What I learned From My Mother

Two years ago today, my mother suffered a massive blood clot to her brain and passed away. She and my father were on vacation in Palm Springs. It was very sudden, and although she wasn’t in the best of health, it was unexpected. From what I can tell, she was having a great time on vacation, and didn’t suffer when it happened. I take some comfort in that. We should all be so lucky to go that way.

I got the news just hours before one of my best friend’s wedding. Needless to say, it was a very tumultuous day. It was the beautiful wedding and the love between my friend and his wife that kept me from falling apart that day.

But this is not a post about me. This is about my mom.

What I Learned From My Mom

My mom was a very giving person. She believed in helping others, and she would sacrifice her own desires to help someone in need. That is what I learned. I learned that the greatest virtue is giving of yourself. A good person helps their fellows, they build a family, an extended family, and a community.

I also learned that it’s near impossible to change the world alone. I learned that what you can change is your world. You can focus the scale down to just your circle, and change their lives. You can teach those people to improve the lives around them, and pass that on, and they pass the same on. That’s how you better the world. It’s not the grand gestures. It’s the small ones.

I do my best to follow her example. I don’t always succeed, but who knows the kind of impact I’ve had. I’d like to think that I’ve made my small patch of earth a little better. It’s a lesson well learned. I hope that more people learn it.

Be Like Mom. Pass It On

So if you ever wondered while I sometimes get all preachy and hippie-dippie here, now you know. I write about heroism often, because as a writer, I deal in heroes and villains. From my Mom, I learned that heroism isn’t strength of arm, it’s the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

I try not to preach, but I honestly do think that people should try to focus less on the big picture, and more on the little one. Be a good example and you will make a difference. Do what you can, give what you can. Change your scale to change the world.

My mother was a good person, a good teacher, and a good role model. I hope that I do her justice. Rest in peace, I love you.

Photographs and Memories

Earlier this week I visited my father.  He is moving to Las Vegas next month, and needs a lot of help packing.  I mean, a lot of help.  There is a ton of junk.

Much of the stuff is my mother’s and that’s the hardest to get rid of.  My mom loved doing crafts, and there is a lot of her old knitting, needlepoint, and jewelry materials.  My mom’s belongings must be the hardest for my dad to get rid of.

The hardest for me are the old photographs.

This generation will never deal with this.  Their photographs are online.  They don’t take up physical space.  You don’t have to decide what lives and what dies.  I found so many pictures that made me misty.  Pics of my mom, picks of a much younger me with friends that I don’t get to see anymore, pics of me and my brother before the world got its hooks into us.

I found a picture of me and Valerie and it broke my heart.  Of course I brought it home with me, because I obviously like to torture myself.

Shoeboxes and albums of memories.  Pictures in frame.  I can’t bear to part with them.  It’s like abandoning memories. It’s turning your back on your life.

Maybe I’m just a hoarder in the making.  Maybe I’m a sentimental fool. 

Maybe, but I don’t care.  I won’t leave them behind.