My Mom died during surgery on February 3, 2015. I did not know she was having the surgery.
Fortunately, I happened to call her that afternoon. I had not heard her this excited in years. The new doctor finally believed her, about the pain she was in. He diagnosed her with poor circulation that was creating her loss of feeling in the legs and constant back pain. She had already had multiple surgeries on her back to this point, none of them working. But this time it was different. She had hope. Hope that this time it would work and she could spend time playing on the floor with her two grandchildren.
She never had that chance.
When he repaired her arteries, they were too weak to carry her new blood flow. They exploded, and she died almost instantly on the table.
I don’t share this to upset you or get your sympathy. I share this to remind you a few lessons I learned in life:
Sacrifice the right things: Go home. Be present. Call the people you love and tell them every time you can what they mean to you.
Ask questions: There are no dumb questions. Be curious and learn as though you are going to live forever.
Listen to understand: My mom saw many doctors over years. She was given pain killers and had surgery for the wrong issues. It wasn’t until one doctor was humble enough to sit and listen did we find out what was really causing her pain.
Don’t assume: Faulty assumptions and judgments have caused me lots of pain and unnecessary stress. I don’t know it all and I don’t know what it is like to live in someone else’s circumstances.
Trust your gut: My mom was hesitant about the initial back surgery and she was adamant that the problem was not structural, but physiological.
Go back for your followers: My mistake was not going back to help my mom when she needed me most. I sent her motivational tapes for her to catch up to where I was instead of me getting off my agenda and going back to run alongside her.
Today, on Mother’s Day, we are celebrating my mom by doing her favorite thing...just spending quality time together (couch, pool, beach, or patio) and taking the time to smell the roses!
I will be thinking about my mom and the legacy I aim to leave.
I hope to be remembered as someone who was always there for his friends. Someone that was willing to help and there to listen. I am working on my faulty assumptions, being present, and sacrificing the right things.
Are you paying attention to what you sacrifice?
What legacy do you aim to leave?
Who do you need to call today? Make that call. You never know when it will be the last time you can.
Thank you for reading.
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