I’m thinking of my mother today.
She was born Eugenia Blair McDaniel in the small town of Curtisville that now is just a bump on a country road through the verdant Central Indiana farmland.
There are many words I can use to describe my mother. The first word at the top of the list is “beautiful.”
She was just downright good looking. She had a graceful way of walking and gesturing. She had an engaging smile and great hair no matter what color it was.
Another word that describes her is “healthy.” She was fit, not like a “I-jog-every-morning-pushing-a-stroller” kind of fit but more in a feminine “this-is-how-a-woman’s-body-looks” kind of way. She was an exceptional cook and was known for her yummy pies, but while everyone else was gorging on her fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy, she was quietly savoring a tossed salad or steamed veggies.
She didn’t take much medication at all and instead relied on exercise and nutritional supplements. She also was a big fan of the power of the mind. She insisted I read Dale Carnegie’s books and that I knew who Marcus Aurelius was.
She was very personable and everyone liked her. For several years, she was one of the top five salespeople in the nation for a company called World Gift that was based out of Dallas. One of the women often honored alongside her was Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics.
But today I’m wondering, if my mother were still alive, what she would think about the current US president?
She probably would have watched his TV show and thought he was cute with his brash billionaire “you’re fired” tagline. She always had a thing for wealthy, swaggering men.
But there’s one thing she couldn’t stand and would not tolerate. And that’s lying.
For me as a teenager, her demand wasn’t the easiest to fulfill, especially when I left out incriminating details of a Friday night with friends. It was even more difficult as I tried to reconcile my sexuality with my religious upbringing.
I wanted to be honest. I felt that if I could be transparent emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, then I would be like a clear channel with nothing between me and myself, my loved ones, and the god of my being.
Now in my later years, I’ve come to that place of authenticity. I’ve often thought that it was my mother’s standards for being honorable in intentions and actions that instilled in me the desire to live in the truth.
To be free of lies and deception is not always an easy thing to do, but it is a very liberating thing. To live in an uncomplicated, straightforward way allows for the energy of life to flow easily and effortlessly through you and to you.
As the good book says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Truth is very freeing. Free to be. Free to breathe. Free to live. Free indeed.
So today I just want to express my gratitude to my mom for teaching me about things like honesty, integrity, authenticity, and truth. Thanks, Mama Jean.