By Anita Manley
In December 2013, at the age of 87, my mom passed away from cancer. I was 48 years old. I miss her dearly and often wish I could pick up the phone to share some exciting news. My mom died peacefully, on her own terms. She had a strong faith in God and was anxious to be reunited with her husband, my dad.
I had a wonderful mom and dad. My husband, Ron always says, “you won the adoption lottery”. It is true, I did!
I decided to make a list (certainly not exhaustive) of all the things I remember my mom teaching me. Here they are, in no particular order:
- “Be a leader, not a follower.”
- “Always say your pleases and thank yous. Be polite.” (How to write thank you notes and address an envelope).
- A strong work ethic.
- “Be punctual.”
- Volunteerism and giving to those in need.
- How to knit and sew.
- “Patience is a virtue.” (One that I have had to work on my entire life).
- “Don’t worry about things beyond your control.” (I’ve only recently got a handle on this one.)
- How to entertain (and with that, how to cook and bake)
- “Be respectful and honest.”
- “Be thrifty.” (always look for the sales)
- Always buy a good, new mattress and new, comfortable, and stylish shoes. Never go second hand on these two.
- Be stylish on a budget.
- “Only spend what you can afford.” (I used to be known for my champagne taste on a beer budget)
- “You’ll be lucky if you can count true friends on one hand.”
- Be happy!
- Sing out loud!
- The importance of a daily routine.
- Make your bed every morning as soon as you get up.
- Brush your teeth and floss regularly.
- “You’ve got to give credit where credit is due.”
- “Relationships are 50/50. If they don’t work out, it is never only one person’s fault.”
- Through my mom’s belief in religion (Catholicism) and God, I became spiritual. (Which I am now told will help me with my recovery– yes, I am still in recovery!)
- My mom modeled smiling at strangers.
- “Be friendly with neighbours.”
- How to be a good, loving, caring and nurturing mom. (Sadly, for many years, due to my illness, I was unable to be all of these things to my two daughters. They do tell me that I am making up for lost time now, though.)
- “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
- “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”