Thanks For The Tools, Mom

May 13, 2012 No Comments by AJ Ogaard


Thank you, mom, for being there for me and making a difference in my life.

My mother, in many ways, reminded me of Lucille Ball. She was silly, funny, full of life; and creative, talented and caring, too. To this day, when ‘I Love Lucy’ comes on I think of her. I lost my mother when I was 17, but she made a huge difference in my life in the short amount of time we had together.

My mother was my ‘difference maker.’  Was she perfect?  No. Was she a saint? Hell no. Did she make a difference in my life? Absolutely – yes!

The things she taught me and instilled in me have helped shape the man I am today. She spent time with me and shared things she knew where going to be of value and necessary for me to survive and take care of myself.

My mother, like many mothers, had a built-in radar. She told me often, and proved it by knowing what I was thinking. There were times I thought, “Why are you wasting my time with showing me how to do this?” (Clean the shower, do the dishes, get ready to go.)  Then one day, she looked at me and said, “I know you feel I am wasting your time and you may wonder why I share these things with you.” (Radar alert.) My mother explained she wanted to make sure I could take care of myself and would never have to depend on anyone. She was helping me become strong and independent. I didn’t realize, at the time, how much of what she taught me would become so valuable. (Yes, ladies, I know how to cook.)

me and mom

The Toolbox Guy with his mom

It’s Quality Not Quantity

We did not have a lot of time together but my mom made an effort to teach me the basics: how to cook, clean, do my laundry, make my bed and have respect for the things in my world. But there was so much more she gave me that can’t be found in any school book about life. Many of the things she shared can’t be seen, touched or felt, and the gifts she gave me I have passed on to my son and many others.

Things my ‘Momma’ taught me:

Basic Boot Camp

  • Cook my meals
  • Clean my room
  • Do my laundry
  • Respect my appearance

Real Business 

  • Treat people with respect
  • Follow through
  • Be creative
  • Be open minded
  • Act / be successful
  • Help others but don’t give away your business

Real Life

  • How to laugh and be silly
  • NO topic of discussion was off limits
  • Share and give back
  • Care and protect
  • Respect yourself and others
  • Be humble
  • Look to the future

I admired, appreciated and looked up to my mother.  If it were not for her I would not be the man I am today. She made a tremendous impact in my life and was in many ways my best friend.

On this special day for mothers I wanted to share with you how important my mother was to me.  Take a moment to appreciate someone special in your life that has made a difference to you. It may not be your mother; it may be a relative, friend, teacher, coach or sibling. Whoever that special someone is, reach out and say “Thanks.”

Thank you – everyone – for letting me share.

Who is your “difference maker?”