Darkness and light 27 -Mama was, in her own idiom, "a ring-tailed tooter". She was intense and efficient, quick, achievement oriented, ambitious, enthusiastic, hot headed with a tendency to put foot in mouth when under stress. She taught me so much good stuff from her best self, like to do the work first, then play, to be fiercely loyal, exactly how to season beef stew, that no problem is so scary it can't be talked through, and to dress to please myself not anybody else. But I think the most important thing she taught me is a lesson she wished she hadn't had to teach. Mama said some pretty hurtful things to me over the years. When she screwed up she did it on a big scale and it hurt alot. AND, when she screwed up, Mama owned her error as soon as she came to her senses, apologized, made consistent amends, and worked hard if not totally effectively at not repeating mistakes. She did repeat apologies.
It is true that prevention is the best cure, and our mistakes really do hurt others. I strive and hope to keep better control of my tongue and actions than Mama did, AND the most important lesson I learned from her is that it does matter what I do after I screw up. Self pity and defensiveness, self-castigation and guilt don't do any good. Honest claiming of my errors, apology, and amends do. I am glad I learned from my Mamar that I don't surrender responsibility or the ability to make a difference for good once I make a mistake and hurt somebody's feelings. I'm glad she taught me to keep taking responsibility for the impact of my actions