Five Star Mother's Day Contest!
Fondest Memories of Mother, continued...
Beulah Dworkin, of Five Star Premier Residences of Plantation
Submitted by Rita Buchoff
In 1957, Beulah Dworkin married my father and joined a readymade family with two young children. Our own mother had died after a long battle with cancer, and Beulah stepped in to take the place of our deeply loved mother. She was not at all intimidated with having to fill these awfully big shoes but happily accepted the challenge.
My first memory of spending time with Beulah was a few months before she married my father. She realized that we had outgrown our winter coats and decided to take us shopping for new ones. I shudder when I think back upon how rude and inconsiderate I was with her generosity. Yet, she ignored my poor behavior and understood that it wasn't the coat that I was rejecting, but rather the fact that she was taking my mother's place. Even though I was a rebellious little girl, she continued to shower me with kindness and understanding.
After she gave birth to her own daughter, a few years later, there was never any distinction made between her readymade children and her biological child. In fact, Beulah embraced the relatives of the deceased woman, and made them part of this new family, too. It took me well into adulthood to realize what an incredible woman my mother is. Throughout my life, she has been my confidant and support. I am very grateful that she didn't judge my poor behavior early on and instead had a sense of patience, understanding, and love that is rare. She is a hero to me and my family and a model of how life should be lived. (She is currently 97 1/2 years old!)
Tobie Heller, of Millcroft Senior Living
Submitted by Marianne Green
My favorite memory of my mother was the time she yelled from the patio of our Long Island home: “Come quick! You have to see this!” My brother and I were teenagers at the time and we yelled back “What?”
“There’s a monkey out here,” Mom yelled. We raced outside but saw no monkey anywhere. We looked at mom strangely. Was there something the matter with her? We began to giggle. “But there really was a monkey,” she insisted.
However, the next day we read in the newspaper that a large monkey had escaped from a pet shop and had been sighted in our neighborhood! We all had to say we were sorry to Mom for doubting her.
“I hope this teaches you a lesson," Mom said happily. “The next time I tell you I’ve seen something strange you better believe me!” We all had a good laugh and mom laughed right along with us. She always had a great sense of humor and a playful side.
Through the years we have re-told this story many times and it always makes us laugh.
Estelle Reiner, of Five Star Premier Residences of Plantation
Submitted by Fawn Reiner Allen
Late one night when I was about eight years old I was having some kind of allergic reaction to something I ate. I became so congested that I was having difficulty breathing and I began to cry. This woke up my entire family and when my mother saw me she noticed I was turning blue. But this did not panic her.
At the time, in the mid-1960’s, my mother was working as a Certified American Red Cross Life Guard in Miami, Florida, with training in rescue techniques.
Mom recognized that she needed to take immediate action. She placed me on the floor and began administering Mouth-to-Mouth Rescusitation, which is what they called it in those days and is now part of the CPR method.
Within a minute of my mother breathing for me, I was breathing again on my own, and my color was restored. My mother literally saved my life! I fully recovered and never had another incident like that. But I will always remember that night, and can proudly state that my mother gave me life twice...first at birth and again when I was eight!
Muriel Brennan, of Five Star Premier Residence of Plantation
Submitted by Karen Ford
Our Mother, Muriel Brennan, is the greatest!!
For as long as we can remember our Mom hosted the celebrations for every major holiday - Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. She always had the table beautifully decorated and the food was delicious. We have many fond memories of the meals she diligently prepared to make each holiday a special occasion.
Thank you, Mom, for all your hard work. Happy Mother's Day!! We love you!!
Karen, Bob, and Mark
Ethel Aola Bartlett, of Five Star Premier Residences of Reno
Submitted by Hal Bartlett
My Mother Ethel Aola Bartlett was born in a small Kansas town in 1889. She had two sisters and three brothers. My Mother met my Father who worked as a carpenter for her Father and they married in 1908. I am the youngest of her four daughters and three sons.
They bought a 50-acre farm that fed the family and most relatives that lived in the small town during the Depression. Mother managed the make-dos and hand-me-downs, often doing without herself.
She was out in the field all day farming and then cooked dinner for the family. The local farmers would come around with horses and wagons to load the shucked grain and haul it to the threshing machine. When our farm was doing the threshing my Mother would take a light lunch to the men in the field with iced tea or lemonade.
One time my Mother was cooking lunch for the men the gas well broke and my Mother had to make lunch on top of the pot bellied stove in the dining room in what must have been 150 degrees. No farmer left but stayed for lunch. Now if that is not amazing, I don’t know what is.
Betty "BJ" Herzog, of Myrtle Beach Manor
Submitted by Beth Whittington
It is so hard to pinpoint one fondest memory of my mom. She has always been there for me and never overbearing or judgmental. She always listens!
She is a stroke victim and lives at the Myrtle Beach Manor and since my dad passed in May, she has really been a trooper. They started an art class and at 85, she poured her heart into it and is really quite good. She gives her paintings away to the caretakers and fellow residents and even takes requests.
I do remember one incident where she really stepped up to the plate and made me so proud of her. My boss (48) was dying of lung cancer in the hospital, and although she didn't know him really well; she showed up at the hospital to say goodbye. At this point however, he was in a coma and no one, including his wife or son, would go into the room. It was too upsetting for them.
My mom went in and began rubbing his feet and talked to him very quietly until he passed (she believes that coma victims can still hear). When he finally passed, she closed his eyes. My boss's wife never forgot that and still can't believe that she was so caring. I can, since that is the type of person she has always been.
Pauline McMahon, of The Remington Club
Submitted by Barry McMahon
The most consistent memory of my mother is how she was 'always there' for me and the rest of our family. As a young child I would return home from school and head straight in to talk to mom, as she ironed the clothes, or made me my favorite lunch, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with potato chips and milk.
I can still remember looking up at her as she ironed the clothes and asked me about my day at school, and I would happily relate everything that happened. This actually went on for many years, until I became 'too cool' to talk to my mother.
One day on my way home I was confronted by an older, bigger, and tougher bully who punched me a few times. On entering the house my mom knew right away something was up, and insisted I tell her what was bothering me.
After telling her the story, she got right on the phone to the boy's mother to 'straighten out the situation'. I don't know exactly what took place, except that that particular boy was much nicer to me after that. And that, in a nutshell, is the legacy of my mother, Pauline McMahon. Then, as now, she would do absolutely anything for her family.
Lola Chialvo of Tiffany Court, Walnut Creek
Submitted by daughters Gayle, Susan and Ann
Our mom has always been an upbeat, fun person with a great sense of humor. Once, when a nurse asked her what arm she'd like her blood taken from, she answered, "Yours!"
She seems to instinctively know when we are having problems and is always available to listen and give encouraging hugs and advice. Despite the age difference, she has always been able to identify and celebrate the phases in her daughters' and grandchildren's lives.
We remember many holidays and parties hosted by Mom. She always had a theme for them and decorated accordingly, which made her parties unique. Since she is a very caring person, we remember how she took care of her mom and dad in their old age, as well as her sister who had Alzheimers and her brother who was dying.
All in all, our mom is a very special, lovable lady. She often reminded us never to think about our age -- just keep smiling. That attitude has certainly worked for her!
Juanita Anderson of The Court at Palm-Aire
Submitted by Jan Cook
Rather than a single, fond memory of my mother, an overall example of character comes to mind. My mom of younger days was an iconic cross between June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson. Her sole ambition was to be a wife, mother and homemaker and she excelled in all these areas. She made housework a science, working hard from dawn until after all had gone to bed, creating a warm atmosphere for her family.
My father could expect home-cooked meals promptly at 6:00 PM when he arrived home after a busy day at the office. Regardless of the domestic projects she had tackled earlier in the day, she always stopped at 5:00 PM to clean up and be presentable to him. Today, after seventy plus years of marriage, those around them can see the lasting rewards from such a relationship.
Unlike many of the mothers of that era who pursued careers, she was the one readily available to be a room mother, Brownie & Girl Scout troop chaperone, as well as actively serving in the nursery at church. Always the "behind the scene" toiler, shunning any spotlight or recognition for her efforts.
My years of observing her instilled in me that generous heart, seeking to help others for altruistic rather than personal motive. She taught me to respect and honor my husband; to give unselfishly to others; and be of humble spirit. I am who I am today because of her. It is such a privilege to still have her in my life. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
Harriet Stern, of The Forum at Memorial Woods
Submitted by Patti Habans
Happy Mother's Day Mom! You've been a wonderful Mom for so many years, so many memories and so very hard to focus on just one.
Today, closing my eyes, pondering the past - a sudden vivid recollection of you driving up to the St. Pius X end-of-school-year picnic (I think 1958) at the old Spanish Fort in New Orleans in a brand new shiny black Chevrolet station wagon! Not only was it the first really new car that I remember but it was air conditioned! It was a typical New Orleans muggy, humid hot day. My friends and I had been outside the entire day and when Mom drove up, honked the horn and we realized who was behind the wheel we all charged the car squealing and cheering. When Mom rolled down the window, about 5 of us stuck our head in. It was like being tossed onto a cool breezy island in the middle of all that heat - it felt so good!
Mom said ask your teacher if I can take you all for a ride. We ran over to our teacher who probably wanted to jump in the car with us - she was most likely as miserably hot as were, asked her if we could go with my Mom and she unbelievably said yes. About 10 of my friends piled in the car with me- this was way before seat belts were required - and we took a heavenly cool ride around the block. Not only was the ride cool temperature wise but I was also considered the coolest kid in my class that day with the coolest Mom ever! Thank you to my Mom, Harriet Stern, for a really cool memory!
Submitted by Lucile Easterbrook, of Hermitage Gardens of Oxford
My mother, Lucile Smith, was a real lady. Always “put together”- a nice dress- maybe gloves and a hat. One spring, In Brooklyn, the entire family had just had lunch and was starting a lazy afternoon. My brother and our cousin, both about 10 years old, were bored silly. Then my mother said “I’ll take the kids for ice cream”.
Off we went to the subway. Then, at the end of the line we took a bus all the way to Sheepshead Boy. From there we took a ferry across Jamica Bay to Rockaway Point where we had a bungalow at the ocean’s edge.
The bungalow had suffered from the winter’s storms and made us sad. So we sat down on the sand and looked at the ocean waves. Suddenly my mother took off her shoes and said, “Let’s wade”. We began to wade in the wet sand, and soon we were up to our knees. Then, out of no where, mom took a running leap into the surf- we all followed! We were all still in our clothes. The boys loved it- I thought it was a little crazy. No one had a towel!
We returned to Brooklyn by ferry, bus and subway. Every time we got up to change transportation, we left four wet spots on the seats, causing laughs from everyone nearby. We did get ice cream along the way, and mom told us to say we had been caught in the rain.
Back at the house, we were greeted with questions, but they were solved when Don gave my father a shell. Everyone laughed. I was asked to get the boys “put together” for bed. Mom always said she wanted to give us happy memories of the beach- and she did!
Harriet Stern, of The Forum at Memorial Woods
Submitted by Kris Stern Pattison
Of the many fond memories of my Mom, Harriet Gates Stern, I would have to think of the ones at the beach in Florida. Our family first started going to the beach when I was five or six. We proceeded to go to the beach every summer, until I was an adult with adult children of my own. Of those many years of trips to the beach this is my favorite.
I am not sure of the year, but I do remember it was an Easter trip to Florida. I had given up ice cream for Lent. On Easter Sunday morning I woke up to a gallon of ice cream which Mom had waiting for me. I was allowed, or encouraged to dig in. I can still remember sitting at the counter with a spoon and the entire gallon of chocolate ice cream in front of me. I did not have to share with anyone.
This is only one of many fond beach memories. I now live at the beach full time. I also still like to eat chocolate ice cream.
Harriet Stern, of The Forum at Memorial Woods
Submitted by Mary (Stern) Niven
I was the youngest of Harriet Stern's five children, and they said I broke the mold as I look just like her. In college when she visited me for Mother/Daughter weekend, we won the "'look-a-like" prize! As the youngest, my childhood memories are sunny and full of laughter and looking up to myfour big sisters. I also remember not having Mom to myself very often which was a problem for me. She was smart though, and found ways to motivate each of us to do well.
One of those motivations was that our parents believed in rewards for good grades. We all attended Ursuline Academy in New Orleans and had to wear those itchy plaid kilt uniform skirts, white blouses and saddle shoes, bow ties and beanies. Of course as the youngest, most of my play clothes were hand-me-downs. As a result, for me, my reward for good grades was a lunch date alone with Mom and shopping for a new dress. Boy did they hit my buttons! I was a straight "A" student all through school and always had the prettiest dresses.
Though the new dresses were a real treat, it is those memories of sitting across from Mom having a real conversation all by ourselves that are forever ingrained in my happy childhood center. I continued the tradition with my daughter and to this day, when she visits Grandma Harriet, they try to enjoy a ladies lunch at Neimans. My daughter feels it's a great treat to have Grandma alone to herself!
Harriet Gates Stern
Submitted by Allison Clement
In the summer of 1991 my mother agreed to accompany me and two of my sons on a 1,700 mile road trip from Texas to Connecticut! I can’t remember why, but for some reason we were determined to complete the trip in 2 days. After driving 900 miles the first day we pulled into our motel room after midnight – all of us very weary and not looking forward to another day of the same. My eleven and thirteen year old sons crashed in their sleeping bags and my mom and I fell into the bed. Before we dozed off we all agreed to wake up at 6:00 am so we could get an early start on the final 800 miles.
Sure enough, when that wake up call rang before sunrise, none of us moved. A few minutes later it rang again. My mother picked up the phone and listened to the clerk at the front desk who proclaimed it was past 6:00 am – our requested wake up time. Every one of us was awake – but none of us moved or spoke…
As we all laid motionless in that room in the dark in silence, my mother finally must have decided it was up to her to get all of us up. So in a quiet, calm voice she simply stated: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”! (Just like in the commercial for a life alert device that was aired frequently on TV.) We all started to chuckle, which progressed to laughing, which turned into the boys asking their grandma to say it again and then laughing more, and again requesting a repeat performance, which resulted in all of us giggling as we brushed teeth, got dressed, walked out of our motel room and got back on the road!
Dorothy Sue Sweeney, of Morningside of Gallatin
Submitted by Lucy Sweeney Stolen
Mother is a traditional Southern lady with grace and strength combined. She grew up a farmer’s daughter in a small Kentucky town, a popular girl nicknamed, “Sugar.” Her family suffered the deprivations of The Great Depression and World War II, and their personal sacrifices and losses made enduring impressions on her character. Loyalty, patience, and frugality have been lifelong traits. She was a beauty, both outward and inward, and my Father carried her photograph through World War II combat on Guadalcanal and kept that worn image on his dresser the rest of his life.
They were married over 50 years. Mother cherished her homes in the different cities where Dad was transferred. She made them comfortable retreats. Her meals were delicious, nourishing, and set the stage for conversation and togetherness. She was a steady and calming presence. Despite her ladylike appearance, she could be incredibly determined and capable of great physical strength. We got used to coming home to rooms completely transformed. She moved the furniture, including beds and heavy antique chests by herself, with creative flair. “I just wanted to try something new!” she’d say. Almost every possession had a family story. She called these her “treasures,” not because of any monetary value, but because of the relationships they represented.
Whiles he is now stooped and slow on her feet, Mother’s smile still warms and comforts. I love to see the joy in her eyes when I walk through the door. Sometimes, when I struggle to be more understanding and patient when her memory fails, or when I try to improve my skills related to her personal or financial care, I think she may know how she is still mothering me, teaching me life lessons I need to learn.
Marge Farmer, Morningside of Gallatin
By Bette C. Matthews
The first think that comes to mind when I think of my Mom is the word “strength.”
Throughout my lifetime, my Mom has experienced a flood when I was an infant, driving across the country with two small children, spending 21 days on an ocean liner with two small children, and relocating to Japan and numerous other cities in the United States.
You see, my Dad was a career Air Force Officer and we moved sometimes once a year from the time I was an infant until I was a sophomore in high school. Mom would pick up, pack up and make a home for us wherever Daddy’s assignment would take him. She endured many weeks and months of loneliness with my sister and me while Daddy traveled or was on temporary assignment. All the while, she made a home for us.
After Daddy retired, we moved back to Tennessee, where my Mom had grown up. Mom and Dad bought a house in White House and spent the last 23 years there. During that time, Dad experienced colon cancer, lung cancer twice and finally leukemia. Mom was a tower of strength the whole time.
Since Daddy died in 2006, Mom managed their home for a year until she decided to sell and move to Gallatin. She has done a magnificent job of managing completely on her own, again demonstrating her strength.
Shortly after moving to Morningside, Mom fell and broke her hip. She endured surgery and rehab with the same perseverance and strength. Five years later, never knowing what the new day may bring, Mom remains strong. I have learned so much from my Mom over the years. I pray that I can pass this knowledge and strength on to my children and grandchildren.
Lelah Keller, of Clearwater Commons Senior Living
Submitted by Kim Fortune
The challenge was to write about our fondest memory of our mothers, but how do you choose just one memory from 56 years? As I matured into adulthood, my mother was always with me- not physically but mentally.
When I had to sew a dress to be a bridesmaid, I was able to do it because mother taught me how to sew. When I had to be a hostess for a shower, I knew what to do because mother taught me how to present a lovely time on a shoestring budget. When my daughter was born with a hole in her heart, I knew how to be strong and turn to God for strength because my mother had taught me God would always be there for me. She was and still is a praying mother.
When a lady collapsed in her car in my front yard, I knew what to do because my mother had taught me first aid and how to respond to an emergency in a calm manner. When I took on the responsibility of being the leader of my child’s school organization, I knew what to do because my mother had shown me how to be organized, where to find resources, and how to help people from different backgrounds work together. When mother needed to be moved to her assisted living facility, I knew what to do because she had shown me all her life how to care for family and anyone in need.
Choose one memory, narrow down a lifetime to just one fond memory? The answer- my fondest memory is of learning from a woman who dedicated her whole life to helping her family and others in any situation by using all the skills and resources God had blessed her with. All my love, Mom!
Maudine Lily Stopp
Submitted by Dorothy Schneider, of Premier Residences of Reno
My mother was the best in the whole world. She sent my sister to kindergarten, but she kept me home until first grade. I loved to help her by dusting, waxing dining chairs or table legs, hanging up the clothes, especially the towels on a separate line my dad strung.
Then my mom told my dad it was time to take me to school. When dad and I got in the car, I turned and saw my mom wiping away her tears, and I will never forget that. I learned at that moment how much she loved me.
My mom was very busy. I always marveled at how busy she was on Thanksgiving Day, spending the whole day in the kitchen. We had three tables (dining room, kitchen and card table) reaching clear to the front door. Aunt Laura brought guests from the church who we didn’t know. My grandparents raised turkeys in Casterville and would bring one for my mom to cook. My sister and I set the tables and made place cards for everyone. It was a great day thanks to mom.
Everyone knew she would take care of everything. She enjoyed what she did, and I wish we could have helped her more. That was my mom – doing things for other people. There was only one mom like her.
I think I took after my mom in a lot of way including my looks. I have her wedding picture in my bedroom where I can see her and dad all the time. Dad and Mom really loved each other. It was obvious to us kids how much they really did. They gave me the best example of love. I cannot thank them enough.
Mary DeBona, of Savannah Square
Submitted by Mariann Chambers
I am sixty-one years old and a day does not go by without remembering the wisdom my mother shared with me when I was a child. Every morning, mom would walk into the kitchen with a big smile and say, “Thank you God for giving me this beautiful day.” Then she would turn to my brother and me and ask if we had thanked God for giving us another day. I remember one particular stormy day thinking to myself, she can’t be serious. Why would anyone thank God for such a miserable day? Today, I wake up every morning and thank God for the beautiful day.
Before leaving for school each day, mom repeated the same words to me. She would say, “You can do anything you set your mind to do and no one is better than you.” Hearing these words gave me confidence and the ability to believe in myself. She would also tell me, “Be obedient, pay attention and treat everyone the way you would like them to treat you.” She would then give me a big smile, a kiss and say, “I love you.”
Mom also reminded us every day that we were rich. She would explain that a rich person is not one with lots of material possessions but one who is loved and blessed with good health.
The older I get the more I understand just how wise my mother was. Her memory is failing but she is still the smiling, kind and loving person that raised me. Whenever I call or go visit her she never forgets to tell me, “I love you.”
“Mom, I love you too.”
Submitted by Timothy Thomas, of Five Star Premier Residences of Hollywood
When I was seven, I fell off the trampoline at school, breaking my ankle. The school called my mom at work (she worked at Jeep Corporation in the office of product and development). She didn’t have the car because my dad always dropped her off at her gate. My mom was quickly panicking; after all her baby boy had a broken ankle. Seeing this her boss suggested she take the prototype they were testing. So my mom jumped into the Jeep and off she went. When she got to the school the gym teacher loaded me into the back seat and off to the hospital we go. While driving I noticed that the Jeep jerked a lot and there was a funny smell. I asked my mom about it. She said, “It’s just been awhile since I drove a 5-speed. How’s your foot?”
At the hospital I got the usual X-rays and cast, and then back to Jeep plant we went, bucking and jerking all the way. When we arrived her boss asked if everything was alright and asked how she liked the jeep. She said it was ok except it seemed to hesitate when she started up and was very jerky. The boss looked confused, then leaned into the jeep, pulled a lever and said, “Terry we didn’t design it to be driven with the emergency brake on.” My mom stood there blushing with the Jeeps wheels smoking. All she said was, “Well I guess it drove just fine then.”
That was a great day -- my mom burned the brakes off a prototype Jeep, I got to ride in my dream car, and got a personal tour of the factory. By the way, that Jeep later became the Jeep CJ-7 and is still the top selling Jeep.
Harriet Stern, of The Forum at Memorial Woods
Submitted by Anne Sheridan
In the 1980s after a divorce, I moved back to New Orleans with my three daughters, so we could start our new lives with help from my family. Soon I met Larry, and became engaged. Mom and Dad thought it was amazing for Larry to want to take on my three girls, when he had never been married. Larry and I wanted to have our wedding reception at a hotel, so the wedding could be easy, without family members taking on all the work, especially because my Mom and Dad would soon be moving out of their house in Metairie, LA and moving to the North Shore.
I arrived home from work one evening when all of a sudden there was a knock on the door. I open it to see Mom, Dad, and my sister Patti. They came in with bottles of champagne and my Mom announced, “We’re here to get you drunk and talk you into having your wedding reception at our house!”
I was flabbergasted and started giving all my reasons for using a hotel reception room. But Mom said that she and Dad felt that Larry and I really loved each other. She went on to say that this would be her last party in this home and she thought we should take advantage of the setting, and it would be perfect for our party of 60 people. Then Mom described how it could be arranged and what would go where. I was overwhelmed with feelings and appreciation for what my family wanted to do for me.
In the next days I realized that I had one of the best party planners I have ever known. Mom excelled at putting things together, making her guests feel special, and creating delicious menus. Our reception was wonderful!
Renee Olive, of Carriage House Memory Care
Submitted by Rosemarie Schott
The fondest memory that I had growing up as a child with my mother was that we always had one special day to ourselves to do whatever we wanted. Starting around the age of four, we would go into the city and have lunch, shop, go to museums or go to the beach. My mother was very interested in culture and made sure that I learned to appreciate the arts as much as she did. I would say to her that when I was a big girl, I would treat her to lunch and drive her in my sports car.
As I became older, we would talk about fashion and travel. My Mother would save her money throughout the year for her trip back home to Germany to see her family during the summer and always managed to take me with her every year. Traveling and seeing the world was very important to my mother, she always said that it was part of her sole.
As a young woman, I even became an international flight attendant, and was able to meet my mother on one of her trips. In 2008, we had spent two months together in Germany, on one of our Mother/daughter trips. We went to Italy for fourteen days and spent eight days on a river cruise down the Danube River. The rest of the time with family and friends.
Over the years, we have had many lunches together, shared many special times, and laughs, even now that she is a resident at Carriage House Memory Care, we still spend a special day together once a week and have lunch. My mother may not remember, but I will always cherish our time together. She has made me the daughter that I am.
Clarabel Bradford Soule
Submitted by Jeanne S. Shier, of Villa at Riverwood Retirement Community
My fondest memory of my mother is when I was 5 years old and my mother had taught me to read. The first sentence I could read was “I love my mother and my mother loves me.”
Now that I’m 92, and mom is long gone, that memory will always be with me.
Submitted by Larry Agney, of Five Star Premier Residences of Reno
They told me there was a lady
A lady of 23
Who brought me into this world
And gave life to me.
They said she fed me with a spoon
And held the cup for me
And that she gave warmth and comfort
With lots of hugs and kisses constantly.
Then when I became a little tyke
That’s when I made 3
It was then I knew who she was
Who had taken care of me.
Then one night an angel came
And took her away from me
I ever had the chance
To tell her what she meant to me.
As I write this note
My eyes have not been dry
Reminiscing of the bye and bye.
And there is one thing I do know.
My Mother will always be
The most beautiful picture
On the walls of my memory.
Catherine Agnes Helmer
Submitted by Lydia May Angelini, of The Remington Club
My mother, Catherine Agnes Coughlin was born on May 2nd. She was a twin and her sister's name was Mae. They were the 10th of 11 children. The family was close but very poor. The father was a share cropper, the mother a housewife. Growing up the twins worked for a button company in Auburn, NY.
Later, my mother married my father and they had four children, Anne, Ora, myself Lydia and brother Walter. She loved all of us by showing that love in cooking and baking breads, molasses cookies, and caring for all our needs. Without the help of indoor plumbing and each of her chores was an all day job but she finished each day in a classy way.
She told us that we all could succeed if we had faith, hope, courage and a sense of humor. And we all followed that belief in our lives. She lived up into her 90s, ever grateful to us for the care she needed at the end of her life. She was a true Irish blessing to us all.
I will never forget her especially on Mother's Day in all the years to follow.
Bertha Wolf of The Remington Club
Submitted by William M. Wolf
1 have many fond memories of my Mother, but the one that stands out in my mind has to do with a decision that set the course of my life.
Going back in time to World War 2 days, I had just enlisted in the Navy and was in process of leaving my family (Mother, Dad and brother) and my friends to an uncertain future far from home. One of the people I was leaving behind was a girl friend with whom I had been keeping company with over a period of six years starting at age 17. This brought me to decision time in 1943. Should I ask my love to marry me right now before starting Navy service or wait until the war would be over and marry then, assuming that the fortunes of war would be favorable for me?
Mom, what do you think I should do? Her advice was simple. I remember her saying (not her exact words) "Don't do what your Dad and I decided back In the time of World War 1. Your Dad was in the Army then and stationed stateside at the time. We waited until after the Armistice was signed In November 1918 and were married in August 1919. By the grace of God, Dad had returned from Army service unscathed.
Don't wait like we did. Get married now and pray that the fates will be kind to you when this war ends."
P.S. I married the girl of my dreams in August 1943 and was fortunate to experience World War 2 in the Pacific and come home to a loving wife. We had 67 years of togetherness before she passed away in 2010. Thanks, Mom, for your advice.
Marian Cramer, of Diamondcrest Senior Living- Rogers, MN
Submitted by Sandy Myrick
Resident Chef - Banana Cream, Lemon Meringue, Boston Cream and Coconut Cream pies - the Caramel rolls! When dad worked out of town we got our choice of pancakes, boiled chicken necks w/noodles, her rice pudding, or macaroni & garlic for dinner. We thought it was a treat...she was really getting a break!
Every Kids Mom - After retiring from Honeywell – wintertime - watching out the window – kids waited for the school bus with no mittens. She’d run out with our old mismatched ones and make them put them on. – Don’t mess with the lady on the corner!
Up at the lake - she's the one who was scared of the water, but she would sit on the hill with towels and push us all to try those water-skis again. "You can do it!"
Favorite Phrase - Mom sitting at the old sewing machine trying to mend something. After the third needle broke because the material was too thick for the needle she had, and hearing her say in absolute frustration "son of a biscuit". Such a lady! Or the time the pressure cooker clogged up when she was making split pea soup – “thar she blows!”
Crafty Saver - Licking all those Gold Bond and S&H green stamps! Pulling weeds in her garden at the lake and picking raspberries in the woods & getting yelled at for not bringing back a full coffee can (hard not to eat them!)
Character Builder – There are many things Mom taught us - Whatever life throws at you, NEVER give up! Work hard – give your best – exercise - say your prayers – Get over yourself ! But MOST of all she taught us that family is the most important thing in life – her example is testimony to us of that – she’s the best mom ever!
Theresa Smrecansky, of Diamondcrest Senior Living- Rogers, MN
Submitted by Judi Vasko
Mom was always there for me, when I got home from school or to plan an elaborate birthday party. When I came home from school and said the teacher asked if any of our moms could ... l NEVER HAD TO FINISH THE SENTENCE. Mom said, "I will!" to clean the church or wash the rags from cleaning the school.
Mom was always there. When I chose to become a "Blue Bird", they needed a leader, mom was it!
Mom always encouraged friends to "hang out" at our home, early years through high school. Our house was the party house. My parents were there interacting and feeding everyone. Mom would come down to the rec room with a plate of hot fresh baked cookies after having to put up with us for hours!
Mom's dedication to me continued throughout my adult life. Onto a plane when her first grandchild was born, to help of course. She beamed as she held Stacie. I beamed as I finally "paid her back" for everything she had done for me.
With every move in my husband’s career, my parents were there to help from state to state. Mom of course would have tons of food as we unpacked.
I knew I had to move mom to Minnesota and closer to us in her final years. It was a very emotional time for me. I searched to find a place as special as she had in Ohio. At last, Diamondcrest...
Submitted by Shirley Lipsey
Although my mother thought of herself as only a housewife, she was much more than that. She was a powerhouse packed in a small and beautiful package. My mother came with her parents from eastern Europe to Ellis Island in 1911, and settled in 'Omaha, Nebraska. As a 13-yr-old, with no knowledge of the language or customs, she was enrolled in the third grade and was rapidly advanced. By the time she had married my father, at the age of sixteen, she had lost her European accent and was completely Americanized.
I was the sixth of 11 children. My father worked long hours developing a successful automobile dealership, and provided love and security to all of us. How my mother was able to cook, clean, and manage a household of 11 children is still a miracle to me. And I can well remember her sense of compassion for the less fortunate, how during the Great Depression she would welcome itinerants on to our porch to give them sandwiches.
But the biggest miracle to me was the knowledge of life and the sense of security and sound advice on living she imparted to me and my siblings.
Eula Ballard O’Connor
Submitted by Jo Myers, of Five Star Premier Residences of Reno
In 1939, my brother, mom and I were leaving my grandparents’ isolated ranch, named Disaster Peak, near the Oregon-Nevada border. Snow was falling and two hours into our trip our little ‘32 Ford became stuck in the bottom of Cottonwood Canyon. The road was quickly being covered by snow, which was now hiding many holes and ruts. My mother made several attempts, but couldn’t get out.
It was now getting late and my mother made a very courageous decision. 5 miles ahead along the dirt road, was an old telephone. One end of this phone originally reached a now defunct mine, and the other end was connected directly to a residence in McDermitt. The odds of the old phone working, much less reaching a person, were slim.
Mom did not have a heavy coat or winter boots. She wrapped a scarf around her head and wrapped my brother and me with all the available things we had and told us not to get out of the car for anything. We were scared that she would never return. As we waited the snow continued to fall.
At long last a tiny figure appeared at the top of the grade. Mom was worn out but jubilant. She had reached someone on the phone. It was another long wait until Claude Reeves, the postmaster at McDermitt, who had only one arm, got to our car. Claude got in behind our steering wheel and fish tailed as badly as Mom had, but managed to get us to the top. That was the most exciting ride I have ever had.
To this day I get goose bumps when I think of my mother and the bravery she portrayed. Hats off to you, mom!
Magdalena Sandau Gackle
Submitted by Leah Huber
My mother's name was Magdalena Sandau Gackle. She lived in North Dakota with a family of twelve children. My father also lived in NorthDakota. He was anxious to get his own land. When the homesteads opened up in Montana, he applied and was granted land in the southeastern part of Montana. He built a shed and dug a well, then went back to North Dakota to ask Magdalena to marry him. She was willing and they moved to the farm. Mother raised seven children, all of them born at home with a midwife attending. She also raised two nephews. My mother never hit or spanked us.
Whenever we needed to be disciplined, we had to kneel in the corner and not get up until mother said so. All seven of us went to a country school, then to high school and college.
Mother always had a big garden and would can the extra produce. One day she saw a shepherd heading for her garden. She quickly grabbed a pound of butter and met him. He then whistled to his dog and they went by.Mother had all kinds of farm animals. She milked cows twice a day and sold the cream for extra grocery money.
She taught us to obey and respect our elders. Every day the Bible was read after breakfast and we all would kneel and pray. My mother saw to it that we all went to church every Sunday. She lived to be eighty eight years old.
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