Life has not always been easy for Maggie. She was the oldest of three and grew up in a difficult household. She was the first of her family to go to college. There, she met my dad and they inadvertently started a family. The kids kept coming and the money wasn't always there. Even so, Maggie made sure everyone was provided for.
She had trained to be a teacher. Once the children were old enough for her to enter the workforce, she began teaching at a parochial school in Newark, New Jersey. There, she found out that she hated teaching.
She enrolled in nursing school, but found out she was pregnant at the start of her first semester. She dropped out, had my brother and tried again. She went to night school after work. After she graduated, she went back to school again.
After many years of school and work she got a job as an oncology nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins. That was only 13 years ago.
She will tell you that she is old. That everyone else who works at Hopkins is smarter than she is. As brilliant as she is, I know she is wrong.
Here is the thing about my mom - no one works harder than she does and yet she find time to make special moments for others. She is insightful and unusually kind. She welcomes everyone, even the really unwelcome-able.
If you pay attention to Maggie, here is what you learn:
- Hard work doesn't always pay off in the way you think it will, but it matters.
- Kindness is the best path.
- Good parties are worth the effort.
- It is easy to make a mistake in a relationship, but working to repair the mistake is worth your time. Even if it doesn't work.
- If you forgive people, you will feel better.
- Always have more food and wine than you think you need.
- Go outside and you will feel better.
I am blessed and very grateful to have Maggie as a mom, friend and role model. She taught me that "love is a force more formidable than any other." Which is totally true if you are paying attention...