My mom died August 11. In the weeks before she passed, we knew it was coming and she wanted to be surrounded by those she loved. Her kids, grand kids, great grand kids – her brother, sister in law and sister – her nieces – close family friends – these were the people who brought her joy. She didn’t talk about the money she had made or the things she sold; she talked about the things that brought her joy.
Several times she asked about her bear, did I have it? She made me promise not to lose it – it meant a lot to her. When she was 3 or 4 it had been a bad year for her family. It was in the early 30’s and the depression affected them greatly. At Christmas time her brother got a little red truck and she got a bear, this bear in the picture. It was all her folks could afford. That bear lived his whole life with her – and at the end of her life, he was on her mind. Surviving those hard times, receiving this gift when her parents didn’t have the money for him, his presence in all of her life — this is what mattered in the end.
I’m close to my mom, and this has not been an easy time. My family loves me and they are over an hour away from me. My friends mean the world to me and they answer the phone, and visit, and go out to eat a lot with me. My mom would call me every night around 6:30 pm and that is the hardest time of the day now – my friends make sure I’m not alone (until I’m ready to be). Last night I texted a friend who was traveling and God bless him, he got me through a dark spot. He asked me what token could I put in pocket and it could be my touchstone to remind me that my mom is always with me. I thought of the bear. Yet – this bear is old and not up to travel. He’d also look kinda lumpy in my pocket.
What you might ask does this post have to do with business? Nothing and everything. Make sure you are developing relationships that will matter in the end. Treat your clients and customers like they matter. Be kind. Bring joy when you can.
It wont’ be business deals that you’ll focus on when your time comes. Live a life that matters in the end.