My mom was an elementary school teacher and military spouse for 26 years in the Air Force. She always put her family and her students before herself. Unfortunately, in 2007, she lost a 5 year battle with breast cancer. She was an inspiration to everyone her life touched and I try to carry on her legacy by following 4 lessons/mottos she taught me, and inspiring others to do the same:
1_Live Life to the Fullest and Have No Regrets
Life can be very short, especially for those of us in the military. My mom taught me to be adventurous and to push myself to do things out of my comfort zone. Shortly after one of her chemo treatments our family took a trip to Six Flags and despite her being weak and her fear of heights, she still rode roller coasters and even did a bungee drop ride.
2_Never Lose Hope
In life, you have no idea what hand you’re going to be dealt. My mom fought her battle against cancer for 5 long years and in the face of adversity she remained positive and optimistic. She never lost her smile or her fight. That attitude inspired me each time deployment was extended, and helped me remain focused on the mission.
My mom taught me to give your whole heart to everything that you do. Every relationship and every cause. We are all flawed and we need to learn to accept one another for who we are. Love one another unconditionally.
4_Leave a Positive Mark on our World
She showed me the importance of finding purpose in life. Find something that gives your life meaning and set goals to move towards it. When you leave this world, make sure you leave it better off than before you came into it. My mom’s purpose in life was to serve and inspire others. No matter how sick she got, she continued to work because she loved her students.
About the Author: Brad Osmun
Brad, a former Navy helicopter pilot (MH- 60R), now serves as a company officer leading 150 midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. He recently became trained and certified as a TMF Ambassador for the Character Does Matter program where he “hope(s) to have some sort of an impact on the lives of our future leaders while doing something I’m passionate about.”