Game-changing advice that I learned from my mother

Game-changing advice that I learned from my mother

Today marks my birthday. It also marks the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death. From an outside perspective, it’d be easy to view it as a sad day, but time has (thankfully) allowed me to see it differently. 

The same person who brought me into the world on a day at the end of May also happened to leave the world on the same day at the end of May, further cementing our connection.

I had 24 years of love, but also 24 years of great advice. On this day, I wanted to share some of my favorite things I’ve learned from her. 

Ask Others About Their Day

One of the things I loved (and miss the most) about my mother is that she asked me how I was doing every single day. Even if I had nothing to say or the most uninteresting of days, she always cared to know, which I found fascinating then and still find fascinating now. This openness consequently made me always want to share my day with her when I did have big news, or was struggling with something or just wanted to share a laugh. I knew I always had someone that I could turn to for advice or comfort. 

Life gets busy and sometimes we rarely get past the cursory greetings. But we can all think of times where we were thankful to have someone stop and ask us how we are doing. Interrupting the busyness of the day with a phone call to a friend or a coffee date to catch up is something that I would like to be known for, too.

advice from my mom

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold

My mom was larger than life itself, and it was something I always admired. I have the tendency to be more soft-spoken, keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself even when it’s to my detriment. She embodied the perfect mix: a strong backbone, but still moved with kindness.

Her boldness even came across in her handwriting—big, swirly, half-cursive, half print—leaping off the page. I’ve kept many of these.

I’m a long way off from the type of personality she embodied, but when I have the occasional brave moment, I think it’s mostly due in part to her. 

advice from my mom


Everyone Deserves Love

My mom was great at taking care of people who were going through a hard time or down on their luck.

One time, this young woman and her small child were suddenly staying with us at our home. They stayed for a while, but I was young and it was mostly a blur. All I remember was my mom telling me that they were going to stay with us and that was that. It was as nonchalant as asking someone to pass the butter. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time.

I had entirely forgotten about this experience until the same woman showed up some 15 years later at my mother’s funeral to pay her respects. Fifteen years had passed, and the woman hadn’t forgotten it.

My mother taught me that you never know how big of an impact you can have on someone else’s life with simply sharing what you have.

advice from my mom

Honorable Mentions

  • Always have fresh flowers, you don’t need a reason (or a man ;) )

  • Salt water cures a lot of ailments

  • Sometimes all you can do is be positive

  • Take time to write cards

  • Remember birthdays

advice from my mom
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