Inspired by this (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12292/the-10-best-things-my-mother-ever-told-me.html) little piece, I decided to write this for my amazing Mama. If you are fortunate enough to have been raised by an amazing person or people, don’t forget to tell her how lucky you are.
1) “Be yourself, for that is all there is of you”
As a Dr. Suess fan, my mother frequently uses this quote to express a sentiment to which she has always been very attached. You are you. That doesn’t mean you can’t change or grow, it just means that you owe it to yourself and the world to be true to who you are and where you come from.
2) Never give up
My mother is not one to say this phrase a lot directly, but she has modeled it throughout my life. My mother has endured many major obstacles in her life that have knocked her down and even tried to beat her up once she was down, but she ALWAYS got back up and rose to the challenge of bettering life for herself and her family.
3) “Hate is a strong word”
While my mother did not fully prohibit the use of the word hate, it was never to be used for friends, teachers, family members or that annoying person in front of you in line at the grocery store who was taking forever to return an item. She still reminds my fourteen-year-old sister and eleven-year-old brother of this. “Hate” should be reserved for people like Hitler, and other sources of true evil in the world, not a minor annoyance in your life.
4) “It will be okay, because it cannot be otherwise”
This statement still drives me up the wall at times, but I think I finally know what it means. It doesn’t mean that you will be happy with everything that you choose or that happens to you, or that everything will “be all right in the end”. It means that you will go on, and you will find a way to live with things, because at the end of the day, that is your only option.
5) “You look like a ragamuffin”
It wasn’t until I read some classic British literature that I realized “ragamuffin” was a real word in the English language and not something my Mom made up for when my hair was matted and my shirt was stained. The point here was not that you can never throw on sweatpants to run a quick errand, but that how you present yourself to the world is important. It reflects on you, and affects how other people perceive you.
6) Me: “Who’s at the door?”
Mom: “Well it ain’t Jack the Ripper”
Yet another British-ism from my mother’s heritage, this statement was always used mostly as a joke. However, the point was always that most people in the world are good. You should still be smart, savvy, careful, and not walk into dangerous situations. However, that fact is that most people you meet in day to day life are not out to get you.
7) “Peace. Order. Obedience. Be kind, truthful and unselfish.”
These were the only “house rules” I ever grew up with. And to date, they are the best set of house rules I have ever encountered. You do not need a complicated list about 10PM curfews and how to respectfully address your parents if you have simple, all-compassing rules like these. My mother called these rules our “Family Code”. Siblings and parents alike were expected to abide by it. Not only are these good house rules, they are a good code to live by.
8) “You make me whole”
My mother tells all three of her children this when giving us strong hugs or greeting us after a long absence. Hearing this as child makes it impossible to doubt that you are an important and valued part of your mother’s life
9) “Whatever it a takes”
Whether it was a note to a teacher to let them know I was sick, or spending hours hunting for extra work to help send me to college, I knew my mother would do whatever she could to help give me a good life. My mother will go to the ends of the earth to help me, my sister or my brother.
My mother can utter this one word in a particular tone, and I always know what it means. “I will always love you. I will always be there for you. No matter what. No matter when. No matter where. We belong to each other—always”.
By Aubrey Tingler, 2014