This is a personal blog and has little to do with project management except that my mother was the best project manager that I have ever met .
On a good day, I am sure you spent a lot of time trying to figure out which cabbage plant you found me under. I never really thought that I fit anywhere in the family until I spent the last 14 days or so with Aunt Ruth. I have transitioned to calling her Ruth or Ruthie and I can feel the ‘Gibb’s smack’ on the back of my head. I have discovered that I carry more Wallace traits than Young traits. It is surprising to be able to connect specific traits to your lineage. It isn’t looks, gestures or attitudes. It is values, history, and stories. When you left this world, you left us with the richest memories that anyone could have.
When I was a single mother, you stood by me as you provided my daughter with a safe haven every summer. If anything had happened to me, you would have been her port in a storm. You worked with me to provide her with a ‘bolt hole’ where regardless of the situation all she had to do was give your phone number and the bed that I slept in as a child would have been hers until she left home. There are so many parents who would have told me that it was my problem and that I should just ‘suck it up’. You understood without being asked that my daughter needed you more than I did. You stepped up and gave her a place that was uniquely hers and she grew to know that you would back her regardless of the situation. I often remember you telling me that ‘if I was in the docket for murder that you would be in the front row offering support’. I will never be in the docket for murder but you have always backed me regardless of how dumb you thought the decision was. In fact, my siblings have benefited from the same support.
There are so many children who are on the outs with their parents. You and dad weren’t perfect but none of us are. I am an adult child of parents. Parents are people who learn on the fly. I remember looking at my daughter and thinking ‘boy .. I hope that I don’t screw this up”. I am sure you felt the same. I know that your example made me a better parent, a better boss, a better employee and a better member of the human race.
While I didn’t agree with all your decisions, you taught me ‘that every decision I ever made was a good decision, given the knowledge and experience I had the day I made the decision.’
I learned more from you than from anyone else in my life. Like every child, I am left with the feeling that I never told you how much I valued you. When we were going through the kitchen drawers, we found the Cowboy’s Prayer. You had typed it out so I know you valued it. As I read this prayer, I understand everything you tried to tell me as a child.
Oh Lord, I’ve never lived where churches grow.
I loved creation better as it stood that day you finished it so long ago
And looked upon your work and called it good.
I know that others find you in the light that’s sifted down through tinted window panes,
And yet I seem to feel you near tonight in this dim, quiet starlight on the plains.
I thank you, Lord, that I am placed so well, that you have made my freedom so complete; that I’m no slave of whistle, clock, or bell,
Nor weak-eyed prisoner of wall and street, just let me live my life as I’ve begun
And give me work that’s open to the sky; make me a pardner of the wind and sun,
And I won’t ask a life that’s soft or high.
Let me be easy on the man that’s down; let me be square and generous with all.
I’m careless sometimes, Lord, when I’m in town, but never let ’em say I’m mean or small!
Make me as big and open as the plains, as honest as the hawse between my knees,
Clean as the wind that blows behind the rains, free as the hawk that circles down the breeze!
Forgive me, Lord, if sometimes I forget. You know about the reasons that are hid.
You understand the things that gall and fret; you know me better than my mother did.
Just keep an eye on all that’s done and said; And right me, sometimes, when I turn aside, and guide me down the long, dim trail ahead that stretches upward toward the Great Divide.
I won’t miss you because your memories are with me every day, your wise counsel is part of my consciousness, and your attitude is readily visible in my grandchildren. When I forget, they will remind me.
I thank you for backing every decision that I made whether you believed in it or not. While you walk the low road to Scotland, those of us on the high road will remember you always. You have impacted more lives than you know.