My mother, Edith Langford, passed away this week and today’s episode is a tribute to my mom. The funeral was yesterday and as you can imagine, I'm flooded with emotions. There are so many sad thoughts and emotions that I feel as I create this tribute to my mother. We had a very special relationship, a lot of great talks and special times together. I thought back to something she told me a few years ago, which had a huge impact on me, and a huge impact on the direction of my career. I was talking to her about the past and I said, remember back in the 1960s, you had a lot of a lot of trouble with anxiety. You really had a tough time. You had psoriasis as a result of it. It seemed to go on for a long time and it was a real problem. I asked her, what was the thing that ended this part of your life, that situation where you had so much anxiety?
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5 Words of Wisdom
She answered this question in five words, a five-word sentence. I thought so much about this afterwards. I thought, wow, this is staring me in the face. Every time I look at an appliance, an LG appliance, I realize the LG stands for their slogan, Life's Good. The five words she told me were, “I learned to let go”. So when I said LG, let go, every time I look at one of those appliances, I think, “Let Go, Life's Good. And letting go allows our life to be good. And I thought, wow, that was incredible.
I asked my mother, ‘how did you come to that conclusion?’ I wanted to know how she landed on those five words. But to her, there wasn't really a lot to say, she just said ‘I learned to let go’. And then she looked at me and she smiled that familiar smile. I said to mom, you know, that's mindfulness. That was long before I started working in the field of mindfulness. And she looked at me in a quizzical way and I said, Yeah, it's a thing they call mindfulness. It's about letting go. It's about not being so concerned about the past or so concerned about the future. It's about living in the moment, and letting go of so much of what holds us back and causes anxiety and issues. And she was good with that.
Share With The World
I was working in the field of bullying prevention at the time and I just thought so much about what my mom had said to me about this. I had already been thinking about the fact that with bullying prevention, if I can teach children and teachers about mindfulness then bullying would decrease. And I thought, wow, this worked in my own mother's life. She was able to come to this conclusion without meditating, without reading self-help books. She didn't listen to podcasts. She just came up with this herself. “I learned to let go.” I thought, what if I could share these five words with the world?
A Visual Gift
My mother has always been a visual person. Whenever I watch the sunrise, which is many, many mornings, I think of her because she loved the colors. She loved orange, brilliant yellows, golds, pinks, fuchsias. All colors I see in the sky when the sun is coming up; brilliant, beautiful colors. She loved these colors and she used her incredible skills to weave and to crochet and to create beautiful items like placemats, dishcloths, and tea towels. She seldom used a pattern and even if she had a pattern, it usually ended up being adapted to the ‘Edith Version’. She had her own thoughts and her own ways of doing these things and she would work away until she had something beautiful.
The Edith Basket
She always had a basket of placemats and dishcloths and she would always get this basket out and offer something. And she made 1000s of finger puppets. So every night, after supper, she would sit down and she would crochet a finger puppet. It was for children in the hospital who were about to have their finger pricked or have blood taken and so the nurse would give them a finger puppet.
One of the things that came to mind about my mom was her special love for her aunt Vesta. Vesta was also my great aunt. She was such a special person. And so my mom would go visit her and very often when it was time to leave Vesta would say a few lines of a poem to her. The poem became a favorite of my mother's and when aunt Vesta died, my mom decided to make a needlepoint out of the lines of this poem that were so very special to her.
The poem was written by Charles Kingsley; 1819-1875. He was a clergyman and novelist whose many stories have become famous works of fiction. He was also a writer of poetry. The poem my aunt recited is called A Farewell. Here are the four lines that she sewed with needlepoint; Be good, sweet maid and let who can be clever; do noble things, not dream them all day long. And so make Life, Death, and that vast forever, one grand, sweet song. Those words are so special to me and I'm happy to say I have that needlepoint piece that my mother created, and it's beautiful. These words are a tribute to my mom.
Thanks for letting me share this with you today in memory of my mom. As you know, I think about the special times and how special she was, and the love I had for her and have for her. It hasn’t ended.
She came to live with us at our house for five weeks in 2020, when she was preparing for a heart valve surgery. It was a special time for us to get to know her even more, in a different way. So we had a lot of special times and one of the things that she loved was every night, she would get a foot rub. And she would kind of look at me in a special way and say something that I knew meant that she would really appreciate a foot massage with lotion. When I would do that, she would have this look of ecstasy on her face and a beautiful smile. It was a special thing between us, and I was able to give her a foot rub just a couple of days before she passed, which was a beautiful experience as well.
These are some personal thoughts that I wanted to share with you today. As always, I thank you for tuning into mindfulness mode and thank you so much for being a part of the show. All the best to you. Bye now.
- Book: Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
- App: Insight Timer
- 128 The Healthy Way To Process Grief Is To Honestly Feel Your Emotions Explains Ramona Rice
- 333 Don’t Wait To Be Great Proclaims Raven Blair Glover
|Are you experiencing anxiety & stress? Peace is within your grasp. I’m Bruce Langford, a practicing coach and hypnotist helping fast-track people just like you to shed their inner bully and move forward with confidence. Book a Free Coaching Session to get you on the road to a more satisfying life, feeling grounded and focused. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Coaching Session' in the subject line. We'll set up a zoom call and talk about how you can move forward to a better life|