Mourning Glory Podcast hosts Jennifer Thomas and Andrea Bear talk with Teresa Tomeo and about advice passed down from their loved ones who’ve passed away.
“Even if you’re poor, you can always be clean.” This was one of the many gems of wisdom my mother would give me as a child, especially when she was trying to make a point about appreciating what we had. Or “Always keep God in your heart” to remind me that I need to do all things with God in mind and to always love. It's advice like this I often miss hearing from my mom. She didn’t always have articulate or eloquent phrases, but her actions and even her simple words were the profound lessons I’ve taken with me to help me remember her.
Recently, Jennifer Thomas and I interviewed Teresa Tomeo, syndicated author and speaker, about her book Everything’s Coming up Rosie: Ten Things My Fiesty Italian-American Mom Taught Me About Living a Godly Life. Teresa, too, writes about the many lessons her mother Rosie shared over the years, and how these pieces of advice have become a key part of her own wisdom.
Teresa admits that writing the book was partly due to the fact that she and her mom rarely saw eye to eye and sometimes this strained their relationship, yet as Rosie came to the end of her life, Teresa appreciated her mom for who she was and came to accept her for her differences.
Reading Teresa’s book and listening to her share about her mother’s life lessons made me really think about the legacy our loved ones leave and the impressions they pass on, and it sparked the questions: What is our legacy? How do we use the time on this earth? Good or bad, how do we know if our actions have a lasting impact?
Reflecting on this episode, I realized that not only my mother but others have shaped me and formed me into the woman I’ve become today. Sometimes it can be someone we look up to like my mother or sometimes it can be a person one struggles with, but God knows we need both in our lives to help us get closer to Him.
There was this beautiful poem that I once read called “The Dash,” which talks about how at the end of our life, what matters most is not the years of when we lived but the dash in between our gravestone, for that is the part of our life that made the most difference. It also made me think about the legacy that we leave after we die.
I hardly need to be memorialized, but I hope if anything I hope my dash is passing on the lessons I’ve learned and now share with my children to help them grow in their faith and to always turn to God in all things. I pray they will see and know God is not far away. As my mother, Debbie Kapina, once said, “Always keep God in your heart.”
Listen to our full interview with Teresa:
Copyright 2023 Andrea Bear
About the Author
Andrea Bear is a wife, mom, and teacher in Stockton, California. In addition to CatholicMom.com, she also writes for HerLife Magazine and Catholic Stand. She recently completed her debut novel, Grieving Daughters Club. When she's not writing or taking her kids to volleyball practice you can find her sipping coffee from the neighborhood coffee establishments or tasting wine from the local vineyards. Visit AndreaBearAuthor.com.