Mom was wiser than she realized

My mother died one year ago tomorrow.

My niece Carol — her primary caregiver and one of several grandchildren and great-grandchildren that my parents raised — and I went through mother’s modest possessions trying to decide who would want what.

None of her six kids, 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren or six great-great-grandchildren is starving, so there was no bickering.

I did request one particular item: A sheet of handwritten notes — from a TV sermon — tucked inside one of her many Bibles.

I didn’t know it until Carol told me after the funeral, but in the third grade mother answered a question wrong and her teacher made her sit in the corner wearing a dunce cap.

The rest of her life she never overcame the feeling of being dumb.

Her scribbled notes symbolize her lifelong drive to measure up.

Although the Depression and farm work prevented mother from advancing beyond the ninth grade, I hope to someday be as “dumb.”

Here are Faye Sloan’s notes:

• What you tolerate, you won’t change.

• What you respect you will attract into your life.

• Your rewards in life are determined by the problems you solve for others.

• What you are willing to walk away from determines what God will bring to you.

• What you make happen for others God will make happen for you.