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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A LESSON LEARNED FROM MOM

It has been nearly three years since my mother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer which spread quickly to her brain, taking her from her loving family just four short months later. As Mother's Day draws near again, I am choosing to celebrate my MAMA and the countless lessons I learned from her rather than feel sad that she has passed away. After all, one of the most important lessons she taught me, I apply to my life on a regular basis, and I have found this lesson to be incredibly uplifting, therapeutic, and sometimes, even life-changing! This lesson has helped me to soothe sadness many times in my past. Apply this lesson to your own life and perhaps you will have a similar experience.

THE LESSON SIMPLY PUT: If you find yourself feeling sad, blue or even depressed, help someone out. Make a difference in another person's day.

Booker T. Washington said it like this: "If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up."

This works like a charm to make your day better. I hope you will try this and find it to be true. One of my favorite quotes speaks to this:
"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
James. M. Barrie
In August 2005, soon after Jil died suddenly, I was driving aimlessly down the road. Our children were at Wednesday night youth group, my husband was working, and I was falling into the depths of despondency as I grieved the loss of my 40 year old girlfriend.
Suddenly, I remembered this important lesson that my mother had always told me. Mama had always modeled this lesson, as well. Tragically, Hurricane Katrina and the broken levies had just flooded New Orleans. In a nearby community center, there was a Red Cross shelter, a safe haven for some of the Katrina evacuees. I drove straight to this center and found out that there was a volunteer position available for the following Monday, 6-10 a.m. I signed up and felt the sadness beginning to ease. And this is where I met Sarah L. Johnson, an eighty five year old African American woman who had never married and had resided in New Orleans her entire life. A friendship soon developed with Sarah that would change my life and you will read more about that on my next BLOG!

What lessons have you learned from your mother that you are applying to your life today?