Remembering My Mom

Johnnye Jo Maher
1933 – 2011

“I am so sorry for your loss”. These words I heard many times shortly after my mother passed on February 4, 2011. One cannot blame the bearer of such words. After all, what else can you say at such a time? But in my mind, I replied,” I have not lost my mother. I know exactly where she is. I just cannot reach her.”

But that is not true. I can and do reach my mother every day. Her words ring in my heart: “always tell the truth no matter how bad or embarrassing”, “don’t hold a grudge”, “do not fear being wrong”, “admit when your wrong”, “money is not the root of all evil it is the love of it”, “don’t be afraid to make a mistake”, “learn from your mistakes or you will have to repeat them”, “pray for your enemies”, and the list goes on right down to “you can wear your pants 2 times in a row but change your shirt everyday”.

All these wisdoms I hold dear to my heart, but one thing I hold most dear. “Melissa”, she would say,” You can do anything you set your mind to do. You just have to believe.” Then she would quote a poem by Henry David Thoreau.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined; he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Actually, it is an excerpt from a work of prose. Below is the complete thought. I looked it up years later only to find the thought profound and passing the wisdom of it worthy to be deemed one of my mother’s greatest gifts to her children.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined; he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

  • Henry David Thoreau

Melissa Jarufe, LMT
October, 2011

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