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My mother’s estate

When my mother passed away 15 years ago, she didn’t leave much of monetary value. In fact, she left me with the debt on her mobile home, which we wound up selling for scrap. What she did leave me with has tremendous value, and I shall benefit from it the rest of my life. Here are 15 things she bequeathed to me that have lasting worth:

  1. Determination. Despite the severity of my mom’s disability, she kept a good sense of humor and a positive outlook. She refused to let herself despair over her condition.
  2. Integrity. My mom was an honest person who believed in doing things the right way.
  3. Dignity. She believed in herself and refused to let others put her down.
  4. Excellence. My mom refused to accept mediocrity. She pushed me to do my best.
  5. Baseball. She instilled in my brother and me a love of the game. We shared many happy memories at Dodger games.
  6. Sacrifice. My mom put my brother’s and my needs above her own.
  7. Humility. She admitted her imperfections and insisted that I learn from them.
  8. Faith. My mom was proud of her religion, and she taught us what was good and positive about it.
  9. Generosity. She gave freely without expecting anything in return. For her, giving was the gift.
  10. Service. My mom volunteered her time for PTA and Scouts with a desire to serve the community, not her ego.
  11. Loyalty. She was fiercely loyal to her friends and family. She accepted their faults and forgave them when they weren’t loyal to her.
  12. Discipline. My mom set high standards for behavior and demanded that we follow them. This kept me away from drugs and other destructive temptations.
  13. Protection. My mom tried to create a stable, happy home for my brother and me. She tried to keep work and financial problems with interfering with our growing up.
  14. Appreciation. She made me feel valued and that my efforts were worthwhile. In doing so, she encouraged me to appreciate and build up others.
  15. Love.

I still miss her, even after 15 years. But these gifts that she gave me will carry me through for the rest of my life.