IT NEVER HURTS TO BE NICE

Today would have been my mom’s 85th birthday. I thought about her all day. She died almost exactly six months ago – on Easter Sunday. 

I could write a hundred stories about Mom. She was unfailingly helpful – an intentional mother, careful and thorough. And up until a year ago, very involved in the daily details of our lives.

On the back of her funeral program, there was a saying – one of my mom’s favorites: “It never hurts to be nice.” Six words that sum up a whole life, for she was as nice and compassionate and charitable as they come. And in the process, she never sewed hurt. She gave healing, comfort, encouragement and praise wherever she went. She was a constant in our ever-changing world, and there’s no way to overstate how important that was to us.

Like Abraham Lincoln, a lot of people assign the qualities of an angel to their mother. Well, if an angel is someone who puts other people before themselves, who rushes to your side when you need help, who makes you feel good, seeing the best in you and overlooking the worst; If an angel is someone who shuns worldliness, who inspires goodness, who is loyal and constant and unfailingly good-natured; if an angel is tactful and sweet and tolerant and patient and continually optimistic, then my mother qualifies.

She invested the majority of her time in developing the only two things that last – her character and her family. There are no companies in Heaven, no clubs or associations. There are no wards or stakes, as far as I know. We can’t take our careers with us, awards or accolades, homes, cars, decorations or clothing. The central unit of all creation, in time and all eternity, and the only one that will stand the test of time, is the family, and our mother was determined that ours would some day ‘sit down in Heaven together.’

My mom died on Easter Sunday. On that day, the resurrection meant more to me than it ever has. Because He lives, my mother lives. Because He lives, we will be reunited with her some day. Because He lives, there are personal victories over disappointment, discouragement, pain, sorrow, and suffering of every kind.

Perhaps the greatest thing my mom did for me was to teach me to have faith in Jesus Christ. It is this faith that has always sustained me, and will continue to sustain me. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the surest, most secure and infallible truth on earth and in Heaven, and I am grateful beyond words for it. And for my mother, who not only taught me to believe, but was a living, breathing, constant example of true Christianity.

Shawna Edwards

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