A Tribute To My Mom
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May 11, 2014
By Cheryl Ridgeway
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cheryl's Mom

First, I would like to say Happy Mother's Day to all of those who are Mothers. It is with this sentiment in mind that I want to thank my Mom. My mom,Georgeine Hays, taught me so many things that I use today and while growing up you think, "why are you telling me this?", it is, as an adult, that I appreciate all of those little things that shaped my life and personality today.

For example, it amazes me that most people are afraid to ask someone for something for fear of them saying no. I remember my mom telling me "go ask; the worse thing they can say no and that's not the end of the world." She was so right. I might be perceived a certain way when I do say no, but that really has nothing to do with me, but the other person's lack of self esteem. That brings me to another example.

My mom told me that there are going to be people who don't like you for some reason and you aren't going to like everyone you meet so surround yourself with people you like and trust. When you are grown and have your own family, you will be lucky to have one or two close friends and again, she was right. I have lots of friends, but just a few that I trust to confide in. I will be honest and tell you that this was a little harder to accept, especially in the grade school years. At that age you just want people to like you and you don't understand why they don't. It wasn't until high school that I understood what having friends, real friends, was all about. I consider myself lucky today because I have close friends all around the country that I keep in touch with on a regular basis.

My mom saved me in so many ways when I was in high school. She remembered what it was like to be that age and helped soften my dad up a little so that I wasn't locked up for a long time. LOL!

My mom is the one who instilled the sense of responsibility that I have today. She had us look at school as a job. Her reasoning...you are going to have to work for living and you will probably have to work for someone who will expect you to be on time and get tasks done in a certain time frame. We had to be at school on time and homework was just a part of our job. Get it done and then we could play or do what we wanted.

My parents were very supportive in whatever we wanted to do, but they didn't force us to do things. They encouraged us to try new things to find out what we liked, but they didn't force us to keep doing something we didn't enjoy. I think it was for their own benefit of not having to fight with one us to something that was 'good for us'. For that I am thankful. My mom was always there to support me in whatever I wanted to do. I wanted to be a Kahok cheerleader ever since I was a grade schooler after getting to go to a Collinsville Kahok basketball game. That was my goal and I was lucky enough to be able to be a cheerleader for all 4 of my high school years. I practiced all of the time, perfecting my skills, just waiting for my turn to try out. Sounds silly I know, but, very early on, I learned the value of having goals and that is because my mom (and dad).

I have no problem being honest about myself. I'm not perfect, not going to be perfect, but I am good at some things and I try to improve myself, but I don't beat myself up for making mistakes. I just try something different and learn from what didn't work. Thanks, Mom (and Dad, but it's not Father's Day so don't get your panties in a bunch. Your day is next month.)

There are so many more life lessons that my mom is responsible for and I thank her all of the time (in my head or when I am talking to clients). As a terribly, smart mouthed teenager (and I'm sure it started before then :-0 ) I am grateful to have the mom I do. There have been times when my mom has said that she wishes she was a better mother and to that I say, "You WERE and ARE a great Mom. I love you and everything you have done for me." 

I'm sure everyone feels like this towards their mothers, but I only have the one and I just want everyone to know that I think she is the greatest woman and has had the biggest impact in my life. You are the reason I am the person I am today and I like that person.


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