What I do draw upon on a regular basis are some of the life lessons she instilled in me. There was nothing all that unusual about her advice, but following it whenever I can has made me the man I am today.
With the anniversary of her passing just a few weeks ago, now seemed like a good time to remind myself of Jean Lowry's rules of life:
* Be honest and trustworthy
* Protect my reputation
* Help the less fortunate
* Reading is a priceless gift. Use it every day
* Treat my wife like the jewel she is
* Keep smiling no matter what the circumstances. Attitude counts.
* Always put family first
* Never let your children down..be there for them forever
* Stay married (she made 63 years)
* If in doubt check the dictionary
Before you nominate me for sainthood, let me assure you that this is a list of goals, not accomplishments. Each one requires constant focus and vigilance on my part. Each one, except using a dictionary, is very much a work in progress.
I have had a much better time trying to live up to mom's admonitions since I retired. The work environment I created for myself and family did not lend itself to some of the "rules" on this list. I fell short on the wife and children parts, didn't do much for the less fortunate, and tended to put business, not family, first.
The last 16 years of my retirement journey have increased the odds that I can live up to mom's desires for me. At least I have fewer excuses when I miss the mark.