My first lesson in life:
My Mom, Eleanor Reppucci was an amazing woman who lived life with class, dignity and an incredible spirit. She was totally engaged in life everyday, and had a fierce commitment to things she believed in! But, most of all, she was a wonderful mother, who was totally committed to her family and our home.
One of the first lessons I learned from my Mom happened when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was in first grade, and something very traumatic had happened to me at school. I had done something that I thought was totally embarrassing, and went home in a panic. Oh, the mind of a first grader! It couldn’t have been that bad, because I can’t exactly remember what happened that day. But, I do remember what happened when I arrived home so distraught. My Mom was an expert at turning any situation around into a learning experience. The first thing she did when I arrived home was to sit me down at the kitchen table, which was like “mission control headquarters” for my Mom. Like any good Italian mother, she proceeded to get me a snack and a drink, which was always home made! She then proceeded to make me tell my humiliating story in every detail. When I was done, to my surprise my Mom looked at my situation from a totally different perspective than me. She told me that I had done a wonderful thing to try something I didn’t know, and that by being wrong, I had actually learned far more than any of the other kids that never tried. I remember her telling me that I had learned a lesson that none of the other kids knew, and she made me feel like I was ahead of them on the learning curve. She told me to never be afraid to try something, even if I failed, for the important lessons in life came from failing and understanding why. Trying and failing was the stepping-stone to getting it right and succeeding. She told me how proud she was of me for trying. Wow, I couldn’t believe it – I had done a really good thing! And doing it made me smarter than the other kids! Who knew….!!?? Looking back, I realize that my mother in some ways created a “monster” that day, because for the rest of my life I was never afraid to try anything. And always remembered that without trying I could never succeed.
The next day, I strolled into school a brand new girl! My peers who just yesterday we like me, actually looked like immature kids in my mind. My Mom had told me I was ahead of them because I had tried, and I was feeling kind of sorry for the bunch of them that next day! Without realizing it, my Mother had taught me about confidence, and about not being afraid to stick my neck out and try new things. From that day forward, I never forgot that lesson. (And, no one ever tried to bully me, or any of my friends in school!) Her lesson carried me through life, as I had a successful career where I was constantly enhancing my knowledge through education, and always achieving new goals. Thanks Mom!!!
So, that was the first lesson of my life. But throughout my life, my Mom had a saying that she always said to me that became my last lesson when she left this world. What was it you ask…well, that’s for next time! Stay tuned……..