A Gift to be Simple

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“You are the best thing in the world and I love you very much.” – My Mom

Mom says this or variations of this to me at least ninety-one times a day.

If you ask her, she doesn’t know how old she is. And, when you tell her ninety-one, she says, like every woman on this planet would say,  “Not me, you are talking about somebody else … not me!”

So, my only explanation for how she repeats herself around ninety-one times a day is that it is just meant to be.

In one simple line, mom gives me all I need to keep going and going strong. No, not just strong, but best-in-the-world-strong. Can’t let your mom down, can you? It has become my mantra and when she is not telling me, I repeat it to myself, over and over and over.


Speaking of simple, here’s my mom’s (and my sister’s) favorite song. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard them sing it together. And they would always teach anyone in their presence how to sing it with them. They would always stand and do a little dance in perfect unison when they sang … especially on the turning, turning part.

So, here’s a gift from mom and me to you. It’s an old Shaker folk song that was sung at Obama’s inauguration, Simple Gifts.

Don’t forget to turn!

‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free,

‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

‘Till by turning, turning we come round right.

At 91, my mom is counting on me. And, with just a few words and many unspoken ways, she’s telling me she is counting on me … ninety-one times a day.

“You are the best thing in the world and I love you very much.”

It’s that simple.

About Tom Laughon

Tom Laughon (Pronounced Lawn) is President of Catch Your Limit, an organization whose sole purpose is to guide and grow leaders. His journey from lead singer in a rock-n-roll band, to a successful career in marketing & advertising to consultant, strategist, keynote speaker, facilitator, professor and writer is a fascinating one. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Tom and his team guide organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to national associations, to "catch their limit" in areas such as leadership development, creativity, innovation, teaming and transformational change. His commitment to "practice what he preaches" has made Catch Your Limit a petri dish for round-the-clock discovery and learning. The firm's brand reflects Tom's personal brand: Fun, Inspirational, Strategic & Hot!

3 responses »

  1. Bion Schouten

    Sounds like you’ve got a hand full there, and she wouldn’t still be here if she wasn’t! My mom lived til she was 93, and was the same way….Now, I find I’m starting to take the shorter steps, myself! Especially on the days I’m feeling about 91…


  2. Maybe that’s it! Mom is taking smaller steps so I can keep up with her. Thanks, Bion


  3. Bob Argabright

    I enjoyed reading about the day. Let me know how I can help!!! Is she going to adult day care? What are the best times to visit?Dee enjoyed reading the Blog as well



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