Remembering Mom and an Important Lesson She Taught Me

Eighteen years. How is it possible that my mother, Anna Alzo, has been gone for that long?  In some ways it feels like just yesterday as I kissed her forehead for the final time when I left her hospital room. But then, when I think about all that has happened to me and to the world since that September evening, I feel overwhelmed with emotion. 

I woke up this morning knowing this would be a tough day. The grief and pain of losing a loved one may ease over time, but it never totally disappears. Whenever I want to share happy news, discuss a problem or situation, or seek advice, I still find myself wanting to call or tell my mom. The void she left in my world when she passed away 18 years ago can never be filled.  But as I think about all of the memories of my mother, I know she is still watching over me and feel her presence in my life guiding every decision and cheering me on.

In 2015 I wrote a blog post, “”Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Mother.” 

On this anniversary of my mother’s passing, I decided to elaborate a bit on one of the lessons:  “Never Give Up” (#10 in the original list). 

In the 2015 blog post, I wrote:

“As genealogists we often hit “brick walls” in our research. We also encounter many obstacles in real life. In both instances, it is often tempting to give up when the going gets tough or a task seems impossible to accomplish.  My mother taught me to never give up and to just do my best and things will work out.”

I will be honest. This year I have been tempted to give up on a lot of things–research and writing projects, personal and professional plans, and other goals I set at the beginning of the year.  Whenever I feel this way, I ask myself “What would my mother would tell me to do?”  And I hear her voice saying, “Honey, it’s going to be okay. Have faith. Believe in yourself. Do your best and things will work out.”

So I did. 

This week I launched my new website, Research. Write. Connect. This site allows me to pursue my passion for teaching others how to research and write their family stories. It has been in the works for some time, but I always kept pushing it aside, or had other more pressing matters to deal with. I kept putting off taking the leap.  Thanks to the support of my husband and some chats with friends/colleagues over the past six months, I decided now was the right time.  It is no coincidence that I launched my new venture this week.  And I received my first course enrollment today!  (Again, I don’t think this was a coincidence).

Thank you, Mom. I am sorry you are not here to see the work I am doing, but I know you are with me…always.

Copyright, 2018, Lisa A. Alzo
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