Joe Bonura, CSP
She Is Still Here
As I write this newsletter, I look across the room
and there neatly folded across a chair is MawMaw's blanket. She
was my mother-in-law, Dorothy Carroll Yokum, and to her grandchildren,
she was MawMaw.
I loved my mother-in-law and still miss her presence,
sense of humor, and heart-felt smile. She always called me her favorite
son-in-law. I guess that was because I was her only son-in-law.
My wife Carol was second in a line of six children -- the only girl.
Time, Patience, Love
MawMaw's blanket was stitched together with time,
patience, and love, just like her life. And with six children, five
of them boys, her life was all about time, patience, and love.
A Stitch In Time
I remember her sitting in her favorite chair, needles
in hand, knitting one stitch at a time. I cannot help but to compare
that process with life: You live your life one stitch at a time,
and the stitches of life resemble minutes, hours, days, weeks, months,
and years. When added together, the result is You.
The End Comes Before Beginning
MawMaw's blanket turns out to be the blanket she envisioned
when she picked up the needle to begin. She began with a pattern
or picture of the finished product. Although she did not read Stephen
Covey's book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,"
she knew to begin with the end in mind. What will the blanket look
like when she completed it?
Can You See It?
What is the pattern that you have chosen for your
life? Can you visualize it now? Whether you like it are not, when
you look at your life, you are seeing the pattern that you have
The Grey Twilight
Choose the right pattern, and you will become a beautiful
mosaic of a life. Choose the wrong pattern, and the outcome may
be a disaster. Most people choose the in-between pattern and end
up living in what Theodore Roosevelt called "The grey twilight
that knows neither victory nor defeat."
Stop and Go
If MawMaw had not completed the blanket, we would
have only a fragment of the blanket, and it would probably be kept
hidden in a drawer. She did not stop, but kept going one stitch
at a time until the job was complete. And because of her diligence,
we have a memento of her that we can proudly use and display in
It All Adds Up
Do you start and stop projects? Or, if you exercise
patience knowing that if you continue to knit one stitch at a time,
one minute at a time, your efforts will eventually add up to a successful
life. When I make sales calls, I do not concern myself with the
outcome of each call. I know that if I continue making the right
number of calls with the right message, the results will follow.
Recently, I decided to get serious about playing my
drums. I have been playing since I was a teenager but have seen
little improvement. So I went online, found a beginner video on
YouTube, and started with the basics. One of the first beats to
learn in drumming is the "paradiddle." My initial efforts
sounded more like a "paradoodle." But, each day I have
forced myself to practice, and just like MawMaw worked on her blanket
one stitch at a time, I worked on the drums one beat at a time.
Not There Yet
My first efforts were pathetic and clumsy as I tried
to manipulate the drum sticks, however, each day with practice,
I sound a bit better. I am not there yet, and will not be for some
time, but as the blanket took shape, I am encouraged to persist.
Who knows what miracles: someday, I may be on the main platform
at church setting the beat for the worship band?
Do not be discouraged by your first efforts; they
will always be awkward and clumsy. Remember when you learned to
drive a car? Find someone who is already performing at a high level
and observe and learn from him. You will begin to see improvements
and eventually, you will have successful results. My mother-in-law
knew from her past habits what successes to expect when she persisted
in her endeavors.
Finish the Piece
Your "life" blanket will start to take form,
and the small accomplishments will encourage you to finish the piece.
Through her blanket, MawMaw's legacy lives on. It comforts me when
I use her blanket to warm me while I read. It is also a comfort
to remember a loved one who touched my life in so many positive
What Will You Leave
What is your legacy? What will the blanket, which
you leave behind, say about you and the life you have lived?
© 2013 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.