The Eternal Optimist


My mother was in an almost fatal car accident when I was 5 yrs old. It turns out, rolling one of those giant vans (you know, the ones with the ladders on the back) while not wearing a seat belt on a very rainy night can almost kill ya.

Lots of details I could go into here, like her being airlifted to the hospital. Or, the fact that she was in a coma for weeks upon weeks and when she woke up, she didn’t remember me or my little sister. I could also describe the horror she felt when she finally returned home and we forgot to tell her about our pet guinea pigs. We thought she’d remember… but she didn’t. So, there was lots of screaming that day. You try seeing a giant rat for the first time and have a 5 year old try to convince you that it’s a fun & fabulous pet. I’m sure it sucks.

I remember learning to tie my shoelaces at the hospital, as my mom learned to tie hers again. That was after she learned to walk again.

So, yeah, there’s a lot to be covered here, but I’ll save it for another time when and if I ever feel up to it.

This post isn’t about that incident. It’s about who she became after the wreck. My mother blossomed into someone who never has a bad day. You would too, if you faced death the way that she did!


Here’s a list of some of her best qualities:


She’s always smiling. I’ve only seen her cry a few times in my life and when she does, it breaks your heart. It’s a child-like, innocent cry. The type of tears that come from those who only see the good in this world.

She finds the humor in everything. I’ve never met anyone who loves to laugh more than my mother.

She is always singing. She’s always got a song in her heart. She’ll walk through a room and you can hear the hum. When asked what song it is, her reply is usually, “I don’t know.” She’s been known to break out into a dance or two, at moment’s notice. I like to think that I inherited that gene from her. 😉

She doesn’t get mad. Sure, she gets frustrated when she can’t remember something. Losing your short-term memory will do that. And, sometimes she feels the need to apologize for the things she can’t remember. Although, none of us would ever hold it against her. The woman defied death. I think she’s entitled to whatever she does or doesn’t remember.

She loves to talk. She can talk to a complete stranger and often does. She talks when a room is too quiet, to fill the air with something (other than her humming). She assumes everyone wants to have a conversation with her, or at least listen to what’s on her mind.

She’s always got more to say. Whenever I have a phone conversation with her, immediately upon hanging up, I can almost guarantee that she will call back with what I call a “P.S.” – something she’s forgotten to tell me. I love her P.S.’s. They make me smile.

She talks to herself. I definitely inherited this from her.

She wakes up at the crack of dawn. And, that’s funny, because her name is Dawn. She goes to bed early and gets up before the sun. When I was younger, her mornings were spent reading devotionals and then watching Country Boy Eddie. I’m not sure what she watches these days. She still reads.

She keeps Post-Its everywhere to remind her of the things she needs to do. This is what people with short-term memory loss do. She also keeps a daily To-Do list. This what people with OR without short-term memory loss SHOULD do.

She wants to help in any way she can. She has a servant’s heart and wants to feel like she was of assistance in some way.

She ends every visit and phone call with “I Love You”. And she means it.


And, I want to be just like her when I grow up. I want to be content with everything I have and I want to wake up every day, not wasting one minute on sadness, but filling each moment with smiles, laughter, music, and the desire to help others.

mom 2



Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!