I miss my mother. God how I miss her! I miss her everyday but especially around this time of year when everyone around me is celebrating their mothers on Mother’s Day. I get reminded constantly by others of how great their mother IS, and all I can think about is how great my mother WAS.
If it weren’t for the beautiful love and unimaginable strength she demonstrated raising seven children before she passed unexpectedly, I would be a mere shell of the person I am today. I watched and anguished with the sacrifices she made over the 18 years I had to spend with her. Mother’s only desire was to try and ensure the lives of my 2 brothers, 4 sisters, and mine had true meaning. Because of our seldom present father, mother single-handedly raised us most of our lives instilling in us good morals and decencies unlike so many other parents I’ve seen who have neglected their fundamental responsibilities.
I can hear the voice of my mother saying today, “respect your elders, and love those who are younger than you.” Words that not only still ring in my ears today, but they’ve rung throughout my life. No wonder my life has run a course with a passion to want to help others, and especially young adults, with financial literacy and other life skills that will lead them to a more self-sufficient lifestyle. By the age of eighteen I remember having deep discussions about:
- Being yourself– to always remember my values and morals, to be strong and make my own decisions, and don’t become a follower.
- To be appreciative– learn to say thank you in a number of ways when someone does something for you.
- To have respect– first for myself and then for others
- To be compassionate– always show mercy and kindness to people and animals, and to reach out and help whenever possible.
- To be honest– tell the truth even at times that it may seem to hurt the other person.
- To live the life I desired– follow my dreams and not be afraid of the unknown, and to challenge the obstacles that would stand in my path to success.
She taught me to be safe and clean, and as a boy how to cook, sew, wash and iron my clothes. She would say, and I remember distinctly her words, “So you don’t have to depend on no women to take care of you.” What I learned was, it’s nice to be a little dependent from time to time. But more importantly what I learned is to share those duties with my wife and that makes for a more loving relationship.
The one thing my mother did not, because she could not, teach me was financial skills on how to manage my money and to think towards saving for the future. Because, like so many others around us living in the projects, we were poor. We lived day by day with money short and most times nonexistent. We lived going days without food; eating bread we dipped in bacon grease to give the bread a flavor. The grease we dipped bread in was the bacon grease we stored for frying. I remember opening a refrigerator door time after time hoping that magically food would appear.
This too was a great lesson. Through it I learned to never let my children go without. There would always be food be food in the pantry and refrigerator. My children would never experience the hunger pains that my brothers, sisters and I experienced.
Yes, through all this and much, much more my mother was a Great Mother. She played the hand that was dealt her and made the best of it making sure I learned enough to become the success she wanted me to be. I could only imagine how much further I could have gone had she still been alive after my teenage years.
God Bless You Mom! And you ain’t seen nothing yet!
P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all you Beautiful Mothers – Teaching your children is my passion. In the end it is what we have taught them to do for themselves that makes them full of success. Please make a comment and join us on this journey of teaching your children what they can do for themselves with basic financial knowledge. Subscribe to our news letter.