|Shanna Rae Mathis Durfey, mother to Dana Brooks and Diane Card (co-owners of My Lazy Daisy)|
With Mother's Day just around the corner, we thought it would be a great idea to have our co-owners, Dana Brooks and Diane Card (who also happen to be sisters) share some of the things they loved most about their mother, Shanna Durfey. We have no doubt you will enjoy their memories and reflections as you read their tributes, and that they just might spark a few happy thoughts and memories of your own mother.
We all know the story of the princess finding true love and living happily ever after. My childhood story is much the same, all about love, dreams and words of encouragement. My mother Shanna Rae Mathis Durfey was a woman who made dreams come true. She taught me to love others and always gave me words of wisdom and encouragement. Although her life was short, dying with cancer at 51 (eeek! Almost my age) her legacy lives on. Her legacy continues and every day I am reminded of her greatness. She was driven, compassionate, kind, understanding, fun, exciting, creative, musical, as well as strong and full of courage. In her dying moments, when I was feeling cheated and sorry for myself she reminded me of the wonderful memories we had together. For 25 years we were the best of friends. I stopped and pondered that thought and realized I had no regrets. I was blessed to have the most beautiful mother in the whole world, one who gave me a lifetime of memories filled with laughter, tradition, hopes, dreams, and joy. I was given talents to share with others, many of the same talents my mother was given. Although I miss her every day I have many memories and the legacy she left for me and my posterity. I will forever remember my mother, and the sacrifices in her life and her death which give me strength and encourage me to continue my journey and leave a legacy never to be forgotten. Mother's Day is the day set aside to squeeze, hug, spoil, share, praise, reflect, laugh and then sit back and wait 364 more days to do it again. Happy Mothers Day!
10 Life Lessons from My Mother
1. The World is Your Oyster. My mother grew up in the town of Loa, Utah, a small farming community just outside Capitol Reef National Park. She married her high school sweetheart and the two of them ventured to California, Hawaii, and a mix of big cities and small towns in Utah, before settling down on the western plains of Alberta, Canada. Although she eventually relocated back to Utah, her willingness to move and travel helped me realize the world is my oyster and to not be afraid to experience all that life and this world has to offer.
2. Marvel at the Beauty of the Earth. My mother loved the mountains and I remember spending many summer nights at the foot of the beautiful Canadian Rockies, camping, hiking and sitting by a campfire. She taught me to respect Mother Earth and always marvel at her beauty.
3. Be Educated. My mother was the valedictorian of her high school graduating class. She attended Brigham Young University until she married. She was a strong support to my father and a big reason he was able to pusue his education, ultimately receiving his Ph.D. At home, my mother always had a book that she was reading and was always interested in learning about life, people and the world we live in. Although she was never able to receive that degree she wanted, she always stressed to me the importance of education which is a big reason I pursued and ultimately obtained my college and post-graduate degrees.
4. Music is the Key to the Soul. My mother was an accomplished violinist and loved music. I play the piano and for many years, she made great sacrifice to help pay for piano lessons and to take me to weekly lessons in larger cities where I could pursue my passion for music under the best music teachers and professors.
5. Say Yes, Unless there’s a Reason to Say No. My mother helped me experience life by living the motto to say “yes” unless ther was a reason to say “no.” I don’t ever remember asking her why and hearing ,“Because I Said So.” This helped me better understand limitations and see endless possibilites.
6. Welcome Diversity Into Your Life. Despite living in fairly homogenous communities, my mother had wonderful, diverse friends – from native Hawaiians to the Canadian Hutterites. In college, I also had a wonderful, diverse group of friends. My mother always welcomed these friends into her home, no matter their background, race, ethnicity or religion.
7. A Woman Can Do It All. My mother was the ultimate homemaker. She baked bread, sewed clothes, quilted, canned and gardened. But she didn’t stop there. She was active in the community, participated in local orchestras and events, and was active in her church. She worked outside the home. From dental assistant to entrepreneur and office manager, she helped me realize that it is possible for a woman to have a family, be active in the community and pursue a career.
8. Give The Gift of Time. I always felt I was the most important person in my mother’s life, but I am pretty sure my brothers and sister felt the same. Much of the reason for this is the time she spent with us. I don’t remember school activities, piano recitals or any other important events where she was not there supporting me.
9. True Christians Do More than Go to Church on Sunday. My mother was a devout follower of Christ, although she wasn’t afraid to use colorful language every now and again. I remember her spending plenty of Sunday afternoons at nursing homes and in the hospital visiting the sick. She was close friends to the widows in our neighborhood and helped me understand that being a Christian means more than just going to church on Sunday.
10. You Must Discover For Yourself Who You Are. I was a rebellious, restless teenager. The path I followed that ultimately helped me figure out who I was, was not the path that my mother would have chosen for me. As hard as it was, she wisely understood that everyone must discover for themselves who they are. She stood by me through my mistakes and setbacks with encouragement and love, realizing that everyone has to figure out for themselves who they are and the path they must take in this life.
In the words of George Washington, “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” And so it is with me. My mother was taken from this earth far too early. She was diagnosed with a rare form of Sarcoma cancer at the young age of 49. Her body finally succumbed to the disease at 51. I was 20 years old, attending my first year of law school and just a few days away from my first set of finals, when the news came. Twenty five years later, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I see her hand and influence continuing to guide me and am grateful for the impact she still has on my life, even from beyond the great divide.