My mother always had good advice for me – for everyone actually. She gave every girl in the neighborhood a good talk before each got married. She taught every boy how to treat a girl well.
My mother knew a lot and was not afraid to share it with others. She learned much from her life and was eager to teach it to those she thought needed it. No one was safe from her advice. Especially me.
As the only daughter, she saw me as the one who really needed teaching. I got a lesson nearly every day. It was important that I grew up benefitting from all her knowledge.
And it was all good. Some of her advice was standard stuff, like “A stitch in time saves nine.” No sense reinventing the wheel, she thought, when most things are tried and true.
But some of her advice was life-changing and learned through hard experience. She always told me to keep a quarter in my shoe (to make a phone call home) and to never depend on anyone else to get myself home.
This good counsel would come to my aid one night during my senior year in high school. I was on a date with a boy I knew well, and we were out with another couple. We had gone to a movie (drive-in theatre, in those days) and were on our way home. I needed to use the restroom, so we stopped at a gas station in a very remote area.
While I was in the restroom, the two boys thought it would be funny to drive away. When I came out, no one was there. I was scared to death.
Then I remembered my mother’s words. I got the quarter out of my shoe and called my dad, who came immediately to pick me up. Just as he arrived, my date came back.
Needless to say, I went home with my dad and I never dated that boy again.
From then on, I always had money for a phone call and was never in a situation where I could not get myself home. Meaning I was never too drunk, too high, too isolated, too intimidated or too penniless to take care of myself. Never!!
Today my mother’s advice still rings in my ear when I leave home for any reason. Good counsel is good counsel at any age.