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Leader of the Month: Amy Sandel

Posted on 11 September 2017

Everybody thinks their mom is the greatest.  That’s because not everybody has met my mom, Ellen.  I’m sorry if you’ve ever bought your mother a “World’s Greatest Mom” gift; you’ll have to return it.  My mom is greater than Muhammad Ali.  She’s the eight wonder of the world.  Chuck Norris calls her for advice.  She is the best, hands down – and you know why?  Because she’s ordinary.

 My mom has always had an ordinary life: she grew up in a Midwest town with a God-fearing family, became a teacher, got married, and had a child.  She has spent much of her adult life cooking, cleaning, looking after family, friends, students, and doing normal everyday things that all moms do.  However, it’s not necessarily what my mom does; it’s how she does it.

 No, she hasn’t cured a disease or won a prestigious award or traveled all over the world.  Although those things are wonderful, those things are not her.  However, what she has done is fed me, clothed me, gave me an education, and taught me right and wrong.  She’s helped out friends in need of anything from a cup of sugar to a ride to the airport.  She goes to church every Sunday and volunteers at the YMCA.  She spent over 45 years teaching and even continued teaching after retirement to help out a school in need.  She’s put God, her family, and her friends before herself.  Everything she does, she does with love.  Through her thoughtfulness, kindness, and selflessness, my mom has taken what people would consider an ordinary life and showed me how to live it extraordinarily through love.  She is my mentor, my best friend, and the greatest mom anyone could ask for.

I know I (unfortunately) didn’t inherit my mom’s talents for painting or cooking, but I hope I inherited at least a fraction of her graciousness and generosity.  A life lived in service to God and others is an extraordinary life indeed.  Every day I try to be an example; be a mentor.  Some days are harder than others, but in my mind, I hear my mom’s voice saying “Che sarà, sarà,” which translates from Italian to “What will be, will be.” She has always been there as my personal tour guide through life, and that is why she’s not only the world’s greatest mom, but also my greatest mentor.

So I apologize in advance for ruining your Mother’s Day gift ideas, but let’s be honest – does your mom really need another “Greatest Mom” mug anyway?! Maybe an even better gift idea is giving her a hug and telling her how great she is to you. Go out into the world and make her proud by turning your ordinary into extraordinary.

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