When you think of your mother, do you have regrets? I do. Fortunately, I was able to resolve most of my regrets before my mother died. You see, I spent much of my childhood trying to change her. She was a victim of polio and it showed in many little ways. She struggled to walk and sometimes looked...well, not like the mothers of my friends. I saw her faults, and it embarrassed me.
When I quit trying to change her and began seeing the amazing woman she was, I realized how deeply I love her.
My book Surviving Separation and Divorce is dedicated to her:
She survived polio in her early years when polio claimed lives.
She survived divorce in days when it stigmatized her faith.
She single-parented three daughters when women didn't work.
Much of what I have learned about survival came from her.
Much of what I believe about hope in the midst of heartache, she lived.
I had to grow up a little to realize that I couldn't
change her...and it wasn't my job. The only person I can change is me.
The only person I am responsible for changing is me. My job in the
lives of others...mothers, children, students, friends...is to love
them. It is within the context of love that we have the power to change
In the aftermath of my own divorce, my therapist suggested I love my high school students. My teaching will never be the same. Love is the true language of the classroom. Love is what helps students grow, learn, and change.
My motto for working with at-risk students is, "Everyone deserves a pushy parent. If they don't have one, you're it!"
Happy Mother's Day in Heaven to a one-of-a-kind mother...one who truly loved me, even when I was unlovable. May your work with others be filled with love. May you always envision the amazing person they are becoming and overlook the flaws they have to fix as they grow.