8 Lessons My Mom Taught Me
My mom was deep and always looking for meaning. While we had to work through some hard stuff during my adolescence and beyond, there was always a dedicated loving that sustains me even today. Here are some of the lessons she taught me that serve me well.
1. Be inclusive. Ahead of her time, my mom taught me this lesson in the most basic of ways. When it was time for a birthday party, I had to invite all the kids from my neighborhood or my class so that no one had hurt feelings by being left out.
2. Stand tall when people are cruel. All kids get teased about something. My mom taught me to pretend I was a model with a book on my head and keep my posture straight even when others were being mean to me. Today I understand something more: when someone else is not nice it's because they're hurting. We don't have to fix their hurt and we also don't need to let their cruelty in—it’s truly their problem.
3. Advocate for those who are weaker or vulnerable. When my grandmother was in the hospital my mother stood by her to make sure she got what she needed, to understand what the doctors were saying, and to ensure things were in order. My grandmother didn't speak English. My mom stood by her side to advocate for her. That's just one example.
3. Don't waste. My mother grew up during the Depression and they had very little. So when I was growing up my mom taught me not to waste. Today, they would call it "reduce reuse recycle." May we never know from the lack that taught her not to waste. May we understand and take care of our world’s resources.
4. Be sensitive to other people's resources. That meant not hogging up the food at somebody else's home. It meant taking a modest portion and being gracious and grateful or being neat and tidy in other people's homes (well, in ours too). She taught me to clean up after myself even in a restaurant or a hotel because even though they're getting paid, those cleaners are working hard and we don't need to add to their burdens!
5. Live and give according to your means. We didn't have much growing up. My mom assured me that people would understand if I gave a modest gift. Of course, that helped me understand when others gave me a modest gift. She also taught me how to find a bargain so I could get more for my money. The idea is to spend—and live well—according to what you have. Also, that what we have to give isn’t always monetary. It can be sharing wisdom, a generous smile, affection, a warm meal, or a place to stay.
6. Be courageous and bold when going after your heart's desires. In the early 1960s when I was a young child my mom went to college for the first time. It was not a thing for “older” (she was in her 30’s) people to go to college in those days. In fact, one well known university turned her down for her graduate degree because of her age. She got her master's degree in English—which was not her first language—and taught in college. Years later she was invited to be a speaker on the campus that turned her down. So there!
7. Seek meaning. There is a God and walking a spiritual path has great value. My mom told her stories and shared parts of her journey. Her thirst for a meaningful life was apparent to all who took the time to know her.
8. You make a difference in this world no matter what's happening in your life; no matter where you are or what state you're in. She didn’t teach me this as a lesson with words but by watching her in the last weeks of her life. Even when my mother completely unconscious, I saw things happening around her that wouldn't have occurred if she wasn't still hanging on. Her life was waning but her presence was still real. Every moment in life is precious and a gift.
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5/14/2023 11:02:09 am
Lovely tribute to a truly special mother!
5/14/2023 11:51:33 am
Great Lesson Laya,Higs Jeff❤
5/14/2023 11:55:59 am
5/14/2023 10:05:05 pm
So sorry that I didnt have the chance to really know her.
5/15/2023 02:38:11 pm
A warm n sweet group of lessons from a very strong woman. Both mother n daughter.
5/16/2023 03:34:11 am
So beautiful, powerful and smart things ! I loved it 😍 thank you for sharing 🙏🏼
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Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.