The Greatest Lessons I Learned From My Mother Before She Passed
The bond between a mother and her child, or children, is something sacred that starts from the very moment she discovers that she’s been blessed to carry and bring forth life. And as the child grows and is finally born, the bonding and love extends with each day, and it’s an experience that lasts a lifetime for both a mother and her child.
Just recently my son and I were sitting on the couch having a casual conversation and out of the blue he says to me, “Mommy, can you tell me about your mom? I see her picture, but I want you to tell me some things about her.” This was a bit surprising because I talk to my son about his “granny-angel” all the time, but for some reason, he wanted to have an in-depth conversation about her. Before we continued our conversation, I excused myself for a moment to get my emotions together and to gather my thoughts about what I would tell him about the woman who raised me, whom he’d never met. So I sat in another room and grabbed her picture and began to reminisce about the bond my mother and I shared and the lessons she taught me before she passed away.
While strolling down memory lane I couldn’t help but think about the many days my mom and I would sit in the kitchen and talk about anything that would come to our minds. We would laugh as I asked her a million questions and she would answer them all while cooking and passing along her secret recipes. We shared so many things during our kitchen convos and she gave me some of the most valuable advice that I’ll always carry with me. But more so than that, she taught me things through our bond and from the example she set as the first lady in my life that helped me become who I am and who I’ve yet to be without even realizing it.
One thing my mom taught me was how to be a person who can stand alone or stand beside her mate. When listening to many of my friends and other single women, they often felt pressured from their mothers to get married and have children while they were growing up. My mother never did that. She always told me, “Go and do for yourself so that you can help others, and if a man comes along that’s great….but you always want to be someone who can stand beside him or stand by yourself and be just as happy.”
Another important lesson she taught me was how to be a mom. Growing up I always knew I wanted kids, but I didn’t have much experience with them. I never babysat for anyone or even changed a diaper! And being the youngest child in my household, I never had the responsibility of taking care of a child, but I watched the way my mom took care of my siblings and I with pure, sincere love and care–even when she disciplined us! It was through her selfless ways that I learned how to unselfishly care for my child and put his needs first the moment he was placed in my arms.
While my mother instilled a countless number of life gems and lessons within me, the last that I’ll mention is the way she taught me how to be a woman and a lady. Now I know many of you may be thinking, ‘isn’t that the same thing?’ No, it’s not. A woman is generally defined as a human being who is a female. But when one thinks about a lady, they think about a woman who knows how to conduct herself in a polite manner, one who dresses the part, and one who stands out in a crowd of other women using only her personality and her presence. Many women are just that, but it takes more than a woman to conduct herself as a lady, and it takes a true woman of virtue to teach other girls and even grown women how to be a lady. This lesson is so important because we are the first examples of women in the lives of our children, and how we carry ourselves has a major impact on how our daughters will grow up and who our sons will bring home to us.
My mother was indeed my best friend and my first role model and I was blessed to have such a priceless gem in my life. I can only hope that I’ve made her proud of the lady she raised me to be and who I have yet to become. Our relationship was priceless, and I’d give anything for another day with her. But when the time comes, we’ll meet again. In the meantime, I’ll continue to do the best I can to move forward with the values she instilled within me. So I guess I’ll have a lot to tell my son about his grandmother…Happy Mothers Day mom!
What lessons did you learn from your mom that have stayed with you and affected you most?Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin