May 24, 2013

Personal Leadership

It is probably fitting that I will be attending a Memorial service this Memorial Day weekend.  The service is for my mother-in-law, Mary Wolfe, who died on her birthday at the age of 95.

Mary was one of those special ladies.  She was not CEO of a company, a war hero or a major political figure.  She was instead an elegant woman of integrity, grace and personal leadership.

Like many women her generation, Mary was a stay-at-home mom, who made sure her children were fed, dressed, well-behaved and educated.  She provided good healthy dinners for her husband and children at 6:00 every evening. She indulged her grandchildren, including my two kids, with her time, sunny disposition and endless delicious meals and treats. She seemed happy and took pride in her role.  When her 3 children went off to college, she decided she had to receive a college education herself so that she could keep up with them; she must have been the oldest graduating student in her class at Skidmore College in 1969.

Mary demonstrated leadership in her life and community. She was a major force in her church, taking on roles such as directing the preschool program, Sunday school classes or the numerous charitable events that occurred in their semi-rural upstate New York community.  She was never one to say no if asked, and her boundless energy never ceased to amaze me.

We often forget to acknowledge the people in our lives who exhibit strong leadership every day. People who demonstrate committment, take on responsibilities for their communities, families and friends. People with strong integrity, compassion and engagement.

Thank you, Mary, for your personal leadership. You are loved and dearly missed.

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