My mom passed away on July 7th (one of the big reasons my blog entries have been sparse lately.) While I miss her smile, her strength, and her nobility, I will never forget the many surprising life lessons I learned during her final days.
Mom had a way of getting right to the point, and she reminded me many times that you build a successful life by taking care of every relationship you have no matter how small. The lessons must have rubbed off on my dad, who put Mom's leadership theory into practice in an impressive way.
One of Mom's great joys was singing with the Sweet Adelines. For over 15 years she practiced, performed, competed, and shared life with these special ladies, even up to a month before her death...so it was only fitting that Mom was buried in her favorite Sweet Adelines' shirt. We asked her group to sing at Mom's wake and the sound they produced that night still gives me goosebumps.
Days later, after the funeral when all the family and friends have gone back to their regular lives, Dad drove over to the Sweet Adelines' rehearsal space. It must have been a lonely ride, the first time he had made a visit without Mom there, but he had a purpose. He went there to say "thank you." Thanks for so many things that were good and real and true in their relationship. Dad was just following though for Mom.
It was a simple gesture that profoundly shows how important the "follow-through" is in our everyday relationships. A quick visit, an unexpected compliment, a promise kept, an offer to help when your time is precious--these are the gifts that others appreciate far more than the trinkets and toys that typically define our relationships' worth.
Think about the "follow-through" with your family, friends, coworkers, even customers. I'll guarantee that you'll be long remembered.