In Memory of Jane Haley

My Mother was a Sailor

My Mother was a sailor. If you met my Mom and my Dad and you didn’t know their history, you would almost certainly assume that Dad was the sailor and Mom was along for the ride – and you would be wrong. When they were dating, Mom taught Dad to sail and he was hooked immediately on sailing; and on Mom. She used to joke that she was sorry she ever taught him to sail (because, let’s face it, Dad has always been a bit nuts for sailing), but the truth is, she loved cruising, sailing, and sailboats and she loved sharing that with Dad.

My Mother was a teacher. She taught Dad to sail when they were young and then when her kids came along, she taught us to sail too. I don’t know my siblings’ stories about learning to sail, but I have never forgotten how frustrated I was when, at 5 years old, Mom had me solo sail my little 12 foot starfish downwind to the other end of the lake, then patiently from her boat, she coached me back up wind (for you non-sailors, up wind is the difficult direction to sail). When we finally made it back to our cove, my confidence soared and so did my love for sailing and for my teacher.

My Mother was a nurturer. A year later, when my over-confidence got me in trouble on the lake and I had to be saved by big sister Laura, Mom was there on the shore, waiting for me with a warm fluffy towel, a big hug, and an encouraging word about learning my limits.

My Mother was a mentor. Throughout the years, I sought out her wisdom when life overwhelmed me. Through life’s highs and lows Mom was there to offer words of encouragement and to help me stay true to my roots. My success in business, in my relationships, and in life is a direct result of the work she put in to helping me learn to navigate life with curiosity, honesty, and enthusiasm.

My Mother was a sailor. She sailed through life with a smile, with love for her family and friends, and with joy for living. As she sails away from these shores and heads out in to a new and unknown ocean, I imagine she’s firmly at the helm and, free of the burdens of her aging body, ready for her next adventure.

My Mother was a Sailor

Note: My Mother, Jane Clark Haley, passed away on October 3, 2015. I wrote this Eulogy for the Memorial that we held for her on October 10. We celebrated her life with family and old friends. What a great time! Here’s a little bit about her life:

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