and post. Thanks for sharing. You can see and feel that they are infused with love. Both the post and the video are a reminder to LIVE, LOVE, SHARE and take picture 😉

    Love you cousin!

    Ves