It has been almost twenty-five years since my mom died. The lessons of life she taught me have lingered. Some of them took a while to sink in, slow learner that I am. I suspect that there are more than a few still left. Mother’s Day is a good time to remember with honor - so here are a couple of things she taught me by her life.
Laughter lightens any load. Mom had a wonderful sense of humor and a contagious laugh. She couldn’t tell a joke to save her life. About half way through she would start to laugh at her own joke and that would be the end of it. When she and her sisters got together, it was a special kind of crazy. I learned early that, if we could get her laughing - not too difficult - we could short-circuit her anger at whatever we had done. A good lesson to know! Her sense of humor carried her through some tough times.
Sing in your own choir. While she could laugh, my mom could not sing. But that didn’t stop her from trying. She had a reedy, high pitched voice that left a distinctive mark on any worship service. Her view was that God had given her the voice she had - now it was her job to use it to worship Him. If He didn’t like it, He could change it. Nobody else’s opinion mattered much.
Everyone is a friend. She had a wonderfully out-going personality that made friends almost immediately. As a kid, I remember being embarrassed with the way she just assumed that people would like her and want to talk with her. Of course, with that attitude, it was true more often than not!
Not much is a big deal. Life was an adventure with her. That meant some occasional missteps. But she would quickly recover, and, with a characteristic laugh at her own foibles, move on to the next great thing.
Nothing is forever. She taught me this one by dying too soon for my liking. It didn’t hit me at first, but it has lodged increasingly deeper over the years. You don’t know how much time you are going to have - so make the most of it. Keep short accounts. Honor those who have given you life - even when they and you don’t understand. And above all, love. That is forever.