A Tribute to Mothers

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This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day in the US. It is a day set aside to pay tribute to all the mothers that have made a difference in our lives. Thus, it is only fitting that we do the same this Friday on The Porch for the second of our tribute Friday series. You’ll recall that we began this series last week with our Tribute to Friends.

My own Mother died in 1997. She was a very young 62 years old at the time. But, she had a very important impact on my own life… what I believe, what I do, and why I do it. Those of you that still have your Mom, consider yourself blessed. Treat her special because when she is gone, a day will come when you would give anything for just one more hour with her. For those of you with Mom still in your life, this weekend would be a great time to express your love and appreciation for the impact she has had in your life.

A good friend of mine recently prepared a few thoughts of tribute to her own Mother. I’m sure each one of us could share similar sentiments. Thank you, my friend, for sharing your tribute:

As I grow older I have a deeper sense of respect and admiration for my mom. Looking back over the years I realize I learned many things by watching her in action. So in observance of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a few of those lessons learned from the fabulous woman I call Mom.

1- Life’s not fair; get over it.

Checkers, chess, Scrabble, card games, basketball, whatever the game, my mom always seemed to win when we played. On more than one occasion I complained that is wasn’t fair that she always won. She never changed her strategy and never gave in to let me win. Her message to me was consistent. She would say, “If you want to win, you have to practice and get better; nothing in this life is handed to you.” She would always encourage me to do my best and would share her insights and motivated me to keep practicing. In the end, when I did finally win a game of checkers, it was a sweet victory because I knew I had earned it.

2- Study hard, work hard; it’s worth it in the long run

Mom was a math major by degree and a teacher by trade. She worked in a rural county school system where she could have easily been an 8 to 3:30 employee but she was never content with the status quo. She started her Master’s work when I was young and I can still remember the long hours driving to and from the university so she could attend night classes and all day on Saturday for computer labs. She was one of the first to school (early tutoring for students if needed and staying late for math team competition practice) and last to leave. She recently retired as one of the highest paid and highest degreed in the school district but more importantly she still receives words of thanks and praise from former students for her dedication to the job and to them.

3- There are no failures in life, only learning experiences (the summer of brown grass)

One June afternoon Mom made a decision to cut the grass “super short” so as to cut down on the number of times required to mow over the growing season- efficiency at its finest she thought. Although we lived in a rural county our house was located on the main road into and out of town and we did have a few neighbors. You can imagine the shock when after a couple of days the full 2 acre tract was full of brown dead grass. The grass finally recovered next spring.

4- Details are important

Mom, as a math major, loves numbers and problem solving from calculus to probability to algebra. At least on two occasions that I can recall she has visited her local bank branch to correct them regarding her checking account balance- once for 1 penny and once for 2 cents (the bank apologized both times). I attribute this as my early motivator for a career in QA.

5- You have talent; use it

My mom is a baker- breads, cakes, pies, and rolls- and she’s excellent at it. During the holidays we delivered a variety of cakes and goodies out to others in the community. I also remember her delivering hundreds of cinnamon rolls to the hourly workers at the local quarry just to let them know she appreciated the hard work they did.

To all of our mothers, thank you for working so hard to balance what is best for your family, while doing so much else for so many. As difficult as it is, it is clear that you are doing your very best. Enjoy this weekend!

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