Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sign Language

A couple of years ago, I was driving through my hometown on my way back to Indianapolis from an overnight trip to Northern Indiana to meet with some clients. I called my Mom on the way to make plans for a spur of the moment lunch. As fate would have it, we showed up in remarkably similar attire - newsboy caps, turtlenecks, and statement pendants (bottom photo). I remember thinking as I drove home that day that I hoped I was like her in ways far more important than choice of wardrobe. My Mom is one of the most selfless people I know. I'm sure many people feel the same way about their own mothers (I hope many people feel the same way about their own mothers). 

I'm not the only one who recognizes my Mom's generous nature. Last Summer, she was honored with the "Above and Beyond Award" by the School Transportation Association of Indiana for her years of dedicated service as a school bus driver, most of that time spent working with special needs children. To say that she goes above and beyond in her work with these children is an understatement. She is not just their bus driver - she is an educator, a friend, and a comfort to both the students and their parents alike. 

Though reading the letter of nomination that led to her receipt of the award brought tears of pride to my eyes, I can't say I was surprised to learn she had crocheted hats for every child at the holidays, customizing each to their individual personalities and color preferences. I still recall the first time she had a deaf child on her bus, when I was still in high school. So strong was her desire to communicate with this child that she enrolled in a sign language class. She didn't have to do this - it certainly wasn't a job requirement - but to my Mom, every child matters. That sign language class had a permanent impact on our own family, too. She taught us the sign for "I love you" and for more than twenty years now, that sign has been been the traditional goodbye wave between my Mom, my Stepfather, my baby brother and me each time we see each other.

I'm so proud of you, Mom. Though we don't talk every day, or even every week, the woman that you and the way that you live your life continues to inspire me every day. Thank you for all that you do to make this world a better place. Happy Mother's Day. I love you. 

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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