Happy Birthday

I started this on February 5th…just never finished it.

Today would’ve been my Mom’s 78th birthday. Even though we lost her a few months after her 75th, I still can’t believe she’s gone. The impact she had on my life and that of my siblings was astounding. She taught us so much and for the most part we’ve tried hard to live by those lessons.

For instance, I was speaking to my younger sister tonight about the lady at my work that I’m training for a position that was vacated in late November that I’ve been covering. I was surprised that this person was having difficulty being faster at picking up the steps to one part of her job that she says was easy. Ok, if it’s so easy why are you taking so much time to go through the steps. This is a fast paced job and taking so long to do things will compromise the flow. My sister’s response to this was that our Mom had taught us how to look at things broadly which helps with our multi-tasking. My position alone “wears many hats”. If it hadn’t been for my Mom’s guidance, even if I didn’t like it as a kid, I wouldn’t have been able to do my job as well as I do.

Another thing she taught us that my younger sister used in her work as a teacher, how to analyze words. I remember hating having to read the dictionary as a kid and felt it was a punishment. In fact5 it was her way of helping us understand the evolution of words. We had to look up a word we didn’t know, and she wouldn’t tell us how to spell it if we didn’t know because we had to spell it phonetically, and not just read the definition. We had to look at where the word derived from, like Old English or Latin or Greek (which many of our words derived from). If we didn’t understand those words we had to look them up and “rinse and repeat”. She would also have us look up synonyms for the word we were having difficulty with, also repeating the above. My sister said because of this she was able to take words that were unfamiliar to her and “dissect” the word and understand it from this dissection.

It’s funny how things seemed when you look back as an adult on your childhood. You remember the fun times and the crazy times as a kid. But for my family we also can think back at the things my Mom tried to impart to us. For example, her love of history was never my love. But she would constantly talk to us about the history of things and places. Now that I’m an adult and researching my family history, those talks come back at times and a light bulb goes on. My appreciation for history has changed not just because of the research but also because I can reflect on what my Mom told me all those years ago.

I love you Mom and miss you dearly.

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