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Lessons of Love

By: Marlayna decorative heart

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I should share a story about a person that I love dearly- my mom!

It’s about what started out as an act of love for her,  ended up also becoming Lesson of Love for me.

Happy Valentines Day, everybody!


For as long as I can remember, I have had a hard time asking for help.

One of the main reasons I haven’t liked asking for help was because I didn’t want to burden anybody else with the task of helping me, particularly if it involved a situation “I created”.  But then I realized something.  Failing to ask for help not only shackles me to the problem, making it more difficult to keep moving forward, but it also ties the hands of those around me that want to help.

But then, as I was preparing to post my mom’s story, I had an epiphany…

I realized that ASKING for help is really offering an invitation to achieve greatness in disguise, and those who accept it have the opportunity to realize their own potential and achieve more than they ever thought was possible.  — I guess after all these years my mom is still teaching me a thing or two.

You see, almost 2 years ago I made a special birthday wish. It was what I’d call a “2-fer”.  You know, 2 wishes in 1. I hoped to inspire my friends and family to get out and be more active while raising money to fund our Skinny Gene Birthday Wishes program, which provides financial assistance to those in need of nutrition education and support to prevent type 2 diabetes.

me and mom

Truth be told, I had my mom in mind when I created the part of the wish to get moving. But my mom was also the one person I was afraid to ask to participate. Mom has always been a very busy person, but over the years her health has made it difficult for her to remain active.  Her frequent migraines and sensitivity to heat and sun exposure make it difficult for her to participate in many outdoor activities. In fact, being outside can make her downright miserable.

Needless to say, I was both relieved and pleased when my mom accepted my first birthday challenge to walk 3.4 miles (in one day) for my birthday.  Not only did she say yes, she took it seriously. She went to the gym and started exercising to make sure she wouldn’t have any problems on the “big day”.  She also recruited her office staff, friends, and local business to participate in my wish.  In total, she walked 40 miles during my birthday month and raised $1,300 in donations. And this was just the beginning!!!

Last year, in 2012, my mom made her own challenge –  do a “tri-city walk”.  She set a goal of walking 418 miles, the

Mom's 2012 walkequivalent distance from San Antonio (where she lives) to Austin, to Houston, and back home. She used a pedometer to track her distance and kept a running tally of her monthly totals. At the end of the year, we added it all up and realized that she had walked a total of 760 miles, surpassing her tri-city walk goal, and actually walking the equivalent distance from San Antonio, through New Mexico, and past the Arizona border.

This year, my mom is once again raising the bar. She is determined to walk 760 more miles in 2013. My mom will start where she left off in 2012 (around Bowie, Arizona) and continue all the way to San Diego, California -where her granddaughter lives. She has also donated $760 and hopes to raise  an additional $760 for the Skinny Gene Birthday Wishes rogram.

Nyiah mom 2

Not bad for a”68 year old grandma” who 2 years ago trained to walk 3.4 miles in 1 day, eh!!!!

If somebody had told my mom, you’re going to walk 1,520 miles in 2 years, she would never have believed it;  neither would I.

By accepting my initial birthday challenge, she accepted the opportunity to unlock her own potential and achieve more than she ever thought was possible.-Way to go mom! I’m proud of you!

The Lesson of Love…that (real) love is rarely one-sided. When we have the courage to act out of love, what we receive in return is often times greater than we could ever imagine.

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