May 14, 2017
On this first Mother’s Day since the passing of my mother, I am reminded of what my extraordinary mother, Phyllis Schlafly, taught me.
As a teenager, George Washington copied 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior, which he followed and practiced for the rest of his life. My mother was also a role model for civility and decent behavior. The values that she taught me as a child stay with me even though she is physically no longer here to remind me. Here are the rules of behavior that I learned from growing up with her.
My mother had grace and style. She was always coiffed and looked the part. She never came down to the kitchen in her bathrobe; she was always dressed with her hair and make-up finished. She was not sloppy in her clothing, and she was not sloppy in her language. If anyone ran into her at the supermarket on Saturday morning, she looked as if she were about to be interviewed on television.
My mother was polite. I never heard her raise her voice or lose her cool. She looked you straight in the eye when she spoke. She was conscientious on writing thank you notes.
My mother had integrity. You did not have to agree with her to admire her. She was firm, but polite, in all of her positions and arguments. She based her opinions on facts and never resorted to personal attacks.
My mother taught me to work hard. She had joy in being busy. She liked having full days. She was never bored. She had a full list to accomplish everyday – usually written on the back of a used envelope. She never, ever whined or complained. If something in her life went the wrong way, then her response was to work harder.
My mother was efficient and maximized her use of time. In conversation, she would always get straight to the point as she did not leave time for idle chit-chat. When she was finished with a conversation, then the conversation was ended – which was disconcerting when phone line went dead.
My mother valued excellence. She was a careful writer and an even more careful proofreader.
My mother lived the values for which she advocated. There was no discrepancy between her public and private personas.
My mother was human. She understood the power of repentance and forgiveness for sins great and small.
My inheritance from my mother is her grit and determination. She was not a quitter but a completer. She liked to get the job done. She was tenacious. She was fearless in tackling thorny political issues, but she was not foolish if the issue was not winnable. I am inspired by her bold life.
Where did she get her inner strength? She had complete trust in God. As she told me, if she did her part and worked hard, then God would help her complete the mission. God gave her optimism and joy because she believed that good would defeat evil.
Her family life had two immovables: church at 9 am every Sunday and dinner at 6 pm every night. Dinner was at the dining room table, the table was set and the candles lit, and we ate a three-course meal. Then she would go back to work in her home office. I cherish the memory of the many Sunday night dinners that I cooked for her.
I am blessed to have had such a mentor guiding me throughout my life because she taught me the confidence to do what is right and good. Most important of all, I always knew that her love for me was complete and unconditional, just as is Christ’s love for His children. My prayer is that He would bless other families with mothers who exemplify such love.
Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman, Eagle Forum