Things My Mother Taught Me

“Poppies” painting by my mother, Sally D

My 69th birthday is this Sunday. It also happens to be Mother’s Day, and I am missing the hell out of my mom. She was one smart cookie who taught me some great lessons about living well. Here are just a few.

1) Never throw away used ribbon or wrapping paper. This is why you keep forty-two plastic tote bags in the closet.

2) Uttering a well-timed four-lettered word can be very satisfying.

3) Be proud to say you’re an artist, especially at ninety. Sometimes, the handsome young sales guy at Sam Flax will give you free art supplies.

4) The pants in your closet are not a good place to hide cash. Your smart-mouthed daughter will likely ask about withdrawals from the Bank of Polyester.

5) Be someone who says “thank you” often. There are kind people out there who have never heard those words.

6) Don’t be intimidated by doctors. You’re allowed to ask questions, plus it surprises the hell out of them.

7) Take a deep breathe and count to five before answering the question, “And how are we doing today?”

8) Your purse should always contain a baggie with a damp washcloth in it. Oh, and peppermint candies, too.

9) Sometimes, the more you learn about other people, the better you’ll like yourself.

10) Practice gratitude daily. With all its tsuris (Yiddish for “aggravation), life can still be beautiful.

Is there any Mom advice you’d like to share?