Monday, February 1, 2016
Last night I had the chance to deliver a 1 minute speech at a Hub Dot event. If you haven't heard of Hub Dot, check this out. It was so inspiring! I loved the chance to connect with a bunch of awesome women. My brief message: Wisdom/Insight out of pain comes at such a high price. If you have a changed perspective, direction, greater faith, or a new mission that has come out of pain, don't waste it. Share it with someone who may need to know what you know now.
So, as I entered the event I saw a woman who looked and sounded familiar. After I pried a little, I found out she was someone I had last seen when I was 18 years old, the summer my mother died of a brain aneurysm at age 46. I waitressed at the restaurant where she had formerly worked, trying to keep my mind off of our sad and empty-feeling house until I could escape back to college. I was skeptical that this could be the same Lisa, because apparently she'd found the fountain of youth.
Well, when I introduced myself, she remembered me immediately and told me that she had spoken at the last Hub Dot event about changing the direction of your life, and how important mentors are in the process. She said that as she told her story to the crowd, she got emotional speaking of a mentor who had helped her shift gears into a very successful floral business that lasted over 20 years.
That mentor was my mother!
Mom had gotten to know Lisa as our frequent waitress at the restaurant we went to at least twice a week throughout my high school years when Mom decided that she'd cooked enough dinners to last a lifetime. In the last year or so of her life, Mom helped Lisa see new possibilities for her future.
I was amazed that after almost 28 years gone, my mother was still impacting people, and that her legacy was as fresh to Lisa today as it was when she was a young waitress all those years ago.
I know that my greatest fear as a bereaved mother is that Jack will be forgotten, especially because he had such a short time here and a very limited sphere. But talking to Lisa last night made me realize we NEVER know whom we are influencing, and in what way.
It seemed to dovetail so nicely with the theme of the evening which was about helping others through our own experiences. That can be through writing books, raising money, starting non-profits, and being advocates, but it can also take the form of quiet conversations in the booth of a local diner, helping someone dream bigger, and walking beside them while they do.
"Oh, Anna," Lisa said, "You have to meet my daughter!"
She called a gorgeous young woman over.
"Her middle name is Margaret, named after your mom."
P.S. If you are local to the Northern Virginia area, I'd LOVE IT if you could join me on Sunday, Feb 7 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon. I'll be speaking about Embracing the Mystery of God in Difficult Times. The event is FREE, includes a yummy lunch, AND you'll still be home for the Super Bowl! 12:30-2 pm, with an optional time just for women afterward to reflect and connect from 2-3:30. Hope to see you there! If you are on Facebook, here's a link to the event. https://www.facebook.com/events/792178110888177/