Years ago, our oldest son and his wife introduced us to a meaningful slogan their church promoted: “Receive Love. Give Love. Repeat.” How simple, yet profound are those words and how important their impact in my own life’s mission. They remind me to live well in the day-to-day: sharing with others out of the abundance of love I’ve been given.
My mother, now 83, demonstrated that love well to each of her five children throughout her lifetime. Always busy, Mom modeled her love by keeping a home, providing for our needs and supporting Dad. She baked, put up garden produce, canned goods, sewed, and healed our ills. For me, it seemed the passing on of love came as naturally as breathing for my parents, and I am forever grateful for their bedrock faith and example. Even now, in the quieter, more restful stage of Mom’s life, she offers whatever support and encouragement she can, sometimes in uncommon and surprising ways.
Take, for example, an impulsive decision I made to sew and deliver 20 sock monkey dolls for my daughter’s first-ever 3rd grade class of public school students –within a 3-week time period. Enlisting the help of my 83-year-old mother seemed the right thing to do, as she had some time on her hands. I would prepare the sock bodies, arms and legs of our sock monkey pals and drop them off to my mom on my way to work to stuff with fluff and give them shape. No matter if I gave Mom 4 sets or 6 sets of pieces to be stuffed in the morning, they were ready for pick-up by the end of my work day; she would proudly offer me a bagful of masterfully-completed product. We delighted in and challenged each other to keep the pace.
We met the goal together! Mom’s gentle modeling and voice of love inspired me and does continue to inspire in quiet, yet profound ways. She demonstrated that love to me, her grand-daughter, and the 20 students in VA who delightedly received their specially-designed sock monkey from a Grammy in PA. A legacy is timeless, inviting us to “Receive. Give. Repeat.” sometimes with curious outcomes. What legacy might you be inspired to pass on?