How much impact did your mother have on your life? What lessons did she share that made you the person you are today? I had an odd experience this week I thought I might share as we celebrate Mother’s Day this week.
I met a man I didn’t know while out shopping earlier this week. I was walking around the mall waiting for the stores to open. He started following me and trailed me into the store when it opened.
We started talking and he shared that he had recently lost his mother. He told me how much he loved her. He shared how much of an impact she had on his life. With tears streaming, he told me the life lessons he learned from her.
Over my life, many people have shared their special memories with me. I’ve spent it seems like several lifetimes helping others deal with death and dying. This wonderful young man told me that he learned three life lessons from his mother. I thought they might remind you why you love your mother.
The first lesson he told me was that he was a musician and his mother had taught him to play the organ in their church. He shared the many hours they spent together learning how to play this amazing instrument. He said he wasn’t always as good as he was today, but his mother provided him the strength and support he needed while learning how to play. She would spend many hours listening him learn to play. How many gifts have you pursued because your mom invested time and love into what you were pursuing?
The second lesson he shared was he learned to live his values from his mother. He talked about how hard it was growing up in a tough part of town. He shared there were many times when he could have made a wrong turn, but his mother helped him get back on track. She did it with a combination of love and discipline. She provided him with a clear understanding of right and wrong. When things would go wrong she would be willing to help him get back up on his feet.
She shared her love of church and God. Through this process she taught him not only play the organ, but also taught him the value of hard work and persistent efforts. She shared with him that when he played he was connected to God and all that’s good. He told me that single idea helped him stay focused on his goal to be a professional musician.
When he hit bottom several times, he would always rise again because he saw his music as a connection to the divine. He never wanted to let the dark win over the light his mother had ignited in him. He felt it was good and a gift from God.
He shared that even today, no matter the venue big or small, he was going to perform. He would pray the way his mother taught him. He would pray that he would give an extraordinary performance worthy of the people in the room. When he accompanied other musicians and singers you could feel God’s presence in the room. As he shared this with me you could see the love in his eyes and the excitement in his voice. It was magical. Have you ever spent time with a person who is using their gifts in the way they were meant to be shared?
The final lesson he shared was you never know when you will be called home. His mother recently passed away. His world is shattered and he is devastated. He talked about their final conversation. How she had told him how proud she was of him. How she knew he would be okay because of his values and their music. He told me with tears in his eyes that he got the call two days later that his mother went to sleep and did not wake up. He told me the details of how he prepared to play for his mother for the final time.
He shared how his music seemed to transcend the painful moments he was experiencing at the time. But he kept on playing with the tears running down his cheeks.
How many times do we think that life goes on forever? How many ways can we feel our connection to others beyond the grave? As we take time this weekend to honor our Mothers, make time to tell them the difference they made in our lives. You can never do this too often. If your mother’s still here whisper in her ear that you love her. You’ll be glad you did because these memories can last a lifetime.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thank you for all the things you did and the sacrifices you made to make me the man I am today.
See you next week.
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