May 2016 - Page 39

My mom was kind to everyone. She never expressed racial or religious prejudice to me. She was a peacemaker through and through, and even when family members would not speak to each other, they always had a good relationship with her. She loved to gift friends with her crafts and cooking, showing me that it isn’t always about buying gifts, but sharing your heart. 3. SHE TAUGHT ME TO LOVE I never doubted for one minute my mom loved me. She literally told me every day. As a child, I never left the room or went to bed without a hug and a kiss. And she always asked me, “Do you know how much I love you?” It was important to her that I knew that. On the day she died, it was one of the last things she said to me. lived at). The day before she died, I took her to see him. I could see how painful it was for her and for the first time, she asked to leave. She couldn’t bear it any more. The lessons my mom instilled in me have gotten me over some tough hurdles in my life, including caring for her during her illness as well as dad’s. He passed away three months after her. I am grateful for those lessons. I have channeled my inner Mama Bear to protect my “cub” when need be. I love having big dinner parties and inviting people who have never met each other, to connect and become friends. I volunteer and try to smile at everyone I meet. I am grateful that I grew up seeing the good in people and I have a great capacity for love. I am one of those moms who is guilty of saying the same things my mom said. Happily guilty in this case. My grown son absolutely knows he is loved. I make sure to ask him often! Barbara Abramson is the founder and Chief Relationship officer of Making Meaning Connections, a workshop and teambuilding company. Barbara works with corporations, schools, senior centers and community organizations to help people connect more deeply to themselves, to each other, and to the opportunities in their lives. She’s all about increasing happiness and profitability, decreasing bullying and depression by helping friendships evolve, partnerships develop and Aha moments occur. Barbara also enjoys writing. Her words can be found on The Huffington Post and on The Good Men Project where she is also an Editor. You can connect with Barbara at and follow her on Twitter. My parents walked through grocery stores still holding hands after 50-plus years of marriage. Although she had many medical issues that contributed to her death, I know seeing my father with Alzheimer’s broke her heart. I still have three voicemails on my phone I can’t delete because I am afraid to lose her voice, but in every one, she asks how my father is. (He had just been moved to the Alzheimer’s section of the Assisted Living Facility they 39