“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
I never wanted an illness or death to be the motivation for me to appreciate loved ones or do the things I know I should do. I knew at a very young age that we had a great mother. Regardless of what she had been through, she chose to be there for her children in every way that she could. After working long hours at a local store or any job that she had, she would make time to be present for events. She would be there to support my brother at home basketball games. She would take us to lunch before working an 8 hour plus shift. We would routinely go shopping (at Ventures or Grandpa’s) and even walk around Cahokia Mounds on Sundays. I can still taste the sub sandwiches we used to get at Grandpa’s.
Our mother instinctively knew the importance of structure and routine. Mother rarely made excuses, and she expected the same from her children. She did what she had to do to make sure we had a roof over our head, shoes on our feet, food to eat, clothes to wear, and beds to sleep in.
Mother took it upon herself to leave an unhealthy marriage for something better. She knew that if she did not leave her current situation that something bad was going to happen. She would either be in jail or no longer around to care for us. She wanted more, and although she did not know what the future held, she made a change. She took a step into the unknown.
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step- Martin Luther King
She was never shy about telling us her story; she wanted us to learn from her life lessons and pursue the life that we were meant to have. She wanted us to have a better life.
I have tried to keep her life principles close to heart. I have often said that it is not so much about the number of parents in the home, but more about the quality of parenting. You can grow up in a home with the father or mother being physically there, but emotionally and socially absent.
She was never religious, and encouraged us to care more about the heart of a man than the religion or church someone belonged to. Although she kept a bible close, we never felt like she preached to us. She was honest and told the truth, which was natural to her. It was not about what was pleasing to our ears: her talks were meant to feed our Soul.
Mother believes that we should do what we can to help others have a better life. We must not continue the same cycle of negative behavior. What good is that?
“I may have not had it, but I want my grandkids to have it”-Thelma Jones
My Monday blog posts will be dedicated to my mother. I will share her life lessons and hope that I will continue to educate, empower, inspire, and positively transform my life and the life of others.
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, including your life lessons.