What load are you carrying this week?

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Pat Moen’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren each chose a flower from her casket bouquet. Pictured is four year old Sophie, alongside Pat’s lovely grave.

Family is the most satisfying of The Seven Fs for the vast majority of leaders we survey.  Most find a good family lightens the load.  And then there are days when we literally carry the weight of the people we love the most.

Last week, Patricia A. Moen passed away. She was Melinda’s mother, my mother-in-law. At the funeral last Wednesday, I was one of the pallbearers who carried her to a lovely grave.  That was heavy.

Father’s Day couldn’t have come at a better time — our good family really did lighten the load. And yet, this morning I’m still carrying some of the heaviness.

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Pat Moen, the Classy Lady.

Born in 1929 into the name “Patricia Collins”, on St. Patrick’s Day, Pat Moen was a feisty Irish woman who turned heads in every room. One after another, her friends greeted Melinda and me at the visitation with the same phrase: she was the classiest lady. She was polite, positive and she knew how to make good friends.  As a bank teller, she caught Dick’s eye by painting her fingernails every day, smiling wide and donning the sharpest wardrobe in all of West Des Moines.  Years later, she raised the dress code at Josten’s in Owatonna, Minnesota, simply by her part-time presence in the accounting department.

When I look at my wife and her two sisters, I see three strong willed, hard working, generously positive daughters. Pat believed her daughters could embrace anything with the right attitude and persistence. That proved to be an important lesson, as they worked hard to help preserve her grace and dignity through a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s.  The last two weeks were especially heavy.

As I watched my wife greet people with her freshly-painted fingernails, sharp attire and wide smile, I felt the grace and spirit of classy Pat Moen lighten our load.  Thank heavens.

Good leaders make a habit of finding goodness, even in life’s heaviest moments. And we rejoice in the spirit of the people who lighten our load.

Please share with me, who are the classy ladies we can help you celebrate?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

4 Comments

  1. Tim S on June 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    First Paul, my condolences to you, your wife and the entire family at the loss of such a strong woman.

    Like Pat, I would have to say it’s my mother. My parents were born in Indonesia, survived being in concentration camps, immigrated to the Netherlands, and then immigrated to the United States.

    My mom left her family (her parents would eventually immigrate to the US) and arrived in New York with only $200 and a package of Fig Newtons as her possessions.

    She settled in California, where she met up with, who would become my dad, and have been together for over 60 years. They would live the American dream, owning two houses and raising two very passionate and compassionate children. My parents now have four grandchildren.

    I consider both my parents to be good leaders. Even though they told my sister and me as we were growing that they didn’t know how to raise their kids, they did the best they could. I didn’t always appreciate it while I was growing up, but as I look around the world today, I thank God each and every day for the parents I have, who were strict when they raised me, but they did it all out of love.

    I couldn’t ask for anything more.



  2. Tim S on June 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

    First Paul, my condolences to you, your wife and the entire family at the loss of such a strong woman.

    Like Pat, I would have to say it’s my mother. My parents were born in Indonesia, survived being in concentration camps, immigrated to the Netherlands, and then immigrated to the United States.

    My mom left her family (her parents would eventually immigrate to the US) and arrived in New York with only $200 and a package of Fig Newtons as her possessions.

    She settled in California, where she met up with, who would become my dad, and have been together for over 60 years. They would live the American dream, owning two houses and raising two very passionate and compassionate children. My parents now have four grandchildren.

    I consider both my parents to be good leaders. Even though they told my sister and me as we were growing that they didn’t know how to raise their kids, they did the best they could. I didn’t always appreciate it while I was growing up, but as I look around the world today, I thank God each and every day for the parents I have, who were strict when they raised me, but they did it all out of love.

    I couldn’t ask for anything more.



  3. Bob Brin on June 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Nicely writ, Paul, and a beautiful tribute to a woman who carried herself with class while carrying the load for others.



  4. Bob Brin on June 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Nicely writ, Paul, and a beautiful tribute to a woman who carried herself with class while carrying the load for others.



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