More words of wisdom from Mother

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Kitchen Table Talk

In continuing the words of wisdom from my mother that I started last week, I am reminded of her wise, sage advice and of her absolutely nonsensical, no-explanation-available comments.

A favorite of the latter among my friends was: “I’m cold. Put your sweater on.”

It seems that my mom equated her own personal thermometer with a universal state of coldness or hotness. If she was cold, we bundled up, even if we weren’t particularly chilly. Friends would bring sweaters to the house with them to avoid a “borrow this one” cover-up being thrust on them. If Frances was cold, everybody put on a sweater!

Here are the 10 additional momisms I promised last week, some funny and some teachable moments:

1. Go ahead and run away from home, but don’t cross the street, and be home by dinner.

2. You can’t live in the past. Sometimes, that’s good news. Sometimes, you just wish you could go back. Doesn’t matter, because the past is past. Move on.

3. If you would spend less time trying to prove you are right and more time listening to what the other person is saying, you would be a whole lot smarter.

4. When something goes wrong, there is always plenty of fault to go around. Take your share, but don’t take any more than that.

5. True friends are worth their weight in gold. Treat them like the valuable treasure they are, and you will always be loved.

6. Be careful who you listen to. Not everyone has your best interest at heart.

7. You can change your hair. You can change your style. You can make yourself look completely different from what I am used to. But I will always know you better than anyone because I know your heart.

8. When it comes to taking care of family, of the people you love, there is no sacrifice too great.

9. Family is the ace of trumps. No matter what cards are on the table, family trumps them all.

10. Do what’s right, not what’s convenient. There are always 100 reasons to do what you want to do. None of them matter. Do what’s right because it’s right.

The last one was drilled into my head in so many different situations, and it remains a measuring stick I try to use when making a decision. The good thing about this mantra is that I saved a lot of time trying to think of creative excuses for not doing something. With my mother, the reasons didn’t matter if doing whatever “it” was constituted the “right thing to do.”

My only argument was to question how I would always “know what’s right.” Her belief was perhaps a little conceited: “I raised you to know the right thing to do. You will always know if you listen to your heart.”

It’s such a simple message.


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