The Absence of Postings in June

June 28, 2007 on 8:02 am | In Tributes | Comments Off

You may have noticed that there have been no postings this month. The month started out well as I went to Chicago to teach a class on Leadership at Argonne Labs on behalf of my good friend and business associate Dan Jacobs from the Federal Market Group. I was keeping in touch with family all week, but learned just as I was finishing up the last break of the last session on the last day (Friday the 8th) that my mother had passed away.

The loss of a parent is a completely unique experience. I realized that when my father died in 1981. When your second parent dies, you realize that you are officially an orphan. We even started probate of her will in Orphan’s Court in Howard County Maryland. I continue to get condolences from friends who learn about it, and some ask me if I’ve come to grips with it all.

I suppose the answer to that last question is – “no.” I don’t really choose to “come to grips with it” in the sense that they mean. I was always close to my mother in part because she lost two children to still birth between my youngest sister and me. I was thus the “baby” of the family even after two other siblings should have taken my place. We did a lot of things together, and she held me out of school for a year when I could have started early. My birthday is in January, so the school would have taken me. Instead my mother and I jumped on a train and went to New York to see the Christmas window displays. We took day trips around Baltimore to the Walter’s Art Gallery, to Fort McHenry, and to the B&O Train Museum. We took a train to Washington DC to see the monuments and the zoo. We spent a lot of time together.

Mom was always quick with mental math. I guess I inherited that. She taught me to play with numbers and to do calculations in my head for practice. To this day I constantly divide things into parts and calculate percentages – mileage, time, grades, whatever. Maybe that’s how I managed to score a 720 on the math portion of my SAT.

She loved to talk philosophy, politics, and religion. She taught me to think through my positions and to have my reasons. She enjoyed it when I would engage my father in similar discussions at the dinner table. Thanks to her – I was prepared.

So I will certainly miss her. I still think about her often, and I do miss our regular Sunday afternoon telephone calls. But as long as my memory of her remains, she is still alive. And if you have lost one or both parents, you understand. If not – you will, unfortunately, someday. For now, however, it is back to work. Clients to serve, problems to solve, and training to develop and deliver. And everyone who benefits from that, benefits from my mother’s influence on me. May she rest in peace.  Marie Jeanette Reid (1923 – 2007).

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