"Most people, if they are honest with themselves, would like to be remembered when they have passed over to the next life. For those who may have been awarded the Nobel Prize for this or that, ran a mile faster than any other man or woman in the world, invented penicillin, held the first position in their country as King, Queen, President or Prime Minister, or managed to climb all the way up Mount Everest blindfolded with hands and feet bound, their place in the history books are guaranteed. And yet, there is no guarantee that their names or person shall be remembered by anyone outside their close family.
People may someday forget who you were, what you said and may even overlook all you did in life, but they will never forget you if they never forget 'how you made them feel' yesterday, today and tomorrow; they will never forget 'how you positively influenced their actions and impacted their lives for the better'. A person's soul need only be touched once for the briefest of moments to ensure that it ignites an eternal torch in one's memory bank. When there is light in the soul there will be beauty in the person. We will never forget another who has touched our soul and made us happy; someone who gave us the spiritual experience of living with love, grace, and gratitude.
Most of us will have had a teacher in our youth who believed in us and therefore made a positive difference in our life. A positive and everlasting change in our lives may even have come from a piece of advice that another gave us at a crucial moment in time, and which made a significant difference. Our significant shift in mental and bodily gear may even have resulted because of an idea we discovered in some book we read, or even emerged from the slogan written across some public billboard that one viewed from the top deck of a bus.
I have not the slightest doubt that the person who made the most positive influence in my life (leaving Jesus to one side), was my mother.
My mother often told me to believe in self and others. Whenever I felt that something was too difficult to bear or too difficult to do, she would remind me that we are all stronger and better than we know; it's just that we sometimes forget it! She displayed this capacity to forget those things that hurt the most and prevents a person moving forward with their life. When she did look back, she did it with a forgiving that illustrated her love of all. She lived each day of her life gratefully and always looked forward to the next day hopefully. Forever, the dreamer and eternal optimist, my mother saw the innocence in every child, the potential greatness in her own children and the miracle in every experience. She also was able to let go of the thoughts that didn't help or make her stronger. The one thing she could never do, however, was to break her tobacco addiction and sadly she ended up a chain-smoker in her mid-forties that undoubtedly contributed to her early death at the age of sixty-four.
Was I to put in my mother's mouth words that her limited vocabulary would prevent her uttering, but sentiments that her way of life and her beliefs would wholeheartedly endorse, they would be,'Let me live in a simple house by the side of the road and be a friend to all who pass.' Her way of life was how my mother touched my soul; that is why I'll never forget her.
There are so many things she told me that I have treasured and used in my life, but the one thing I have used most often and had incorporated into my general behaviour pattern by the age of twenty years was the accumulated learning our experiences with others offer. She once said, 'Billy, everyone you meet has something good to give you, if only you can see it. Never know a person without taking away one good thing from having met them'. For the past fifty-five years, I have never experienced one relationship, whether I considered it to be good or bad at the time, that I did not take away one significant piece of knowledge that would help me with the next relationship I developed.
I'll never forget you, Mum. Love from your oldest child, Billy."
Love and peace Bill xxx