I have always viewed myself an independent person. A survivor. A person who rose above expectations, especially considering my childhood. I didn't realize until the past few weeks, that, for all these years (I'm 55), I've been taking credit for someone else's work.
My mother taught me to provide for my own needs. The world doesn't owe me anything. Put others' needs before my own. Take care of my family. Obey the law. Respect my elders. Defend the weak. Don't advance at someone else's expense. Don't lie, cheat or steal. Don't deny who you are. Don't put on airs. Mom taught me the world is not fair and you have to have a thick skin and focus on your goals. My mom sacrificed for my well-being. We were as poor as you get, depending on charity for our existence. My mom didn't beg; she asked. People were glad to help because my mom never refused to help anyone. I'm proud of my mother. She is my hero.
But I never said these things to her. She passed away March 13. Don't wait for the perfect words and the perfect time. Say it now. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.