Wisdom from What Our Mamas Taught Us: Life Isn’t Over Yet

Linda Seger is an international story coach, script and screenplay consultant. This is the story behind an inspirational quote in her book, What Our Mamas Taught Us.

“Life isn’t over yet – things often equalize in the end.”

By Mama Agnes Seger, from Linda Seger’s book, What Our  Mamas Taught Us

Mother often noticed that mothers who had several children try to make everything equal. Once she said to me, “Just because your sister wants a pink sweater doesn’t mean that I also get you a pink sweater. You might have some other need. I never said I would take care of all your wants,  but I will take care of your needs.” My sister and I were very well nurtured by our mother. My sister was a gracious and kind and lovely person who was a year and a half older than I was. At one point in her adult life, my sister said that mother had been helping me out a lot and that she had not been helping her as much. She told mother, “I notice you are doing a lot for Linda and not as much for us.” Holly was married and she was in a stable situation and I wasn’t married and was starting a business and was in a very unstable situation. Mother then let her know that things equalize in the end.

Years later, my sister was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) which is a terminal illness for almost everyone except for Stephen Hawking. A diagnosis generally means the person will die within two to three years. Holly tried some very radical medical treatments to see if they would work,  knowing that ALS and Lyme Disease often have the same symptoms and sometimes people are misdiagnosed. If it were Lyme disease, these particular antibiotics had a chance of healing her but if it were ALS, they didn’t. She was tested and there was unclarity about which it was. During this period of time with Holly’s expensive medical treatments, I wrote her a check every month to help pay for medicine and for her trips to the doctor. Sometimes these checks were a thousand dollars. Sometimes they were $2,000. Every month, I asked Holly what number I should put in that that check and she would very sweetly let me know and was very gracious at acknowledging what I had to give her. During this period of time, I often–yes, many times–thought, “Things equalize in the end.”

Wisdom from What Our Mamas Taught Us – Tip the Breakfast Waitress Well

Linda Seger is an international story coach, script and screenplay consultant. This is the story behind an inspirational quote in her book, What Our Mamas Taught Us.

“Always tip the breakfast waitress well.  She’s gotten up very early and often is raising children and struggling, but she doesn’t get the big tips the waiters get at night.”

By Mama Agnes Seger from Linda Seger’s book, What Our Mamas Taught Us

My mother helped me have a sensitivity to people who work in service jobs. I had never thought about the difference between the breakfast waitress and the night or evening waiter. She helped open my eyes to the fact that most of the waiters at night are men who receive larger tips, and most of the waitresses in the morning are women. Mother pointed out to me that they often had to get up at 4 or 5 AM to be there with a good smile, pouring coffee, and greeting us with a hearty, ” Hello!” Another mama in this book actually added to this advice and said, “Never tip less than three dollars, even if the breakfast is only three dollars.” This comes from Mama Shelley Davis, who is the sister of my assistant Katie.