My Mom was one of those special people who could melt an iceberg with her radiant smile. A vibrant woman filled with energy and zest, she lit up any room she entered, always ready with a hug and a hot cup of coffee. Just like the bright fabrics in her sewing room suggested, she lived life in full color.
Two years ago today, life as we knew it forever changed as my Mom took her final breath, surrounded by the family that adored her.
Two years can feel like yesterday and feel like forever. Today I reflect with great love on a few of the lessons she has taught by her example.
Be gracious. Open the door wide, smile HUGE, and let whomever is with you feel like the most important person in the world. Always be ready to share a cup of coffee (or 4). 😉
Be faith-filled. Don’t worry so much. Sometimes there is no perfect answer. Keep your heart open, stay true to yourself, and move forward in faith.
Be strong. The challenges, at times, may knock you down. Due to a rare condition, Mom had a lung removed over 15 years ago, from which she bounced back more quickly and robustly than most of us do from the flu. When you get knocked down, get back up. Even if it’s for the 600th time. You can do it.
Be loving. As a young parent, I’d worry about whether I was doing things right and asked her so many questions: “Should I do this?” “Did you ever do this when I was a baby?” Early on she shared the best parenting advice I’ve ever received: Whatever you do, if done in love, will be the right thing. Base all your decisions – parenting, work, family, personal – in love; let love be your guide.
Be bold. Mom lived in full color, literally and figuratively. She taught me the importance of doing what you love by her gracious example. Do what puts a smile on your face – and do it often. Use it to put a smile on someone else’s face when you can, too.
If I could have just one more cup of coffee with Mom, I feel like I’d probably ask her the 20 million questions that have come up in the last 2 years, to try to glean every drop of wisdom I possibly could from her. But I hope what I’d do instead is one other of her lessons – a challenge for a “do-er”:
Savor the moment. Live in the present. Embrace the value of what is. And if someone is with you in that moment, just be with him or her. Just be.
What I wouldn’t give for that one more cup of coffee with her. But when I wrap up in her quilt, or bake her cinnamon roll recipe, or spot her handwritten notes in the margin of a book, I am reminded of her life and legacy, all that she taught and gave just by being herself.
For the gift of her life, and that I got to be part of it, I am thankful.
“For this I bless you most:
You give much and know not that you give at all.”
~ Kahlil Gibran