By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
As we grow older and time moves forward, we come to appreciate the special individuals that helped shape our lives. We are also reminded of our own mortality as those loved ones pass from our lives. On January 15th, 2008, my mother passed away, having lived a long and diverse life that influenced so many others. She was born in Germany in 1921 and as a holocaust survivor, she endured with the resilience of a very strong woman. Are we born with that kind of strength? In my mother’s case I would say yes, evidently. What does it take to endure that kind of history? She never spoke of what happened there, except through an occasional slip that made me understand a little, but not all, of the full story.
My mother’s strength often causes me to reflect upon my own life—where I’ve been, what I’ve done and how her experiences helped formulate my own strengths. I remember my life as a child and how she was always there to protect me from getting hurt or patching me up when I did. When I started school, she was there to make sure I had the materials necessary to get ahead. During my teen years I was well versed in what I should do and shouldn’t do. I went to college and was fully supported in my desire to learn and given the guidance needed to grow. Life moved fast after my formal education concluded, bringing marriage, children and varied career pursuits. No matter what I did, no matter how I did it and no matter why I did it, my mother was behind me. With 28 years of retailing and publishing experience under my belt and 3 children and 6 grandchildren, one factor had remained consistent—a solid set of values— compliments of my mother. Those values allowed me to move forward and push through the challenges that life presents with integrity and wisdom.
Throughout the 58 years of my life, my mother had always been there and continues to be there in spirit. Although I have lost a friend, a confidant and my biggest cheerleader, her influence will be reflected in my day-to-day life and in the ethics with which I deal in business. As Mother’s Day approaches, let the teachings that our role models instilled in us be prevalent in our actions, not to be forgotten or taken for granted. Treat others today as you want to be treated tomorrow, love today as you want to be loved tomorrow and respect others today as you want to be respected forever.
Happy Mother’s Day,