There’s a commercial on television for a Mother’s Day gift that picks reading as the greatest gift the mother gave them. Since you can’t decide what the greatest gift is until you know what choices you are picking from…what did she ever do for me?
- She taught me no matter how horrible or tragic your childhood, it does not define who you are and should never be used an excuse for mistreating others, wallowing or giving up on life and love.
- She gave me an appreciation for the arts: Dancing, particularly the ballet, but encompassing so many more. The ability to move your feet, head, hands and body to music as an art form. Music, we used to listen to records (yes, records…not cd’s, dvd’s, tapes…I’m old…so old) of Big Bands, Peter Gunn, “Blueberry Hill”, ballets…and danced and sang. Painting and Sculpture, the talent and inspiration brought to life and shared through so many mediums.
- She taught me to have respect for others (think manners), particularly my elders. I did not have to like them or agree with them but I did need to know they have just as much a right to their delusions as I do.
- She taught me that teamwork is so much more effective and productive than going it alone or being a control freak. (a concept I still have trouble with but am trying to master)
- She taught me to have respect for other people’s property. If you don’t own it, don’t touch it, mar it, destroy it or denigrate it. Keep your mitts off of it.
- She taught me to knit (though it took 50 years to realize it is fun)
- She taught me that family is something to value. Even family members I disagreed with were to be nurtured and cherished and allowed to grow into their potential.
- She taught me that everyone has that potential.
- She taught me to value reading, education, teachers, libraries and learning; that much of the evil in the world is due to ignorance; that science and progress were not to be feared but understood.
- She taught me that anyone, no matter what the race, gender, religion, or sexual preference has the right and the duty to be the very best person they can be. That none of these should be limitations to greatness.
- She taught me it is more joyful to give than receive. That charity and compassion are its own reward and those who give of their hearts find this.
- She taught me that you can not only survive tragedy and grief but can come out of it stronger, more compassionate and more loving.
I could keep going but I have realized her greatest gift to me was life.