Resilience: My Mom's Superpower

Thinking today about stuff I’ve learned from my mom—miles and buckets and tons of stuff.

I blogged yesterday about wanting a mentor, but I thought I’d mention that it’s not for want of one. It’s because I know first hand how much a person can learn from a good model. (So, like London with cookies and chocolate, and anything good, “I take two.”)

My mom speaks into my life in a strong, wise voice, and her life echoes it.

The last two years have been some of the best of my life, because I’ve had her close to advise me, watch out for me, listen to me, and, occasionally, get onto me.

I thought I’d share one thing, maybe the most important thing, I’ve learned from my mom…

When I was seven, my grandmother died of cancer. She’d been sick for a few years off and on. My mom spent every free minute caring for her. Mammaw died on December 22nd. We put her in a mausoleum on Christmas Eve.

My mom was 25.

Fourteen years later my brother died in a car accident.

When I think of my mom, I think resilience, resilience fueled by faith and strength and persistence.

After my grandmother died, my mom took care of my grandfather. She started college. She volunteered at my elementary school. She graduated with honors. She started teaching and was named teacher of the year within her first five years in the classroom. Twice.

She raised two kids without her mother’s help. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that was.

And then her son died. And she went back to school again while she worked full time. Got a master’s degree. Worked as an assistant principal. Moved to Tennessee, leaving comfort and family to serve God. And she earned, in a year, an elementary school principleship.

When my grandmother died my mom had a high school education, two little kids, and a part-time job as a teacher’s assistant. Today. after all she’s been through—so much pain—my mom is a principal.

What I’ve learned from my mother is that no matter what happens to you, no matter what, you (with God) can go on. My mom is proof that bad things can inspire GREAT things.

I am so proud of who my mom is, of what she’s accomplished, and I’m reminded every time I see her interviewed on TV or watch her teach a Bible class of all she’s endured.

When things go wrong in my life (and they often do) I think about my mom. I talk to my mom. And then I step out into the darkness and do something hard. And great.