Happy Mother’s Day

Fearless, selfless, persistent and loving are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think about my Mom. At this point in my life, I don’t quite understand the mother/child bond (from a parent’s perspective), as the closest thing I have to a child is a two year-old orange tabby cat who gets separation anxiety when I close the bathroom door. But I’ve caught a glimpse of this maternal/parental feeling when I held my newborn niece for the first time, so I’m trying my best to “get it” when it comes to that feeling.

Fearless: My Dad’s decision to flee Poland during the latter stages of the Cold War put my Mom in a tough spot. Suddenly she was faced with navigating an unfamiliar world, spending time in an Austrian refugee camp (while my Dad looked for work in the U.S.). On top of all that, I was a sick kid. I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like for her.

Loving: I had a conversation with my mom this past week where she told me she was proud of me for keeping it together through my divorce. She told me that most people would have folded and given up and she applauded me for creating a vision, sticking with it and seeing it through.

I’ll be honest, when things were dismal, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I’m sure the people around me could sense my frustration and confusion. I’m sure it was obvious in my tone and I’m willing to bet it pushed some people away so they’d give me some space to reflect and get it together.

It’s in these times where despite me unintentionally pushing people away, I actually needed them to be there more. I can count on one hand the number of people that were truly there during the “war of my life”… my Dad, my Sister and two of my best friends. But my Mom took on this battle as if it were her own. Day after day, she’d call to see how I was doing, offering encouragement and support and telling me “everything is going to be okay, you’re smart and you’re young”. There were days I didn’t believe it, but her persistence was beyond valuable and appreciated.

Selfless: Looking back, not only did she give birth to me, but she also gave birth to SVGCuts and consequently, to Dreaming Tree. In 2008, Mary and I were both between jobs and trying to figure out how to escape the hustle and bustle of corporate America. Mary and I’s vision for what we wanted to do for a living was already in the artistic ballpark, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do, but my Mom’s gift eventually cemented it. That Christmas my Mom gave Mary a Cricut Expression, and as they say… the rest is history.

To this day, she’s one of the most active members of the Dreaming Tree community and is always giving me status updates on the site’s growth (Thanks, Mom…you know I pay attention to that stuff, right? You don’t have to tell me how many Facebook followers we gained everyday, but I won’t stop you because it’s cute. LOL). And I’m sure many of you have received feedback from her when you post pictures of your projects.

If altruism is possible, she’s living proof it exists. Sure she gets a kick out of bragging about her kids, but what mom doesn’t? Deep inside, I know that she didn’t sacrifice all that time and energy for some selfish reason. My heart knows, FOR A FACT, when it comes to her kids, her actions are completely 100% selfless and I admire her for that. In a world that can be so confusing, hateful and full of twists and turns, its nice to know that Mom is there to balance it out with unconditional love. Love you, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Dreamers. I’m sure you all share similar stories and would do anything for you kids. You are truly loved and appreciated.

Love and Gratitude,

Dreaming Tree Founder and Photographer
Leo Kowal

P.S. To all my Dreaming Tree moms who have adopted me and have been there for me, I love you all too! I’ve heard your stories of love and sacrifice and think you are all amazing too. I think I have at least two adopted moms in every US state. 😉

5 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Lisa says:

    Beautifully said as always Leo. You definitely have a adopted mom/friend in Massachusetts. Keep smiling and everything will fall into place.

  2. Julie says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mum Leo, I am sure that the bond between you and her, and your Dad is very strong, and will never be broken, no matter what, that is rare, and a lot of people would love that, but sadly, in this world today,
    a lot of this sharing and caring is fading away…don’t know why…
    As for being unable to ‘get it’ with the Mother/Father/child bond thing LOL I know that one very well, at the age I am, I
    have never had children (never wanted them), but, like you I am the owner of a grey tabby cat, recently diagnosed with diabetes, it is a battle for us, and heartwrenching, but, we go on, working to get her into remission, when you have that connection to a pet, that, in my opinion is equivalent to having a child, some may not agree with me, but so what?,
    the only way a Mother’s love and inner being can be described is by the Mother herself.
    You have done well, and come a long way, what ever happened between you and Mary is in the past, but what is in the future is now what counts, including that gorgeous little 2 year old orange tabby 🙂
    You are blessed with the love of those who really matter.

  3. robin martin smith says:

    Beautiful Leo! We all are proud of you! even if we arent your mom! lol You do a wonderful job with the business, and it’s always wonderful when you let us in to see we all are in the same boat together! Keep loving, be happy and share that light of yours! It makes everyone’s life a little brighter and the world a better place. Tomorrow wasnt promised. Live for today! You got this too!!! We all are behind you! Love and Hugs from another one of your fans! …Robin

  4. Jo bloggs says:

    Hi Leo…as it happens I have only read your tribute to your Mom today 7th October. Not sure why I actually got it on my screen but I so much loved what you had written. It made me think of the relationship with my son, who is married, EXTEMELY successful, married with three wonderful children. Unfortunately our relationship has been tarnished by a number of things over the years, he was a very difficult child and teenager and did not really flourish until his late 20’s. He is now in his middle 40’s and has a TOP job in a huge company and we are oh so prouyd of him and his achievments. He met an American girl and got marrirried in 2004 but our relationship with her has not been at all good, she has pushed us away and been rather hateful at times and now will not let us see our three (only) wonderful grandsons and it has also made our son distance himself from us which we can understand as he is married to her. When special days come around I/we get no acknowledgement from any of them it is so very hurtful…..my point is that despite my isolation I/we love our children and grandchildren, unconditionally, and I can see that comes over in your Mum too. Through thick and thin we will ALWAYS be there..NO MATTER WHAT….I envy people like you and your Mum and so wish I had that relationship…BUT…I can also shout from the roof tops that I am so very happy that the majority of Mother/offspring relationshgips are wonderful in every way. I am NOT looking for sympathy, I just want to say to those who unfortunately have the same experiences as me, grab any time with them when you can and for all of you who have wonderful relationships with their offspring (which is the majority) enjoy every single second with your children and their offspring.

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