One of the things I did not inherit from my mom is the ability to talk about your shortcomings to your face and somehow you enjoy talking about them. When I point out your flaws, you'll end up crying and never talking to me again. Yet when mom did it, people would seek her out to have her tell them more about their screw ups.
She had a way of seeing and appreciating what was really important in every situation. Whether it was her intention or not, she could find a redemptive quality in every set back and once she found it, she made camp there. All the other troubles didn't matter, but in a dark moment she had the natural ability to navigate towards light and you followed.
You followed because she helped you laugh at your follies. She didn't take life so serious when you were around her. It was impossible. She could make you laugh at yourself about anything.
This year I've learned to appreciate vulnerability. Vulnerable people are the happiest people and that's the way she lived. I suppose when you fight an illness for 10 years feeling vulnerable comes with the territory, but her vulnerability gave others permission to drop their defenses. That was her secret for encouraging so many people she knew along with complete strangers.
She recognized that the world was broken. She was never in denial of that fact. She just found the good in it and helped people discover redemptive qualities.Today is the eight year anniversary of her passing.