There are many gifts for which I thank my Mom, but a thread of truth running through them all is only light can dispel darkness. My Mom collected inspirational quotes, and by sharing them, instilled a life-long appreciation for uplifting thoughts and ideas. Growing up, and even into middle-age, I didn’t realize how so much darkness could enter my life.

The church was only a couple of blocks from our house, but taking a summer’s day picnic lunch to sit on the steps seemed like a world away to a five-year-old. Under the steeple’s shade, after the apples and cheese crackers were done, my Mom would pull out a envelope stuffed with newspaper clippings, hand-copied notes, scraps of paper — all sorts of ideas put into words — and she would read aloud the ones she thought I would appreciate.  Or maybe sometimes she would read one she connected with, hoping we might both connect with the intangible whatever that is bigger than ourselves.

I’ve always considered myself fortunate: loving family, interesting job and a nice home in a nice neighborhood.

Even as my journey continues through middle-age, within quiet moments of inspiration, I find not only chin up, but also a lighthouse through the darkness.


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