The death of a family member allows one the time to reflect on the impact that a loved one has had on a person’s life.
Recently, my mother passed away at the remarkable age of 90. She was an amazing lady, a traditionalist, a shrewd business woman, and a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and sister. She taught me a lot, even though sometimes I did not realize it nor appreciate it.
When I think of my mom – I think of 3 main things that she instilled in me.
First, she taught me to never quit on my dream.
My mom went through many hardships in her life. She lost her husband after their 25th wedding anniversary, she lost her daughter when she was in the prime of her life and she almost lost the family farm. But she persevered and never gave up on the dream to build a thriving family farm business. She was a fighter, not a quitter. She taught me to work hard for what I wanted, that it would not come easy.
Second, she taught me to be positive, to give rather than to take.
Growing up in Western Canada during the depression was hard. You got through those difficult times by helping each other and by relying on family, friends and neighbours. My mom was always helping others, without ever expecting any kind of recognition or payback. She always paid it forward. She always welcomed people to her house and was open to the world. She was always positive – the glass was never half empty it was always half full – never complained, nor did she live in regret. She taught me to help others, family and friends, because they are your greatest asset. She taught me the importance of maintaining a positive attitude under all circumstances.
Lastly she taught me to have fun in whatever I did.
Life is short. Too often our focus is on the short term. We are stressed about the small things, not the important things. She made sure her life was balanced – not all work. She loved to laugh, to dance, to garden, to play with her grand and great grandchildren, to travel, to cook and to help friends and neighbours in need. She taught me to enjoy life, that it is a journey, one with many experiences along the way. So make the most of them. She taught me to touch others with my kindness and generosity, as this is the legacy we will all leave behind.
There are many other things she taught me – loyalty, love, compassion, resilience and the importance of giving back to the community. All of these things make me what I am today. She taught me well and I am forever grateful for the impact she has had on my life. Her legacy has been passed on to me and my children, for we all have become better individuals thanks to my amazing mother.
I’d love to hear from you! Who has influenced you the most in your life and why? Please leave your comments below.