As My Mother Always Said…

My mother was a wonderful woman and not just because she birthed me.  She was full of wisdom and imparted that wisdom to me frequently with memorable lines.  Growing up, I would typically roll my eyes and brush off what she was saying.  But now that I am an adult and Mom has moved on to heaven, I find I quote her words regularly.

If you have ever wondered whether you can laugh and cry at the same time, the answer is yes.  This unlikely combination of reactions occurred as I sat in Mom’s memorial service.  The officiating pastor had asked that I provide him with some memories of my mother.  Naturally, my memories included her words of wisdom.  He read the beginning of the lines I had recalled for him, and the mourners sitting in front of him finished the statements in unison.  Apparently Mom had spread her wisdom to others outside the family.  How hilarious!  But it was also very sad for me as I knew I would never hear her say those words to me again on this earth.  Cue laughter and tears together.

I can honestly say that I have become my mother.  In a turn of events that I would have considered laughable as a teen, I quote my mother’s words of wisdom often and with enthusiasm.  Corny as those words may have sounded to the younger me, the mature me has to admit Mom knew what she was talking about.  And here I go, repeating her words of wisdom again–this time in writing.  Here are a few of my favorites.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  Mom would be turning over in her grave if she heard the uncivilized interchanges occurring  publicly today.  So rampant are not nice words, that we would literally need to have a “Silent Night” in order for her directive to be obeyed.

Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Mom’s words encouraged me to live up to my word.  If I said I’d do something, then I’d better do it unless I was on my deathbed.  Mom expected me to be honest, forthright and clear about my desires, requests and opinions.  Guess she’d have to turn over AGAIN in her grave if she tried to sift through the some of the things people say today and realized how meaningless most of their words are.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.  I’ve got this directive down pat.  I am the queen of to do lists and advance planning.  That does not mean that I never fail, but it does mean that I have given myself a better chance of succeeding by being prepared.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.  As if it wasn’t annoying enough to be missing a sock or book, I also had to listen to Mom tell me that I should have put the item in its place so I would know where it was.  Grrr!  Not helpful in finding the AWOL item that I needed at the time.  But I save myself lots of grief by having a specific place for various items.  For example, I don’t have to search for my car in the commissary parking lot because I always park on the same row.

If it were a snake, it would have bitten you.  Mom stressed that I needed to pay attention to what I was doing and be careful when looking at things.  A cursory glance around the room without spotting the missing sock or book was not acceptable if Mom could come in and immediately locate the item I claimed could not be found.  As an adult, I have found this advice to be helpful in getting me to read instructions before asking questions.  Yes, the answer is often cleverly contained in said instructions.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.  These words indicated that Mom was concerned about my character.  True friends are not fair weather ones.  Being there for friends when they need assistance (our time, our ear, etc.) is what is expected of a true friend.  Mom even taught me about the friend who sticks closer than a brother and is the best friend anyone could ever desire.  She made sure that I was raised with faith, and she modeled hers through her words and actions on a daily basis.

Mom’s birthday is on December 17th.  I can’t celebrate it with her since she’s no longer living, but I can honor her life by remembering her words, putting them into practice and sharing them with others such as YOU.  Given my mother’s deep faith, I am sure that she would also be proud to know that I have hidden my Heavenly Father’s words in my heart, attempt to put them into practice and often share them with others.  I mean what I say when I say this, Mom. I am blessed to have had you share your words of wisdom with me.




2 thoughts on “As My Mother Always Said…

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. It sounds like our mothers might have known each other! lol. My mother taught me to park in the same row at the grocery store. It’s never fun to have to walk the rows, pushing a cart wondering, “where did I park?”


  2. I love this! Each kernel of truth was said to me as well. And now my own children get to recite them. 🙂 Your gift to your mom, today, is a gift to all of us. Thank you! 🙂


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