“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
I think the highest compliment you can pay another person is to emulate their energy, outlook, and the way they respond to the hard stuff life sends their way.
When faced with a trying moment with the kids or dealing with someone “less perfect than me,” I often ask myself, “What would Mom do?”
One thing’s for sure, whatever she’d do would leave us both laughing, because that’s what my Mom does—smiles, sees the bright side, and makes everything fun.
She’s universally beloved for her optimism, her crazy sense of humor, her puns, and her naughty jokes. Where she goes, joy and laughter follow. She makes life look easy.
As a little girl, I remember everyone adoring my mother. The room would light up when she walked in (and it still does). She was christened Lorey, but I’ve come to believe that her name is actually “I LOVE” Lorey, because that phrase always follows mention of her name.
My favorite childhood stories involve Mom making us laugh. These tales have been so often retold that we’ve come up with our own family shorthand for them, like “Smashing Ho-Ho’s,” “Oranges in The Bra,” and “Nasty Doodles on the Tablecloth.” These rank in the top ten, but there’re hundreds more.
She loves silly practical jokes. She’s been known to swipe the glass of milk you just poured, or go cross-eyed when you’re talking about something serious.
And we’ve learned to listen closely when Mom’s speaking, because if we don’t, we’re liable to see her facing the wall, talking happily on as if she still has the floor.
She used to tell me if I felt sad or blue I should “think a smile” to improve my outlook (try it – it works!), and if I felt nervous entering a roomful of people, to hold my head high and remember that I’m a talented, wonderful woman who can accomplish anything I put my mind to. She taught me that there will always be difficulties, but that if I don’t give up, I’ll prevail.
(‘Course she also said dumb stuff like, “Quit slouching! You’ll ruin your posture!”)
As a child, I remember wondering if people would like me as much when I was a grown-up. I so wanted to be like her, and have tried hard to follow in her footsteps.
I consider myself to be a happy person, one who “walks softly and carries a big smile.” With the kind of coaching I’ve had, who wouldn’t be?
At age 54, I still hear Mom’s voice in my head, guiding me as I make my way. I know my children have been watching me live life for a long time, and that my attitude and choices influence how they perceive the world. I hope when they hear my voice, they’ll be equally inspired.
I’m blessed to have Mom as my lifelong role model. We don’t get to choose our mothers, but if we could, I would have chosen her.
So, thanks to my Mom, I keep my shoulders back, stay positive and “think a smile,” stuff oranges in my bra when the kids need a laugh, and when the mood strikes – smash the occasional foil-wrapped dessert.