Virtues Reflection Card courtesy of The Virtues Project™
Nowhere are virtues more prominent then when someone dies. David Brooks, in his new book, The Road to Character, talks about Eulogy Virtues and Resume Virtues. This week, I've had the opportunity to remember my mother, who passed away last week at the age of 97, for her "eulogy" virtues. I've been thinking about which virtues I want to speak about at her memorial service with our family. I've also reflected on the virtues I've been able/challenged to develop in my long journey the past seventeen years with Mom, as she and I both aged together. Many of those years I found extremely difficult, as we worked through many mother/daughter issues. I felt overly responsible for many of her choices. She wanted to stay independent as long as possible, often railing and angry about the ravages of age, including hearing loss, macular degeneration and dementia. It was hard for me to balance responsibility as her child who was nearby, with joy and self-care. It was all tied together with love and commitment: love for each other and other family members, and commitment to be helpful and caring the last years of her life. In the end, she died as she lived, on her own terms, as much as possible. Most people called her feisty! And I got to practice patience, acceptance, respect, and loyalty as well as endurance and perseverance, not always gracefully I must admit. But there was always Love.