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A mother's legacy: An example for living

I always said that if I could be half as good of a mom as my mother was to me, I would be truly amazing. I honestly do not ever remember my mom complaining about anything, not even a headache.

Positivity was what she brought to the table. Anyone who knew her will never forget her generosity, smile and zest for life. She put us first, and what I am most thankful for now is that she created wonderful memories. Valuable lessons about life were taught every day without us even knowing they were lessons we would cherish forever.

What was important to her was life, and it had to be lived to the fullest. There was always chocolate on the living room coffee table for anyone who happened to stop by. My friends will vouch for that. There could be dishes in the sink, or beds that were not made, and if I wanted to go shopping, my mom would jump at the chance and say, "This can wait till later -- let's go have fun."

We would shop, talk and have lunch almost every Saturday.

When my children were born, even though she worked hard as a seamstress for my parents' dry cleaning and tailor shop, she would work deep into the night so she could spend time during the day with the two things that mattered most, her grandchildren, Joseph and Leah.

Well, those two children turned out to be sweet, smart and beautiful, and I thank my mom for helping to form them into who they have become today. My mom watched the children every day while my husband and I worked. She regularly took them to the toy store, among many other wonderful, fun places for kids, and, they would come home with toys they did not need.

I would ask my mom, "Wouldn't it be better to put away money for college rather than throw it away on toys?" Her response was always the same, "Let them have fun now and remember these times with me."

She was right. Sure, they have college loans, but they wouldn't have traded those memories of time with their grandmother for anything. She died in 1995.

Everyone she touched felt the loss. She even received cards from the staff of the toy store! When she uttered those words to me about creating memories, she didn't know she would die, she just always knew what was important in life. Life was meant to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest.

Her message was to appreciate what you have, give away compliments and show gratitude. No matter what I did, she was proud of me. It built confidence, and with confidence comes happiness. She found something positive in everything and everyone.

My mom would even say if she got a black and blue mark and she didn't know where it came from, that meant her mother was thinking about her.

I have to run now, because my daughter and I are going shopping and to lunch. I can do the dishes later. And yes, I do hope I notice a black and blue mark when we are in the fitting room, enjoying our day.

Thanks Mom, I really am at least half as good as you.

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