In Memory of My Mother

In Memory of My Mother

    My mother died recently from a long term illness but I was fortunate, even blessed to care for her and spend a lot of time with her while she was sick. We had many talks in which she openly shared that she wasn’t sure she had done enough to have a positive impact on others. She wondered if she had helped enough people. Had she developed a true sense of altruism…one that focused on self giving for the simple joy of being alive and able to contribute positively to the people she cared about.
    If you knew my mother she had always contributed to the lives of her family and friends, even when the quality of her life was declining. Although, this has been a tremendous loss to me, it was a remarkable experience to meet so many women at her Wake who told me, “Your mother forever changed my life”.
    This got me thinking about one’s legacy. What mark would I leave on this world?
    As the beginning of college approaches, I might ask you “what do you want your legacy to be?”
    My mother‘s legacy began with her education. She was very dedicated to having a successful career as a Nurse. She saved her own money and attended Nursing school and persisted to earn her degree. This was not typical in the 1950’s. In fact, most of her friends got married right out of high school. She remained steadfast in her commitment and would not marry my father until she graduated from Nursing School. Eventually she became an Infection Control Coordinator for two city hospitals and is responsible for organizing the First “Aids Awareness Day” in Massachusetts.
    Of course the legacy she left behind in my family as a loving, devoted mother and grandmother is unparalleled. And her faith was a powerful demonstration of the strength and grace that is always available to us when we believe in the goodness of a supreme, benevolent power. My mother was an excellent example of the courage it takes to make daily, persistent choices that carry out the divine vision she had for herself and the strength to follow it up with action.
    As a student, I know that starting college is a huge step in the commitment you have made to your self to further your education. You can decide today to follow in my mother’s footsteps and envision your own incredible future and take thoughtful, inspired steps toward your goals.
    Before you do, I will let you in on one of my mother’s secrets to success: she knew how to ask for help and utilize all of her resources. She never took on big projects alone. Her work was always collaborative and yet she was still able to leave her own unique handprint on her work. As student at Pine Manor, you have so much support available to help you succeed, such as your professors, Advisor, Tutor and First Year Assistant. We are a community committed to making sure you cross the stage in 4 years to receive your Bachelors Degree. We know that individual personal gain is not as sweet to celebrate as a truly collaborative effort.
    As for me, I am an Admissions Counselor but I am also a student again because of my mother’s example. I am enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in Theology and I am nearly half way through. I hope to impact women’s lives the way my mother did. I am sad that my mother will never see me cross the stage to receive my degree but I know she will be there in Spirit, proud of the choices I have made to leave a powerful mark in this world.
    As you go forth this summer, taking care of all the little details to prepare for college, I hope you will consider what legacy you will someday leave behind. Each class you pick, every book you buy, every student you meet, every relationship you form and nurture will all play a role in who you are and who you want to become. And maybe, just maybe…someday you will be remembered like my precious mother was, “the woman who forever changed the lives of others”.