My mom taught me some amazing lessons as I grew up. She taught me by the words she used and by the ones she chose not to say. She showed me love and tenderness and boundaries and discipline. I don’t think I thanked her enough for all that she taught me, and I’m sure I didn’t act grateful for all she sacrificed for me. I am so very blessed by what she taught me.
My mom taught me to listen. Almost every day after school we would sit and drink tea and talk about my day. I’m sure she had things to do, but she stopped and listened. All too often our talk would end up in tears and hugs and working out problems with friends or grades. She listened and I knew I could tell her anything.
My mom taught me to go above and beyond. My mom is a smart woman and as valedictorian of her High School class she expected us to be just as academic as her and do well in school. My brothers followed in her footsteps, but I struggled in school. She pushed me and pushed me to do my best and then she would say, “Do extra”. I’ve instilled that in my own children and have encouraged them to do extra and go above and beyond what is expected of them. Doing that extra, going above and beyond makes a difference in school, your career and in your family.
My mom taught me to be honest. My mom would often say that she did not have many friends because she was honest. When I asked why she would say, “Because people don’t want to hear the truth.” She encouraged me to tell the truth no matter what and share it with others in a kind way. I love that my mom is honest, I never had to wonder what was on her mind. She didn’t need many friends, she is my best friend.
My mom taught me how to respect people. My mom was a nurse and dealt with all different kinds of people. She showed me by her actions to respect everyone. Regardless of how someone is raised or who their parents are or what kind of car they drive or how much money they have or don’t have. Everyone deserves respect. She showed this to me over and over again.
My mom taught me how to be a present parent. My mom was a strict parent and a consistent parent. She has rules, and she wanted them to be followed. She had consequences and standards. She could make me cower just by looking at me with her stern eyes. My mom was strict and with that she was always present. She was at every soccer game, every band concert, every girl scout meeting, she was always there, cheering me on expecting me to do my best. Her presence made a difference as a parent.
Today my mom is living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and she doesn’t remember all those amazing things she taught me. She doesn’t even remember who I am. I wish I could have one more day to tell her how thankful I am for her and all she taught me.
My mom still lives on in me and the things she taught me, and that’s alright she doesn’t remember who she is because I remember and she was an amazing mother.
And she is still teaching me through her illness, each time I go to visit with her and sit and hold her hand. Every time I brush her hair and put lotion on her skin and wash her face. She teaches me now with her quiet sweet spirit, and her eyes that look at me, longing to know who I am, she is teaching me.