Today is, and always will be, a very emotional day for me. 6 years ago today my mother passed away at the young age of 47. As I do quite often, I spent some time today at the lake where we spread her ashes. It’s a wonderful place to reflect, and spend time remembering all the great times we had. Today I had time to reflect on 3 great lessons I learned from my mom and wanted to share them with you.
Lesson #1. Always be positive!
No matter the person she met, or situation she encountered good or bad, my Mom could find something positive to say. I honestly can’t remember her saying one negative word in my life. Can’t, won’t, not possible, these words were not uttered by my mom. Her favorite line was “Life’s a bitch and then you die”. That may seem negative at first glance, but what she meant by it is something I’ve always focused on when I struggle. Something always goes wrong on your way to the top. Nothing ever goes as planned either. So anytime I encounter adversity I hear my Mom say “life’s a bitch and then you die”. And it would remind me that I needed to always stay positive and move forward. That I needed to get over whatever had just happened, no matter how big, and start taking action yet again. Never dwell and sulk in my misfortune.
Lesson #2. Never, ever give up!
Juli, my mother, hadn’t ran in roughly 20 years. She was always troubled by knee pains. I remember her not being able to run around with me and my siblings as kids because of her pain. But, she would always tell us that someday she would run again. In the months prior to her death she had finally received knee replacement surgery. In the process of recovery, she ran into multiple complications. Staph infection, blood infection, you name it, she encountered it after surgery. The doctors even had to remove the replacement knee and put an antibiotic ball in her joint for awhile. Meanwhile, my mother’s spirit never faltered. All she could talk about was being able to run again.
My mom exuded the don’t give up attitude in many other ways. When I was younger, she quit her job of many years as a CNA to go work at Wal-mart. She started as a cashier with aspirations to be a store manager, even though she had no secondary schooling to help her reach her goal. She had many doubters and crabs in the pot telling her she was delusional, and that she would never become a store manager. She didn’t listen to the negative voices. In ten years she had went from cashier to Assistant Store Manager at our local Wal-Mart. I really admired this aspect of my Mom. Dealing with adversity, and people pulling you down by trying to project their own self doubt upon you (crabs in the pot) is one of the hardest parts of life in my opinion. But, never, ever give up on your dreams.
- Never leave any situation on a sour note
This third lesson is much more life oriented that business, but is the most important of all three to me. My mom would be the first one to tell you that I was a bit of a terror of a child. I was always getting into trouble, and in turn, I was scolded my fair share. And deservingly so. But my Mother, the patient soul that she was, would quickly turn from scolding me, to explaining to me the lesson I should learn from each situation. (Another important lesson she taught me that isn’t on this list. Quickly learn from your mistakes.) And every conversation, whether it was scolding me for ringing every house’s doorbell on my 7 block walk home from school, (yes I really did that. EVERY HOUSE lol) or just talking to me about my day, would end in “I love you”. That’s the way we finished every conversation. And I recommend that to you as well. Because you never know when your last conversation with someone will be. So even though I hadn’t seen my my Mom for a month or so before she passed, I know with 100% certainty, my last words to her were I love you.
Thanks for everything you taught me. I love you MOM