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'Tis the Gift to be Simple...


On this Mother's Day weekend, it seems fitting to pause and appreciate the gift of being blessed with an amazing mother. Sandy Self, my Momma, (pictured above surrounded by her three kiddos) walked this earth for just over five decades. She passed away at the age of 51 (an age that seems increasingly young as my own age continues its upward trajectory) after a valiant and heroic battle with breast cancer. It has now been over 20 years since she took her last breath. But, her memory and her impact lives on.


She was BEAUTIFUL & KIND, BRAVE & COURAGEOUS. She LOVED GOD & OTHERS. She possessed an UNWAVERING FAITH. She SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER and was A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS. She epitomized STRENGTH IN PAIN.


The world would undoubtedly be a better place if there were more mothers, more humans, with her honorable attributes.


In the years prior to her death, she developed a fondness for the Shaker hymn, "Simple Gifts."


'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the 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 gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed;

to turn, turn, will be our delight.

Till by turning, turning we come round right.


With a clarity that can perhaps only be gained from facing a terminal illness head-on, Momma came to recognize that, while there are countless distractions, few are the matters of true importance. In a very real sense, we are all facing a terminal illness. We may not have a definitive diagnosis just yet, but all of our days are numbered. May "we come round right" and, like Momma, appreciate the "gift to be simple... the gift to be free."

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