This last weekend I went to Michelle’s mom’s memorial. I was there to honor her mother and support my best friend in her time of need. I never know what to say or how to act at events like these, so I made myself available for anything Michelle would need.
While I was sitting there in the church next to her, I just kept thinking about what I’d want someone to do for me if I was in her shoes and I couldn’t come up with an answer. So I resolved to just listen to the people talk about her mom and watching the photo’s of Geri’s life flash up on the screen.
I had only a few encounters with Michelle’s Mom. I’ve heard stories from Michelle telling me about what kind of mom she was and I’ve witnessed how people treated Geri because they had admiration for her and how she would sacrifice countless hours sewing costumes or attending various events to watch her loved ones. This is how I knew Geri.
Watching the photo’s and listening to the memories of her through other people’s stories she truly seemed like a heartfelt woman. Always willing to do anything for everyone.
But it wasn’t until Michelle asked me to join her in front of everyone while she spoke of her mom, that the real message came to me. Michelle was talking about a time in her life when she feared what her mom would say about her coming home with her first tattoo. She was afraid of judgement and possibly punishment. But Geri didn’t have any of that, she simply said, “I don’t care how many tattoo’s you get as long as you’re a good person.”
I mulled that over for most of the day into the next few days. That’s the golden rule for parenting and just being an adult or a child. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, tattoo’s you get or how many different hair colors you go through or relationships that end. What matters is if you’re a good person.
So what determines if you’re a good person? I think it’s subjective to everyone, but for me it would mean you’re reliable, trustworthy, caring, kind, generous, affectionate, a good listener, non-judgemental, appreciative, polite, use good manners, and they smile. The key to all of these characteristics is that they do all of these behaviors without wanting or expecting anything in return.
When you send your children out into the world to visit with family, spend the night at a friends house, or they start their first day on the job, these are times that your parenting comes into play. How they act when they aren’t around their parents. Will they use their manners, will they say Please and Thank You? Will they make the right choice to be honest even if they know they made a mistake?
That’s all I can hope for as a mom.
As an adult, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a speeding ticket, $.50 in your checking account, if you missed church service or even if you attend at all, it doesn’t matter if you wear black clothes every day or if you’re overweight, underweight or just right, it doesn’t matter if you have bad breath or smell like fine perfume. What matters if you’re there for your best friend when her mother is passing away. What matters is if you choose to say nice things to the man behind the counter who seems to be having a bad day. It matters when you give your last cupcake that you were saving for yourself, to your mom when she comes over and wants it.
JUST CHOOSE TO BE A GOOD PERSON IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU GET!
Geri’s time was cut short on this earth due to cancer. Though she’s gone, it’s nice to know that she left her mark on this world through good deeds, raising an amazing daughter and helping raise her two grandchildren. They carry her spirit with them in the people they’ve become and that’s the beauty of her.