Recently, I was having a conversation with my mother. We were talking by phone as we do many times a day, every day. I know. I am blessed to have my mom still with me physically and, even more so, to have such a bond with her. We pick up the phone and call each other for everything.
One evening, as I was cleaning my kitchen, something stopped me in my tracks. I had a yearning to hear “a word” from my mom. So, I called her and picked her brain for a moment. I had one very specific question for her.
I asked her, given that she has lived over three quarters of a century, what top 3 pieces of advice would she had given me 40 years ago if she’d known then what she knows now. Her answers did not disappoint.
I had no expectations yet she surprised me. Honestly, I was in need of a lift and I wanted it from my mother. My mother is a soft-spoken, gentle, kind and loving lady. But powerful, strong and wise, she is.
My mother’s first words of wisdom were to always be honest. Her second bit of guidance was to always treat others as you want to be treated. The third piece of advice was to always be respectful no matter what.
I know many of us have heard these or similar words throughout our own lives. What is most significant to me is that they come from one who has been through the test of times, again and again, and, yet, she stands firm on these principles. It is so much easier to spout rules and standards in our younger days. But anyone who can maintain such values in spite of what life presents, that person demands attention. Their words must be given careful and serious consideration. They must be respected, just as the speaker must be respected.
My mother, herself, must have been inspired because she acknowledged having shared the three top pieces of advice I requested of her but she had one more to offer. I was eager to hear it.
My mom advised to always hold on to your beliefs, making sure they are your beliefs and not someone else’s. I was moved. My mother had served up a three-layer cake with a delectable icing.
My mother inspired me on the phone that evening. She always does. She inspires me not only with her words but also by her example. I want to be that graceful lady full of wisdom and force when I grow up. In the meantime, I will settle for doing the next best thing. I will follow my mom’s words to live by.
Thank you Mom and Happy Birthday!
I love you!
Carol's life journey has always been one of service. There have been a number of avenues but the mission is the same. Particularly, with respect to the disadvantaged populations, Carol works to engage, inspire and enhance.