Martha Beck likes to think of life as “a wonderful process where bad things are always meant to create good things.” And while it’s hard to see how this works while in the thick of it, I’ve come to believe her.

This month marks the anniversary of my mother’s birthday. She would have been 69 on July 12th. I read this at her funeral:

  • She taught me to take one day at a time.
  • She taught me to live and let live.
  • She taught me to laugh really hard and really loudly, especially in restaurants or at doctor’s offices.
  • She taught me to dance in department stores.
  • She taught me that actions speak louder than words.
  • She taught me that no matter how hard I try someone will always be better than me, and that’s okay.
  • She taught me that no matter how nice I am, not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay.
  • She taught me that when I’m sad and I don’t think I can make it through the day, to always keep smiling even if it’s a fake smile and eventually I’ll forget about being sad. (And it really does work.)
  • She taught me that every single human being has the capacity to change and to be great.
  • She taught me to have an opinion.
  • She taught me that it isn’t necessary to share the same opinion with the people you love.
  • She taught me that being smart is cool.
  • She taught me how to be ornery and to not let anyone push me around.
  • She taught me to cheer really loud at sporting events.
  • She taught me that there is always time to stop at Good Will.
  • She taught me to always keep a promise.
  • She taught me that life is fascinating.
  • She taught me to do whatever is in my power to take care of and protect my family.
  • She taught me that a marriage is filled with challenges but it can also be the greatest blessing life has to offer.
  • She taught me that nothing is going to happen to me today that I cannot handle with the help of God.

The crazy part is, three years after her death, I’m still learning from her. Because she’s not around to do it anymore, I’ve learned how to be my own number one fan. Instead of looking for support and encouragement in the words of someone else, I now know how to give it to myself. Instead of basking in the pride of someone else to help me feel worth, I bask in the pride I feel in myself and feel worthy each day. Instead of looking for the answers externally, I’ve learned how to get in touch with my own truth. Since her death, my mother has given me the gifts of self-trust, intuition, confidence, and resilience to name a few. Because of her loss, I would not be the mother, the wife, the friend or the life coach I am today.

Thanks Mom.

What have you learned from loss or struggle?

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5 Responses

  1. I am amazed that you were able to say all that while missing your mama so much, and in front of all those people. Very moving, and love that you can reflect on the silver lining of her loss. I know you miss her so much, but I am fairly certain she is still one of your #1 fans.
    This makes me very mindful of what my children will write about me someday…and just a little sad that she isn’t there to tell you how great you turned out, and to see you mothering your kids. It’s a good thing there are no tears in Heaven…and a good reminder that I probably should say a lot of this stuff ot my mom now, while I still can.

  2. Thanks for helping make such a great human being, Amy’s mom!

  3. Amy says:

    Kimberly – thank you so much for your kind and inspiring words.

  4. Amy says:

    Ditto to you Jessica ;-)

  5. Dena says:

    I can really see how your mom’s wisdom has made you
    the person that you are. I see all of those learnings you listed
    showing up in your attitudes toward life, relationships,
    motherhood, and friendship. It makes me remember that each
    of us is a testimony to our parents, in a way. And, we
    can certainly put the focus on what we got from them that is
    most valuable to making us who we are. Having lost my mom, too,
    I often reflect on things I learned from her; some are similar
    to yours. One would be about laughter — what a great, loud,
    laugh my mom had! Thinking of it makes me smile every time, as
    I’m sure you do when thinking of your yours.
    Thanks for writing this!
    Dena

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