We’ve all heard the saying “I sound like my mother!” or “I’m turning into my mom!” and most of the time, it’s indicated as a negative thing, but is it really? Growing up, I looked up to my mom as my role model, but it was something I kept a secret. I admired her humor, bright personality, hard work ethic, and the ability to make even the grumpiest person smile. I always wanted to be just like her. After she passed away, I never thought that would be possible. I wasn’t as funny, effortlessly beautiful, or sweet.
But now, more than 10 years after her passing, I see her in me and I LOVE IT. Some things are more prevalent than others. The #1 way I feel like my mother lives in me is through humor. I might not be the funniest person, but I try to make jokes as often as I can – some more funny than others, but if it cracks a smile on someone’s face, it’s well worth it. I don’t feel embarrassed by it either. I work as a driver’s ed classroom teacher at our family driving school, and my main goal besides teaching is incorporating humor into the lessons to keep my students entertained and excited for class. Joking and making fun out of small things in life make it worth the ride.
I wish I had the power to light up a room how she did. My mom could walk into any room and instantly feel connected to everyone. She had a rare quality that not many people have. It’s one thing to be friendly, but it’s at a whole other level when people desire your presence. She was like a magnet. No matter how much she wasn’t fond of someone, she always made an attempt.
She was genuine in her words, and through expression. Whether it was through words, smiles, or laughter, it was always from an honest place. In that, I see myself being the same way. You know those good belly laughs when you laugh so much you get teary eyed? That’s how passionately she’d laugh. It was contagious and effortless. She rarely faked it, and embraced conversation and silly humor. If she was upset, she expressed it. If she was feeling great, you could see it on her face. She was honest in her opinions, no matter how blunt they were. And yet somehow, her honesty barely came out in a demeaning way. She was too loveable for you to be able to hold a grudge. She wore her heart on her sleeve.
My only wish is that I become just as unique and loveable as she was. To fill her shoes is impossible, but I hope I get close.