Growing up, “Swagger” founder Sian Pierre Regis was often embarrassed by his mother, Rebecca Danigelis, who was working as a hotel maid, and he often gave her grief for not making enough money.
He told CBS News, “Yeah, I was so mean to my mom growing up about having no money. I remember her crying a few times because I was so mean about it.”
In hindsight, he learned to be grateful for the sacrifices his mother made for his family, and he found a way to repay his mother by transforming a tragedy into a blessing in disguise.
“You realize how lucky you are and you’re like, ‘What was I doing? What an idiot.'”
One summer day, he received a voicemail from his mother revealing that she had lost her job at 75 years of age, saying,”I just got fired. Just want you to know that. Call me. Bye.”
“I was in shock. I never expected it to happen to me. My job and my kids was my life,” Danigelis later added.
Regis thought, “So this was one thing that kept her going and I think my biggest worry was like, if she loses her job, what else does she have?”
Regis then came up with a plan to take his mother on a trip so that she could fulfill her bucket list.
This all included milking a cow in Vermont, taking a hip-hop lesson from a “Hamilton” dance, and even learning Instagram. The two walked the entire length of the Boston Marathon, inspired by Danigelis having to clean rooms for visiting runners.
Danigelis also returned to her native England to visit her sister’s grave; she was unable to attend her funeral due to work complications.
“I never felt younger, I never felt more loved and actually I’m excited about going and seeing the next chapter,” she said of the trip.
In the end, however, it was Regis who learned a lesson.
“You can’t feel it when you’re just running through life. You feel it when you help somebody up,” he said.