"Believe you can fly, and you will!" — Mom

Location: Roberto Clemente Bridge, Pittsburgh, PA / Photo by Jimmy Wayne

"Believe you can fly, and you will!" —Mom
During summer months in Northern New Mexico, Mom worked three jobs to make ends meet, provide the basics for our family and pay for two masters degrees, which she earned during summer school at a college four hours away from our small town.

During the school year, she held a full-time job as an elementary school teacher while taking night classes and investing time into me and my sister. 

Daily, she challenged us to learn, grow, save, take care of what we earned ("a stitch in time ..." ) and take care of ourselves: body, mind and spirit.

A goal setter and hard worker in every aspect of her life, she has always been sensible, frugal, kind, generous, and she always thinks of the future —hers, and the futures of those she loves. 

All she has, she earned, and she equipped me and my sister with a fierce work ethic, competitive spirit and high expectations for ourselves and those around us. 

Over her 20 + years in education, she worked her way from elementary school teacher to high school principal to superintendent of her school district, the position from which she retired just three years ago. After retirement, she took a "part time" job teaching at a local private school which soon became a 40-hour-a-week labor of love.

I am who I am today because of her. She is a fearless woman who never cut corners, or took anything for free. While firm in her expectations for excellence, she warmly encouraged us at every turn, reassuring us there wasn't anything we couldn't accomplish if we focused and worked hard. 

Thinking of mom today — Sunday, a day of reflection and of preparation for the week ahead — I'm inspired to share one of my favorite quotes of hers because maybe someone out there needs to hear it.

"Believe you can fly, and you will!" —Mom