I know this appears as a predictable post considering Mother’s Day is soon but if any of you know me or have seen me speak, or even read my book, you would know about my Mom! In fact, and with no attempt at humility, I have very often stated that my story is really my Mom’s story because without her attitude, I wouldn’t have mine! Totally True!
I have written here about my Mom before but this post has a slight twist. If you read my last blog about “Missing In Action”, you would have seen I have been in writing funk for everything as my sensitivity to society is quite tuned into the pulse of people and society has been in a funk since Donald Trump entered the picture. So when I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned I’d be focusing on a much more positive mindset here and it would always be connected to my new branding exercise, “Alvin Law’s Beyond Limits”! What I find amusing is when the professional expert we hired and my wife and I deliberated the new branding, “Beyond Limits” had nothing to do with my Mom. It had and has everything to do with what I encourage my clients to do with their lives by observing mine! It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I realized that I wouldn’t be able to push people Beyond Limits if my Mom hadn’t made me go beyond mine!
Hilda Law was the real deal! Specifically for those of you who don’t know, Hilda Law was not my first mother. Sophie Pacholko was. Sophie gave birth to me and is the one who was given Thalidomide that caued me to be born without arms. She was also profoundly impacted by my deformities, along with the entire family and doctors advised I be institutionalized. So they signed papers that made me a ward of the Province of Saskatchewan and I was supposed to spend my life in a special needs hospital. I didn’t because of Hilda Law! Hilda and her husband, Jack Law, had started fostering abused and neglected children in their modest home in Yorkton, Saskatchewan so in one of life’s great stories of Destiny, I was taken in by the Laws and what was supposed to be very short term placement changed the entire pathway of my life.
Clearly, this was a compassionate gesture to open a foster home and an even bigger one to take in an armless newborn in 1960! That year is mentioned intentionally, albeit not a “specific” year, but more specifically, an era! When I mention being abandoned in my talk, people audibly gasp, which makes sense. How could somebody just “dump” their own child just because he had no arms? First, people judge others way too much. I was actually “never” surprised I was given away. I assumed they had a very good reason and I “never” judged my birth mother. Frankly, I was shocked somebody would want me! But even the biggest crystal ball could never have predicted what that twist in fate would achieve.
I understand all the fundamentals. My Mom, Hilda Law (I always call Sophie my birth mom), was a full time foster parent so she was home all the time and was there whenever I needed her. She showed me tenderness, affection, attention and without devices, the Internet or cable, mindfulness and consciousness. Not so glowingly, she also tended to treat me like her “job”. That was actually huge! Please let me explain and I am completely aware I have talked and written about this before.
The clear majority of women like my birth mother, Sophie, were racked with guilt for causing their baby’s birth defects by ingesting Thalidomide. I can say that’s ludicrous, but I’m not them! Why I make this observation is that guilt often overrode their ability to push the “Thalidomide Babies”, even when they grew up! Makes perfect sense. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Hilda Law was devoid of guilt. She had a mission. Do what she could to “foster” independence. Could she have predicted the outcome of who I am today? Obviously not. The vital point is, she focused on the mission and nothing, absolutely “nothing” deterred her. I know how fortunate I was. I didn’t always know it then! She was tough! It was so worth it!
When I discuss “Raising The Bar”, I know it’s a bit of a cliche. Don’t care! It IS a mindset. My Mom always thought of it this way: “Whatever you learned today means you can learn more tomorrow and whatever you accomplished today takes away your excuse for not trying something else tomorrow!” By the way, if you are absolutely content with who you are, awesome! I’m absolutely “not” suggesting everyone but me is a loser! I just believe that if every single human being made a commitment to themselves to grow, they would be a better person and if we all did that, logic suggests the world grows too. It already has. The world’s view of Alvin Law is drastically different than in 1960 and that’s because so many things are better. It also because of Hilda Law and her complete dedication to not only changing my future, but Never, Ever, Giving Up!
Hilda Law left her earthly body on March 22, 1996. I miss her every day. I am also thankful every day for the gift of her. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!💝