Winning with Integrity – My Mother’s Way

Most of us can point to someone who guided our values. My parents believed that you weren’t really winning if your efforts weren’t ethical. You didn’t cheat in games, were honest, and respected others.

My mom knew when you weren’t telling the truth or acting with integrity. As a child, if you took something that wasn’t yours like a toy or a pack of gum from a store, you returned the item and apologized to the owner or manager. If an adult overlooked a child who was waiting in line, mom made sure the child was recognized.

Below is a poem I wrote for my mom to be read at my grandmother’s funeral 25 years ago.

❓Where did you learn your integrity? Was it from a parent, a grandparent, or caregiver?

❓What did your mother, or someone who acted as a mother, teach you about winning with integrity?

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day in the United States. A special shout out to my mom who we are fortunate to have around.

Happy Mother’s Day/Month to all those who chose to raise a child. Thank you to those who have helped us raise them, too. Hugs to those who gave children up to be raised by others. Special thoughts for those who lost a child, and for those who have lost their moms.


Mothers must quickly learn to nurture their infant children and to respond to their cries.
They instinctively have the caring and knowledge for what needs to be done. Mothers just know.
Mothers arm their children with morals and dignity and the humor needed for this world.
They help their children achieve while teaching them how to work and learn and love.
Mothers always seem to sense when words of encouragement or reassurance are needed.
They always know just when to call and what questions to ask. Mothers just know.
Mothers play the cards life deals them without questioning or complaining.
They accept and carry on even when faced with incredible adversity or tragedy.
Mothers are their children’s biggest allies during challenges and opportunities.
They alone provide that special understanding or support. Mothers just know.
Mothers encourage and watch as their children become adults and follow their own paths.
They have pride in their children’s accomplishments, always believing in that potential success.
Mothers watch with joy as their children form their own families.
They understand the challenges of being an adult or a spouse or a parent. Mothers just know.
Mothers spend their lives helping and sacrificing for others.
They have seen and endured so much and have wisdom that only time can bring.
Mothers also know when their bodies decline and when their job here is done.
They know how much they are loved and will be missed. Mothers just know.
© 1999, 2024 by Linda Byars Swindling