My mom grew up the hard way. A daughter of immigrant parents, her mother died when she was two. Her older sister raised mom and her three other siblings. She stopped attending school when she was in fourth grade. This uneducated woman was one of the most intelligent and compassionate people I’ve known. I recall early in my life when she took me to the library and made sure I had a library card. She made sure I read, read, and read some more. She never asked me, What did you do today?” She always asked me, “What did you learn today?” In her wisdom, she reminded me over and again, “Ray, learn something new every day.”
Learn something new every day. A simple sentence from a simple woman holding a deep, profound truth. If I am learning something new, I am growing. I am capable of changing. I am capable of adapting. I am not quitting. I am not deferring. I am capable of doing much, much more than I am doing at the moment.
Her simple lesson has helped me through my grieving process. I discovered grieving throws you on a steep learning curve with only two choices: Learn and grow or stop learning and atrophy. I’ve chosen to learn and grow. Thank you, mom.