Mom blinked | TravelResearchOnline


Mom blinked

Just a few days ago my mother’s home was completely destroyed by a tornado in Chickasha, Oklahoma.  Thank goodness she was away with her sister on a trip when it happened.

Following the destruction, there was not a scrap of wood to be found where her home once stood.  Nothing more than a few scattered bricks from the crumbled foundation remained. (You can see photos of the devastation on my Facebook page.)

PictureBeing raised by a single mom, struggling against poverty and the highly critical social norm of the day, taught me a lot about success.  As I watched my mother rise above it all and create a happy life for her three children, I was always in awe of her ability to see beyond the limits of today.

When times were tough and we had little food in the house, mom made a game of creating “mish mash stew” where we all participated.  Sometimes though, it was hard to ignore the difficult times.  It was then that her true wisdom came through.

In the darkest days my mother would wave her hand in a big circle and say, “Kids, it doesn’t matter what surrounds you or what’s going on now, it can all change in the blink of an eye.” Then she would point to her heart and say, “It’s what’s going on in here that matters the most.  That’s where the good stuff is and always will be.”

On May 24, 2011 an eye blinked and all was gone.  When I heard the news and called my mom this is what she said, “Honey, I have a suitcase with clean clothes, a family that loves me, and a chance to start all over again. Not many people get to do that at 80 years old. It won’t be easy but it’s going to be fun.”

Today, take a look around you. Look at your home, your office, your job and your limitations.  Then, put your hand on your heart do a little dreaming. All that stuff around you can be gone in the blink of an eye.  It’s what you do with the stuff in your heart that can change everything.

Nolan Burris is an author, former travel agent, failed musician and self-professed techno-geek. He’s also a popular international speaker both inside and outside of the travel industry.  He is the founder and chief Visioneer of Future Proof Travel Solutions ( based in Vancouver, Canada.  Nolan’s believes that if can change the way business works, you’ll change the world. His goal is to spread the message of integrity and ethics in a techno-driven world.

  7 thoughts on “Mom blinked

  1. Barbara Oliver says:

    Nolan – I’ve always found you to be inspirational – now I know why! Go Mom!

  2. Richard Earls says:


    Great article. Thanks for sharing and best to your mother!


  3. Karen Quinn says:

    I am so sorry about your mother’s home. What an awesome lady! Few of us could take lemons and make lemonade in her situation. My prayers are with her and your family.


  4. Nolan,

    Making lemonade out of lemons at 80 years old. What an inspirational person your Mom is.


  5. Carole Brow says:

    Great story. Thanks for sharing it. I love your mom’s optimism in the face of devastation. My mom died in January, but I’m sure my mom and yours could have been great friends if they had a chance to meet.

    By the way, there is another moral to the story: don’t stay home because you fear trouble at the destination. You may be safer traveling than staying home. I just got back from a wonderful trip to Egypt with Ya’lla Tours. It was great to see Abu Simbel, the Pyramids, and tombs in the Valley of Kings and not have to contend with crowds of tourists. Despite the fears of friends and family about me going, I always felt safe in Egypt and was safe there. Plus I had the incredible experience of the exultation of so many Egyptians who foresee great things in their political future. It was the trip of a life time. I am so very glad I went.

    Carole Brow
    Travel Experience Consulting

  6. Tracee says:

    Love, love, love this story! I would love to meet your Mom someday. What a great attitude, and fortitude. She is filled with God’s grace and understands what it’s all about. Yeah Mom!

  7. Hi Nolan,

    Thanks for sharing the link to your story. It was a bitter sweet story that made me sad to think about what happened to your mother, and at the same time gave me pause to think about my own life and what really matters.

    You brought the truth home!

    Thank you!

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