Last year around this time, the most influential living person in my life was laid to rest. "Mammo", I miss you dearly, but I feel joy and comfort in knowing that you are with HIM.
Lately, I've been reflecting on her [Mammo's] life; who she was as a grandmother, mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend- all the many stages of her life. The most consistent trait that continues to resignate in memory of her, is that she was resilent. She was a fighter- tooth and nail and for better or for worse. She molded my understanding of accountability and self-awareness. She helped me to understand that joy is a mindset, and pain is the predecessor of life's destiny's and catastrophes. She gave me wisdom and strength to understand that sometimes the inexplicable results of Gods' work, is simply his way of calling home his angels, and that our faith in him is attested in our response to his work. Because of her, I believe that with faith we inevitably RISE from all adversary, pain, and misfortune.
Mammo passed on Palm Sunday- the beginning of Holy Week. I think about how her legacy within our family is the beginning of all of us. I can't think of one important moment in my life past, present, or future that I wouldn't want her to be witness to. Yet, I know that she's watching me from near and far. My heart rest knowing that she's proud of the women that I am and will continue to be. These very simple rules, are what her life taught me about RISING from any fall:
1.) Pain is a temporary state. Pain, when allowed, eventually becomes strength. It is a grave part of our life lessons and wisdom, and as such God never grants us more than we can handle; however, we are tested time and time again in HIS will.
2.) Love is extraordinary. Love is why we have pain and how we find joy. It allows us to experience the very best freedom in our life; the most important recognition of ourself and others. Without it- we are sheltered in our soul, and that is not living.
3.) Failure is inevitable. It will happen; not once, not twice, but many times in our life. Nevertheless, it is essential to our growth. How we handle it [failure] is eventually how we achieve success.
4.) Character is POWER. The poorest person in the world can have fascinating power over others; if their character is indicative of righteousness their influence over others will be evident. That type of character is the richest source of power; as such, a person that embodies that will never be poor.
5.) Sacrifice and servitude are the very best nourishment for the soul. They provide joy and bring piece-of-mind that supersedes anything that money or materialistic things can bring. When you extend a helping hand to others and you sacrifice- not at the detriment of yourself but for the sake of helping others develop- you give back to yourself tenfold.
Mammo was a simple women, with an extraordinary faith. She rose from every fall. Even at the mercy of death, she was very much ALIVE... and still is. I know she's dancing in heaven with great grandpa "Bull", Fatto, Uncle Marvin, "Uncle Head", Tottie, grandpa "Rico", and many more. They rest in peace to rise in eternity.
When people ask what if you fall short? What if you fail? What if you don't get what you desire? What if you struggle? Just remember, "You can rise again." And when you do, have faith in HIS path for you.
Mammo was so patient with the faults of people. So much so, that it took a toll on her spirit. Her life taught me that patience is not always the best practice. She taught me to be aware of what you're patient for, and what people ask of you. People will often conceal themselves around people that accept their faults, because it takes accountability to accept flaws in our character; and that is a huge feat for most. Most of all, she taught me that life is a journey- it's YOUR journey. How you LIVE it, is up to you.
Be blessed. LIVE.