25 years ago today, my mother Mary Prodromitis went to take her rightful place next to our Lord and Savior and joined my dad in heaven.  It is utter disbelief, sadness, humility, honor and gratitude that I type these words.  Mary Prodromitis was my mom.  She was my best friend and she was an amazing gift to the earth.

In celebrating her life (she loved a good celebration), I am pondering the many mysteries and lessons she shared.  Gone to soon, oh my heart aches to see her smile and hear her voice. But, she is forever living through all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  Although, her wisdom, strength and beauty could fill volumes of books, I will share 25 of my favorite insights on this very special day. 

  1. A mother’s love transcends words, it is magical. 
  2. Comfort was just knowing she was there.
  3. Answers come from within, not externally.
  4. We are not capable, nor expected to understand some things.
  5. In relationships, never give 100% of yourself away or you may lose yourself in the process.
  6. Always help others regardless of how much or how little you have.
  7. “Greek relatives” are the friends you choose as family.
  8. Never turn anyone away from your family dinner table, invite them in, it may change their lives or yours.
  9. Other religions are not to be feared or judged, follow Jesus by example and accept differences, prejudice is ignorance.
  10. Beauty brings peace, otherwise it is not really beautiful.
  11. Sing as loud as you can when you feel moved, not matter what others think of your voice.
  12. Laughing together is the best connection, that moment you realize someone else thinks the same thing is funny is divine.
  13. Superstition is crap.
  14. Every person on earth need to be someone’s favorite person, their champion… no matter what!
  15. Dancing is like breathing, it is necessary for survival.
  16. Talk to strangers and they are no longer strangers.
  17. “I’ve got your back” between mother and child is unconditional.
  18. Financial wealth and class are completely different.
  19. Respect for self is Godly.
  20. Trust your instinct, gut feeling and intuition, it is the voice of God.
  21. Your gifts and talents are to be shared and unwrapped throughout your entire life, never stop learning and stretching yourself.
  22. Books feed the soul.
  23. Kooky relatives are to be adored, sometimes ignored, but never abandoned.
  24. Every breath is a gift, there is meaning in both suffering and in joy.
  25. Do not be afraid of death, it is our greatest reward to be reunited with God.

As you can imagine in reading a few of my mom’s life lessons, she was extraordinary.  I have often said that I could not ever stop striving for excellence, kindness and ultimately Philotimo having had Mary as my mom.  She lived the Greek imperative “love of honor” and doing things for the greater good.  Although life was difficult for her in losing my father in 1973, leaving her with three children to raise (I was only 8), her humanity was easy.  She had more best friends than anyone I have ever known.  Her struggles, pain and limitations were harnessed and used to serve others and share the wisdom that can only come from life experience.  Someone once described her as having a Zen like strength.  A knowing. A sincere confidence in the potential of others.  My beautiful mommy had a fantastic sense of humor and filled our home with laughter.  People trusted her so much that she could be brutally honest with them.  One of her famous lines when she knew you were off track was, “That’s Crap!” You didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because she was ALWAYS right. 

25 years ago today, my mommy went to heaven.  She left a legacy of love that is undeniable.  Here’s to my beautiful, intelligent (she crushed the NY Times Crossword puzzles), funny, creative and fiercely loyal mom, Mary Prodromitis.  I LOVE YOU ETERNALLY.