Lessons Learned From My Mother

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As I was preparing my speech for the MEDITECH conference, I realized it was Mother’s Day.

mother daughter loveUnfortunately I will not be able to celebrate this Mother’s Day with my mother. But I can celebrate the many gifts she blessed me with. I can celebrate how incredibly proud she would be is of me.

I miss her.

Had I known when I was younger that she would die so young I would have been much more aware of how precious the time was with her.

But isn’t hindsight always 20/20?

My mother taught me many lessons in life, but most of them I didn’t even realize I had learned until after she passed aware. I’m going to talk about just a few of these lessons. If she were sitting right next to me now, I would love to hear the words “I told you so,” come out of her mouth. She’s earned it.

Lessons Learned From my Mother

My mother taught me to read. That may seem insignificant to many. Most parents teach their children to read, after all. But then again, most parents can read themselves. My mother was functionally illiterate. She couldn’t follow a recipe. She couldn’t read a book. She couldn’t use the internet. But from a very small age my mother put a strong emphasis on the value of education and the importance of being able to read. And now not only do I read, but I write a blog read by others. Not only that but my 3 year old can read. I’m not talking knowing “bat” “cat”, I’m taking reads phonetically. Now that would totally make her smile.

My mother taught me to stand up for what is right. She instilled in me the importance of being true to yourself and standing up for the things you believe in and know to be right. Some call this bullheadedness. I call it integrity. I have a firm believe that we are not given a challenge that we cannot overcome. If you do the right thing, ultimately good will prevail and you will be rewarded, if not in this life, then the next.

My mother taught me that you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If you approach all situations with positivity and put positive things in you will get get positive things in return. This lesson is one that has helped me in my situations that I can even think of. The power of positivity multiples and sharing it with others will not only yield a positive return for you, it will also start a chain of positivity that will positively impact the the lives of others.

My mother taught me perception is reality. Now this lesson was a particularly hard one for me. I tend to be a bit mouthy and outspoken and many interpret this as being rude or hateful. My tone of voice alone often has me interpreted as being in a bad mood. I have to be keenly aware of my presentation when I’m speaking in order to make sure I am perceived appropriately. In short this lesson encouraged me to mindful of how others might interpret me because even though I may mean well, I have to be ensure I am interpreted positively.

My mother taught me to always wear clean underwear. This lesson was one of preparation. You never know what might happen so you must always be prepared for the best and worse. I can’t even count the number of times she would say “What if you were in a car wreck and you didn’t have on clean underwear?”

Since they cut them off from you in an emergency, I doubt the EMTs have the time to judge me based upon the cleanliness of my underwear.

But the lesson she taught me with this one was a big one.

Plan for a goal but expect the unexpected.

While this by no means encompasses all the lessons my mother taught me, these were some of the more impactful ones.

 

What lessons did you learn from your mother?

 

PS: To you nurses working on Mother’s Day, Thank you.

 
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Comments

  1. says

    I love your posts about your mom! I remember one you did a couple years back that mentioned how she taught you to read. Sounds like she was an incredible person!

    My mom taught me to always have on clean undies too. She also taught me that I should watch my mouth because there is always someone bigger and tougher than I am. And then she taught me, “I better not ever find out you are starting a fight but if someone else starts one with you, don’t come home unless you finish it.” Yeah….she was a bold person!

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • says

      My mother was a spitfire. We were like fire and ice in life. I have a great amount of respect for all she did for me. I am sure that I was so often at odds with her because I was so much like her. Of course my stubborn pride would never let me admit that to her.
      I believe your mother and I came from the same pool of thought. I can almost remember hearing my mother repeat a similar phrase. :)

  2. says

    Thank you for writing this post, it’s beautifully written and straight from the heart.

    I like your writings, so honest and to the point.

    I was fortunate to have my mother with me until age 50, I’m 55 now, I lost her almost 5 years ago. Not a day passes that I don’t think about her and miss her terribly. Even to have her for 50 years, it’s not enough. I appreciated her almost all of the time…there were times when she was alive that I didn’t, that I felt she was wrong. Now, that she is gone, I realize it was me that was wrong, she was always right!
    She was an awesome mom, always there for us kids and for her family. She could cook and clean and work harder than 4 people and never seemed to tire. She taught me so much and loved me even more.
    I miss you mom! I look forward to the day when we will once again be reunited in heaven.

    Happy Mother’s Day Mom,

    Gail

    • says

      Gail,

      My goodness, when I was a teenager I never though I’d wish my mother would say “I told you so.” But becoming a parent myself and existing in the “real world” has really taught me to appreciate how much grief she was attempting to save me.

      More than anything I wish my son would have gotten the chance to know her. She would have spoiled the snot out of him!

  3. says

    I love your stories.. I lost my mother the day after Christmas in 2010. Your right you never quit learning from your mom even after she has passed.

  4. Jullienne says

    My mother taught me patience, faithfulness and perseverance.

    Despite my brother and I being very healthy we come from very unhealthy parents. My mother had MS. She had it from the age of 19 to the age of 68. My father had lupus. He was in his late 30′s when he was diagnosed and he passed at 56.

    My parents remained married to each other and completely faithful to each other the whole way through. Right up to both of their passing (even though daddy passed 10 years before mom) They held their marriage vows and supported each other through thick and thin.

    She taught me patience – she was handicapped. Motion was not quick for her and her days were allot slower then what I take for granted. If she didn’t get everything done because she was tired or she just could not get to the store etc then it would happen another day.

    She taught me perseverance. She was told she would never have walk – never get married – never have kids. She worked very hard and never gave up. She walked for most of my life – never ran – but walked. She had kids – two of us. She most certainly got married. She proved them all wrong!

    I still have all her lessons locked into who I am. I most definitely miss her though. Very much.

    • says

      That is truly beautiful. I wonder if she knew just how much you learned from her. My mother sure did. She told me so before I realized it. I wish I would have had the opportunity to confirm it for her.

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