Dr Mari’s Guest Blog
Lessons I Learned Watching Mom: A Mother’s Day Tribute
I was blessed to have a loving encourager and peacemaker as a mother. On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to share some lessons I learned by watching her over the twenty years I had her. Though breast cancer took her from us way too soon, she lived so abundantly that her life continues to bear good fruit that endures. Mami’s life goes on in those she loved and blessed.
So here’s some of what she taught me:
I Have Dignity and Worth. How I Choose to Live Matters.
Mami waltzed through life, her quiet confidence and inner beauty permeating everything she did. She knew who she was and did not live to fulfill others’ expectations of her. I watched her face hardship with dignity, never losing her sense of purpose, her joy or her radiance. Her strength inspires me to face adversity deliberately and with grace, showing through my choices that I know my worth, and value what God has entrusted to me through the gift of life.
Laughter and Joy are the Best Medicine.
I grew up watching Mami laugh. She loved to laugh with her family, her friends, our neighbors (especially Yiya), and her coworkers. On cleaning day, she’d often drop the mop, take my hand and lead me to our living room, where we’d dance to our hearts’ delight. In the car, Mami would always sing along with her favorite ballads on the radio. When I think of Mami, I picture her laughing with her whole being. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” I think that was Mami’s favorite drink!
Encouragement is Powerful.
To en-courage is to infuse others with courage, and who doesn’t need that? Mami was my greatest cheerleader; her belief in me helped me to become a doctor. Proverbs 11:25 teaches that “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” As we offer encouragement to those who need it, we, too, are invigorated, finding fortitude for our own trials. So I, too, strive to be an infuser of courage, a giver of hope.
Share Your Life and Your Heart With Those You Love.
One of my best memories is going for long drives with Mami. During the two hours we spent driving through the countryside to visit Grandma, Mami shared stories with me. Stories about work. About her childhood. About her parents and siblings. I learned what she valued by hearing each story and noticing the threads that tied them together: her passion for integrity, honesty and truth. Her love of family. Her desire to make a difference in people’s lives through her work, by staying involved in the political process, and through acts of kindness.
Mami shared her heart through stories and actions that still teach and feed me twenty years later. As I recognize the impact of all this, I feel compelled to live with the same intentionality, for I know that my kids are listening to me, too.