The White Cloud of Happiness

My mother is a white cloud of happiness. Every time I see her, she smiles even bigger than I can ever smile. She loves to talk stories about any of life's teachings she's discovered, and I generally just keep quiet and listen. 

Sometimes I don't understand everything she says, but that's OK.  It makes me happy just knowing she's happy imparting wisdom onto me.

A White Cloud Of Happiness

One of the holiday presents I got my father was a signed copy of Andre Agassi's autobiography, “OPEN.”  To me, the book was gold, because Andre is my idol. It was my only copy. And I decided to give it to my father because I remember him loving to read and enjoying the game long ago.

When my father opened his present, he did thank me and showed his appreciation. However, a week later, the book still lay on the coffee table unread. Somewhat dismayed that Agassi was being ignored, I spoke to mom about perhaps taking the book back since I cherished it so much. She mentioned her unused Barnes & Nobles gift card and had an idea.

Later that evening, my parents went to the Mall for date night without us. Apparently, Carl's Junior had a two-for-one special and my father was just dying to go! 

When they returned, my mother brought me over to the kitchen and told me, “Shhhhhh, take a look at the book. I bought another copy of “OPEN” and swapped it with your signed copy, so you can take it home! Dad will never know!”

We laughed so hard it hurt and gave each other high fives! My mom was right, dad never found out. Mom, who knows very little about tennis, was encouraged by my enthusiasm. So she even read “OPEN” before dad! What a white cloud of happiness and positivity she is.

Lesson Learned

What you think is an amazing gift, may be quite uninteresting to the recipient. There is a recent study saying that on average, the recipient derives only 80% of the value of a gift. This is largely the gift giver's fault for not getting them exactly what they want and need. My father was probably thinking he could just get the book at the library.

We can choose to be a black cloud, or a white cloud of happiness in every situation we face. The way we carry ourselves makes all the difference. 

When an ambulance screams by, white clouds part so the sun can beam through. Thanks mom for being a white cloud of happiness and supporting me in so many ways. Thanks dad for teaching me tennis. Now go read the book already!

Happy Mother's Day Weekend Mom!

Further Reading

Readers, what are you doing for Mother's Day?  What is the one thing your mother taught you that you will always appreciate?  Can you choose to be a white cloud, or is it just all predetermined?  For those whose mothers are no longer here, may they be blessed forever.


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money's Mysteries”

18 thoughts on “The White Cloud of Happiness”

  1. Alica Janiszewski

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

  2. What a great story! Mom’s really are amazing. They lift our spirits, make us laugh, always have what you need in their purse (tissues, gum, scissors, tweezers, bandaids), put up with us when we’re horrible teenagers, and give so much love. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s!

  3. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    It is so interesting how something as seemingly insignificant as helping you covertly exchange your book can highlight how significant someone is to you.
    .-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..8 Questions for the Constantly Broke =-.

  4. I’m with Simple in France on this one. All I can really do is call. And because this country celebrates different holidays, it’s tough to get the nudge, socially, from what goes on around me. “Pssst, did you know that mother’s day is tomorrow?” doesn’t come into regular conversation. So I have to be especially vigilant or listen very carefully to my wife!

    As for Open, what an amazing read that was. I loved the story about Agassi’s dad squaring off with Graf’s dad–and needing separating before they knocked each other out. The story about “The Dragon” ball machine killed me.

    What amazes me about Agassi is how well he played at the end of his career, while battling that back of his. I love Federer–the guy’s a freak of nature. But Agassi could still give him a decent run for his money at age 35, with an ailing back. Could Federer do the same in about 7 years, playing a younger version of himself. It’s tough to replicate another Roger Federer, so we might never know.

    As for gifts, I have to smile. As a non drinker, I can’t tell you how many bottles of wine people give me. My wife, however, loves that!!

    .-= Andrew Hallam´s last blog ..Building Your Wealth Instead of Driving It Into the Ground =-.

  5. Live Richly

    I’m not spending today with my mother because she lives 1500 miles away, but through the miracle of technology I can Skype with her later :)

    I am grateful for my mother supporting my love of knowledge and reading, which has helped me tremendously throughout my life. She always told me I could be whatever I wanted in life, which was pretty unusual during the 1970s when women were steered into marriage or a few select careers like teaching.

  6. Money Reasons

    LOL, your Mom really pulled one over on old Dad… Great story!

    Sounds like your Mom is a pleasure to be around! My Mom’s okay, but it was my Grandmother that had that great kind of charisma. I learned so much from my Grandmother (math, how to play checkers, writing, pleasure of reading, etc). My Grandmother was definitely a “white cloud”, we all miss her!
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..Can An Individual Make A Difference At Work =-.

  7. Wonderful post Sam. I don’t see my mother very often due to living overseas and traveling all of the time. However, and even though my mother doesn’t fully understand why I have made the decisions I have made or the unique challenges I face during my travels, she has always made it clear that she will be the most supportive person I know. And whether I’m in Asia, Europe or anywhere, I know that one phone call will put me at ease even during the most stressful and difficult of situations.
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..Challenges Of A Permanent Nomad =-.

    1. Hi Earl, I don’t see my parents often as well as we don’t live close by at all. I’m thankful for the internet, and frankly this blog for being able to communicate with them directly and indirectly every single day.

      Whenever my parents are wondering what I’m up to, they can just pop over hear and read. I know who they are, and we’ll have our own coded conversation :)

      Enjoy your travels! I love your adventures and I appreciate your latest post!

      Best, Sam
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Searching For Love And A Little More Money =-.

  8. Haha, if your father didn’t know, he knows now. If he reads your blog.

    It’s such a sweet story for Mother’s Day!

    To all who live far away from your mom – Don’t worry, your phone call or a little message by email for Mother’s Day will definitely make her day or go beyond. We can be very far away yet feel so close.

  9. i also think of my mom this highly. She is very easy to talk to and laughs very easily(which is much more than i can say for dad :)). I wanted to take my mom out for a nice meal but since we are not in the same country at the moment, a nice long call will suffice :)

  10. Simple in France

    Well, living in another country from one’s parents makes it a little tricky–I’ll be calling home!

    And we won’t be celebrating mothers day here in France for a few more weeks. Weird, huh? I don’t know why it’s the same month but not the same day. . .
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Do you need a financial makeover? =-.

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