Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Fifth Commandment

Recently, I read the article "Great Expectations" by The Red Headed Rebbetzin. In it, she points out that just by mentioning something to someone (in this case, she offers the example of mentioning a mustache), that it becomes more prevalent to that someone. I often wonder about this in my own life.

While preparing for a religious school lesson on The Ten Commandments, I paused to think a little bit about the Fifth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother. Of course, I try to honor my parents with every breath I take, every move I make, with every step I take every single day. But any time parents are mentioned in any situation, I am sent hurtling into a memory maelstrom of my mom.

Mom passed away two years ago. She was my best friend, my biggest supporter, and my conscience. It was my goal every day to make her proud. I still want to make her proud. Today, I woke up thinking of my mom. Maybe there was something in my dream that made me think of her, I don't know exactly how she was put into my mind first thing. Maybe it is because she is always there. I don't know. But I do know that the minute the word "Mom" formed in my mind, I saw blatant reminders of Mom in my everyday activities.

But back to the "mustache" comment. Once a thought is in one's head, it is so easy to notice everything about that thought. It becomes everywhere, as if the Universe is "speaking" to you. I wonder if this is what people mean when they say that if they project positivity, positivity will be returned? I suppose that could be the case. If you are thinking and doing things that are positive, I imagine you would notice all things positive in your world as well. Just as you notice more mustaches when someone points one out to you.

This is what happened to me. I was thinking of the Fifth Commandment last night, preparing my religious school lesson, so Mom was on my mind when I went to sleep. I woke up with Mom on my mind. The first thing I heard this morning was a cardinal chirping in the yard. The cardinal was Mom's favorite bird. As luck would have it, I was meeting a friend at a local coffee shop for our "writing club" this morning. On the way there, there was a song on the radio by the Police. It was "Every Breath You Take." I had asked myself last night if I "honored" "my parents with "every breath I take, every move I make." It certainly seemed like the Universe was watching me. At the coffee shop, there were at least two more songs that played with the topics being parents.

I sat across the table from my friend and endured a little good-natured ribbing at the fact that I had remembered to bring along my notebook. Mom always used to laugh about my notebooks. I always had one with me because I never knew when I would need to take notes on something important. Particularly in the last stages of her illness. And even more strange, or coincidental, if you will, when I opened that journal, it opened to the entry I wrote the day I realized my mom was going to die...soon.

Yes, I think I honor my parents in actions, in words, and even in thoughts. I still hope every day that Mom is proud of me. I have my own "great expectations" of my ability to follow the Fifth Commandment. And, as The Red Headed Rebbetzin pointed out in her article, "Being Who We Are," I'm no Moses. I don't have to be Moses. I don't even have to be great. I just have to be the best me that I can be. And if the Universe wants to tap into my thoughts and drop signs to remind me of my Mom, I say, go ahead. It isn't difficult to find Mom on my mind.

She is always on my mind.

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