PUBLISHED: 3:47 PM on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Mom's advice carries on in rough times

Have you ever said to yourself, "And this too shall pass"? I sure have; probably because I gave Mom plenty of reasons to say it.

Whoever first thought up that saying must have had kids, don't you think?

Maybe - like you and I - they yelled out in pain after stepping barefoot on stray Lego pieces. Or perhaps they discovered colorful, homemade perfume concoctions fermenting in the fridge.

"And this too shall pass," they might have said.

Lisa Hansen, a reader in Lake Stevens, Wash., grew up hearing that expression from her mom, Shirley.

"When I was younger I thought it sounded like a parent code for something else like, 'We'll see,' or 'I'll think about it' - kind of a way to cast off the problem at hand," said Hansen.

But her perspective changed. Hansen grew up, married, and became the mother of four children.

"I've had my share of the t'weens and teen years,'" she said.

Suddenly, "And this too shall pass" carried new meaning.

If anyone knows the highs and lows of parenthood, it is Hansen. Her beloved son, Jake, was 12 when he became the first heart transplant recipient at Seattle's Children's Hospital. Through that season, Hansen treasured life more than ever before - his every breath, every heartbeat. She took nothing for granted.

Jake passed away at the age of 19.

Then her 16 year-old daughter received a heart. Hansen again remembered her mom's advice: "And this too shall pass."

"In my times of deepest sorrow, I've said it to myself. I deeply know the truth of that famous saying," she said.

She persevered. So did her daughter, who married in 2004 and "is doing very well," Hansen said.

With two teen sons remaining in the home, Hansen said Mom's words still carry her through.

"Mom and I laugh when we say it now. It's sort of like a secret thing between the two of us," said Hansen.

A secret thing, you might say, that has strengthened their mother-daughter bond. A bond for which Hansen offered a tribute.

"Thank you, Mom for passing on such great words of wisdom. I love you deeply!" she said.

And here's a tribute I'd like to pay to all you moms who feel like these busy days will never end; who step on Legos and find homemade perfume in the fridge: Keep giving your best. Don't give up.

Laugh it through - because it's worth it.

Which I suppose is just another way of saying, "And this too shall pass."

I think Lisa Hansen would agree.

Judy Halone ( is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.