My Mom

You’ve heard me talk about my mom in my programs, and how she put a lizard in my lasagna. I have lots of other memories of my mom… I remember being a little boy and having to get my tonsils out. Going into the hospital for an overnight was scary. But, what I remember most from that experience was my first shot in the butt, which made cry—and my mom spent the night in the chair next to me so I would not be afraid.  I also remember being in junior high and hiding in the closet, then jumping out to scare my mom; she faked a heart attack! My joke backfired! Or when mom would make casseroles for dinner and we would ask her, “Are there green olives in here, ’cause if there are, I will get sick!” And of course mom would say, “None.”  Until I bit into one!

My mom has always had a special way of making things better, and continues to do so even as I approach 40. During hard times, my mom has prayed with me on the phone and been front row to enjoy the growth of my speaking career. She is not afraid to speak her mind and tell me to get my head out of my butt when I am not living up to my best. We all have different relationships with our moms, but I would have to say that I lucked out. While my mom still has the power to embarrass me in public, I would rather have that than not.

As time moves forward, I have learned that my mom doesn’t want jewelry, a gift certificate to the spa, or candles—but rather something more valuable than stuff. The greatest gift I can give Mom or anyone is my time. Time is one thing we can never get back. The way you spend your time tells what you value and love most in life. You have to remind yourself of that when your priorities are tested with work and everyday life. It is easy to get out of balance. But, I sure know when I call Mom, it makes her day!

As I write this, I am looking at the clock and have to get ready to head out towards Mom’s for the weekend.  She is having a garage sale and got tickets to go see an Elvis impersonator.  Am I excited about helping out with a garage sale and going to see an Elvis impersonator? Not exactly. But I am excited about my time with Mom and the family.  Sometimes the expression of love isn’t doing what you want all the time, but doing something your mom wants to do.  I used to grumble about stuff like this in my younger years and perhaps would have thought of a stellar excuse to get out of it, but life’s lessons have taught me to treasure the time and soak it up. We never really know how much time we have with someone, not just Mom, but those we love. We don’t have to honor them just once a year, but we can honor them with time and love at any moment.

If I had to be grateful for one thing about my mom, it would be her crazy sense of humor. We tend to find humor in the small things, but we find it often. I could tell you story after story.  Those stories are my treasures.  Happy Mother Day!

What did you do this past weekend to honor your mother, or someone else? What can you do today?

6 thoughts on “My Mom”

  1. Jeff Scannell


    I can not agree with you more. After seeing you live in DC at an ERC event a couple years ago I shared with you that my mom use to pass on a tooth that she had bronzed much like your mom did with the lasagna. I lost my mom a few years back but treasured my time with her. Reading your story made me smile and think about how lucky I was to have such a great role model in my life.
    There is a book out by Mitch Albom titled “One More Day” that was made into a tv movie as well. The whole story is based on a man who gets to experience one more day with his passed Mom. A great read. Keep on keeping on.

    God Bless,


  2. It is rare that I catch my mom off guard. This Mother’s Day I actually made her cry. She is used to the usual cooked lunch and special after dinner sweet, but instead this year, I got her tickets to a Texas Ranger’s game. Her passion is baseball and she has never been to a professional game. The best gift I will ever get is the expression on her face when she discovered her gift. I’ll never forget it.

  3. Leslie Brzezinski

    Thanks for sharing about your mom. My son offered to take me out to dinner for Mother’s Day and at first I said yes. After thinking on it a day I called him back and told him I’d rather have a gift certificate to the local garden center and that I’d enjoy cooking for him. That’s what we did and we enjoyed dinner and conversation. After we had eatn my son and husband got up and cleared the table and did the dishes without any harrassing from said mom! 🙂 As my Love Languages are gifts and acts of service, this was a perfect Mother’s Day!

    P.S. I recently read your book “A Kick in the Attitude” and was curious if you have been on the Oprah Show yet???
    Let me know. Make it a great day!
    Leslie Brzezinski

  4. Nancy Holverson

    I always say that God put sons on this world for a reason . . . . a hug or kiss from my boys (age 12 and 20)always makes my day. And with the oldest in college, those hugs and kisses are few and far between so I love the fact that at age 40, you honor your mother this way. I love stories you shared about her.

    I lost my Mom 8 years ago on Ground Hog’s Day, and my Dad passed away on Cinco de Mayo 5 years ago. I was home for his funeral and it was Mother’s Day weekend that year so holidays tend to mean different things to me especially the older I get. I still celebrate them, just for different reasons – celebrate each day with those you love before they are lost forever. You’re right, don’t wait for that one time each year.

    By the way, I also have a loving 16 yr old daughter who is going through some terrible teen times (for both of us) but she’s just a special to me – but since you are a son talking about your mom, I wanted to share my comments above.

  5. Cheryl Dunlop


    Not only words of humor, but words of wisdom! I am a daughter that feels guilty almost every day for not making more of an effort to spend time with my mother. It is a little difficult because she lives almost 400 miles away. But, a phone call does go a long way! I’m also a mother, whose own daughter AND granddaughter live less than 15 miles away. And, we see each other maybe once a month or even two months. (As they say: “Like Mother – Like Daughter?”) As much as I wish my daughter and granddaughter would spend more time with me, I know my own Mother wishes the same thing. I too have a Mother that has a very similar sense of humor, and have very fond memories of her “embarassing the heck out of me and my sisters!” I admire her a great deal and certainly don’t let her know that often enough. Thank you for the gentle reminder! P.S. Love your Blog! I have seen you in person at a Texas Municipal League Conference a few years ago and have tried to follow you since. Again, thanks!

  6. Hi Sam….

    I wanted to tell you that you are one the most fantastic speakers/writers I have come across in a long time. I truly read every message and this one particularly hit home. My own Mom will be 90 this July and she is truly one of the most wonderful people in the world…Not just to me, but to many. She is not slowing down and her attitude towards life is beyond uplifting.

    Anyway, keep doing what you are doing. It motivates me to be a better Trainer and Facilitator….oh and person, too!

    Thanks again for all you do for this world…one person at a time… (:


    Jet Haggerty

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