Happy (belated) Mother’s Day to all the mothers around the world! I reflect often on the fact that if my Mother had not submitted to my Father on some fateful day in December 1946, I might not be on this earth today. My Mom taught me so much about living and loving life. Here’s some background on my Mother. She was the third of a four-girl family born in August 1919. Her oldest sister died of a blood infection when she was around 10 years old. My Mom came from a wealthy family and attended a private girls school. Her family lost all of their wealth during the depression and her way of life was forever altered. After she graduated from high school she attended a business college. She became an executive secretary and worked for some major companies in New York City in the advertising industry. She was around many of the movers and shakers of those times. Through years of retrospect, I have the following perspective about my Mom even though she left this earthly life long ago. Here are the memories of the gifts my Mom gave to me over the years. 1) Party like there is no tomorrow. She loved a good party and enjoyed entertaining others. 2) Laughing and singing are therapeutic cleansers of the mind and soul. She loved to sing and laugh on the spur of the moment. 3) Don’t put off doing it today, as there is no guarantee for tomorrow. 4) Always do the right thing and all will be fine in the end. 5) Ownership of a business is fulfilling and fruitful. After she married and had 3 children she started her own advertising business. She threw herself totally into it and was very successful. This would have been in the early 1950’s, so this was a major accomplishment for a woman at that time. This is the point in her life where things took a turn. I believe my Dad had issues with the success she was having and he put pressure on her to acquiesce to the times so she sold her business. I think this changed her attitude immensely. Soon afterward they sold our house in the city and bought an old run down farm in the country where we moved. Our family dynamics changed drastically as neither could find work in such a rural setting. Dad went off to the city to work and only came home on Monday and Tuesday. As the years progressed Mom worked in various local secretarial positions but never had the feeling of satisfaction she had when she owned her own company. The years passed and soon I was a young Marine on my way to Viet Nam. This is the biggest thing I learned about my Mom from my Viet Nam experience. When I left for Nam in 1966 my Mom was a very attractive slim women but when I returned she had changed completely. Mom had gained a lot of weight and aged dramatically, my Dad was also looking much older. My reaction to seeing them after fifteen months was jaw dropping and I came to the realization I had caused this change by being in Viet Nam. It was then that I knew they loved me and had worried about my safety, which it had taken its toll on them both. The positive part for them I believe was that my experience brought them closer together. They turned the family farm over to my brother and my Mom, Dad, and little sister moved back to the city as a family. They remained there until their deaths, my Dad in 2000 and my Mom in 2001. Here’s the life lesson in this story; thank you Mom for surrendering to my Dad on that fateful day in December of 1946. If you had not given in I wouldn’t be here today, the man that I am living all the possibilities life has to offer. But I want to thank you even more for giving me perspective on life. Times can be good and times can be difficult, but the perspectives taught to me by Mom can and will always stand the test of time. I may not have told you as often as I should have when you were here, but Mom I loved you more than I loved myself. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!