According to my younger brother (as the minor offspring, he’s an expert in sibling rivalry), the familial dynamic beamed like a lighthouse on a stormy night —my dad adopted me and my mom adopted him. I don’t think he’s too far off. I was closer to my dad, and my brother was closer to my mom.
It just seemed like the natural order of things to all of us, and to tell you the truth, I never even thought about it until my brother brought the subject up for discussion one evening.
I’m not the kind of person to resent the time my mom spent with my brother. I can easily see the many contributions she made to his life by encouraging his artwork (he became a graphic designer) and shaping his tolerant personality.
On the flip side, I probably got my reported surliness and musical interest from my dad.
Despite all that, I have no doubt my mother and my father loved us both.
My dad died when I was young, but as I grew up, my mother always supported my positive behavior (and refused to give her blessing to my negative behavior).
My mother taught us valuable lessons that have carried my brother and me through our whole lives.
She taught us about equality among all people, regardless of their ethnicity or race. I believe that kind of prejudice is learned, and I’m so glad Mom taught us tolerance.
She also taught us to respect all religions because God presents himself to different groups of people in different ways and to show disrespect toward any religion is show disrespect to our creator.
That lesson may not be popular in some circles — I know my Salvation Army grandmother would have strongly disagreed — but it’s another kind of tolerance that has served me well. I’m so thankful to be free from that sort of religious bias.
Mom also taught me my actions have consequences, and before I launched into some crazy behavior I should seriously consider what might happen next.
Mom always wanted us to go to school and continue our education and earn a college degree. She was born during the depression, lived in a couple of old car bodies under a bridge outside of Fort Worth, Tex. during the depression, and she only went to school through the sixth grade.
She believed education was the key to a better life, and she was right to encourage us to stay in school. I didn’t go to college until I reached the ripe old age of 30, and Mom was pleased.
She even paid my tuition one semester when I was broke, and she wept with joy the day I graduated from California State University, Fresno.
I’m sure when you look back at your life, you can see the love and guidance your mother gave you, too. Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is the day you get to say, “Thanks, Mom.”
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