I dialed her number because I knew she would listen.
“Hello, Sunshine!” she exclaimed with the same loving tone I’d known for so long.
“Hi mom,” I said back, and let out a long sigh.
I didn’t have to say much because she knows when I sigh like that, something is troubling me.
Our conversation wasn’t long, and she listened with a compassionate and astute ear like always. No interruption, she let me say what I needed to say.
When I finished, she said to me – in her matter of fact way – “what are you going to do?”
I was used to this question; she’d been saying it to me for years. I wanted to scream, “I don’t know! That’s why I called you.”
But I didn’t.
Instead, I smiled, beaming now, and said, “I’m going to be myself. My vulnerable, funny, creative, smart, and kind self. And I’m going to write one hell of a story.”
“That’s my, sunshine,” she said back to me with pride and love in her voice.
Or, at least I imagine that is the conversation we would have had recently if my mom were still alive.
Her lessons and words live on guiding me every day in business and life.
Never forget your roots, and always stay true to yourself.