While recently preparing a short speech for my mom's retirement party (after 33 years with the same employer!), I had to sit down and take some time to think about my mom and a few of the gazillion things she has taught me.
It didn't take me long to pinpoint the most important thing she taught me -- something I didn't truly understand until I became a mother myself.
Here's a part of what I wrote to my mom:
When you began your job here thirty three years ago, I was six years old and pretty sure you left for work at the crack of dawn just to avoid the fits I liked to throw while getting dressed for school each morning. But over the years, I learned that it was really because you thought Dad ought to know how to put in pigtails every now and then.
But seriously, your going to work, your making a living - and more than anything - your enjoying going to work taught me a valuable life lesson that many of my childhood friends never figured out. While I never doubted for minute, not a second, how much Mike (my brother) and I meant to you, I learned that there were other things that mattered to you too. That your job mattered to you. Your life mattered to you. Your happiness mattered to you.
This is a lesson I appreciate and wholeheartedly depend on today, as a working mom myself. You proved to me that hard work could be enjoyable and cherished. And you, without defending, without insisting, taught me that a mother's own happiness is important and meaningful.
Thank you for this.
What's one important thing your mother or a mother figure in your life has taught you?