Mother's Day is nearly upon us, and it's a time to reflect on all the mothers in our lives. It's a time to thank and recognize them for how much they've influenced us and all the hard work they've done for us.
In this week's Mood, we honor the moms of some of our readers and staff. Even if your photo isn't on these pages, if you are a mother, we also honor you! May this Mother's Day bring you love and joy.
Here are some readers' and staffers' messages to their mothers.
Gracious mother touched many
You were good. That's the highest compliment I can give anyone, and I'm happy I can say it about you. You did good things. I still come in contact with people who grew up in your town and tell me that you were their Sunday school teacher and then they tell me how much they loved you and what a positive influence you had on their lives. You were always being a chauffeur for your “little old ladies,” many of whom were younger than you, who needed rides to doctors or church or the grocery store.
But, in my mind, more important than the good things you did were the good things you said. You might admit to knowing something not so nice about someone, but you were a champion at rationalizing and excusing and forgiving bad behavior. I can still hear you saying, in response to hearing something bad about a person, “yes, but ...” And then you would come up with some probable reason for that person's having acted as he or she did, followed with some kind of compliment, such as “she always took good care of her children.”
I am so thankful that your goodness included my brothers and me and our dad. You are missed every day, and I will always love you.
— Bonnie Warren
Mother's love most valuable
Your love made up for any monetary thing we didn't have. Thanks!
— Carol Ann Enlow-Cullum
Tough times not too tough for mom
The year was 1945. My mom, Vivian Logan Wright, was a hardworking person, totally dedicated to her family. I'm grateful for the values she taught and the examples she set. Times were tough, and she had no modern conveniences. She put in long hours every day and, along with my father, succeeded in raising four good, successful children.
— Betty Pannell, Pauls Valley
A mother with deep roots
A tribute to Juanita Westfall, also known as “Nanny”: Ninety years and five generations is unimaginable to most people. Mom/Nanny's life started with Troy Westfall, “Granddaddy.”
They've had 60 years of marriage, three children, seven granddaughters, 14 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Mom has lived at the same home for 64 years in Del City, where we as a family celebrate every Mother's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and everyone's birthdays. She taught us that no matter what, family always comes first.
— Shirley Coleman
Baby honors mom on first Mother's Day
I am so happy to get to spend my first Mother's Day with the best mom! I will turn 9 months old right after Mother's Day and I am so lucky to have the mom that I do. She takes great care of me and she even tries to teach me how to crawl! I haven't quite gotten that down yet. I know I keep her up some nights, but I don't mean to. I just wanted to say thank you and I love you so much!
— Hunter Maly (with a little help from Dad, Jason Maly), honoring Jennifer Maly
Farming mom's powerful gift
When I was growing up, I constantly had to explain my mother's profession to people. She was — and still is — a farmer. Carol Jones was a farmer's wife, but that wasn't her job. She and my dad have always owned and worked their farm together. My mother has always kept the books, helped work the cattle and done her part to tend the fields. And the hay swather has always been hers; my dad says that no one in the Washita River Valley could ever cut a windrow straighter than my mom. She was — and is — a farmer. Plus, she cooked, cleaned, cared for and ferried around my sister and me.
She taught me that if I worked hard, I could do things that maybe others thought I couldn't. More importantly, she taught me to treat people like Jesus does: Love them, even in spite of themselves sometimes, and follow the Golden Rule and treat them the way I would want to be treated.
The greatest gift she's ever given me, though, is that I've always known she loved me every day of my life. I occasionally doubted it when she tried to help me with my algebra homework, but deep down, I always knew she loved me. And Mother's love is powerful stuff.
— Brandy McDonnell, entertainment writer for The Oklahoman (see her blog at blog.newsok/bamsblog)
A great example
You inspire me to become a better person. I know I'll have a lot to learn about motherhood as I'll start the journey soon, but I thank you for helping me to prepare by being a great example of what it means to be an amazing mother! I love you.
— Angi Bruss Gavin (Angi Bruss, a video host for Newsok.com, is expecting her first child in early July)
A soldier and a mother
My mother, Ruth M. Harrison, was many things throughout her life, but the two things she was most proud of were being a soldier and being a mother. She was a master of trivia, generous to a fault and a role model to all who knew her. A single mother, she raised me and two siblings with almost no help from my father. She is sorely missed, but her wisdom and kindness live on in her children and many of the homeless teens she took into her home.
— Edward Harrison
Secret code of love
To C.C. “4444” much love, “Chocolate Chip”
— Susan Pinto of Oklahoma City to her mother, Carole Connellee
Mother-in-law is unconditional friend
My choice for Mother's Day is June Austin. She is my mother-in-law. She has been more than that to me through the years. June has been a friend you could tell anything to. When I became ill, she was right there with hospital stays and my coming home. For all she has done for me, thank you!
— Pearl Austin, Blackwell
Creative mother remembered
In memory of my dear mother:
This is my mother Lula (Tarpley) Green, holding me, Jewel (Green) Marsh, at 3 months, at the Tarpley farm, north of Wister.
Mother sewed for all the ladies of the community, making hats and other accessories as well. She also cooked for her family. She had three other children, two boys and one other daughter.
— Jewel Marsh
Certain of Grandmother's love
To my Grandma, Jessie Lambert,
Having you in my life wherever I go is a warmth I feel throughout my day. I know for certain that you love me no matter what! Having you in my life makes everything OK always. I love you Grandma.
— Ashley Lambert
Better because of Mom
Happy Mothers Day to the most dedicated and loving mom we could ask for, Jennifer Palmer. We are all better because of all you do.
— Love, Anthony, Logan and Quinn Palmer
(Jennifer Palmer is a Business Writer for The Oklahoman and is expecting her third child in a couple weeks.)
Food Dude remembers Mom's comfort food
My mother, Lila Cathey, passed along a lot of gifts to me as I was growing up. But the most delicious one is her curry chicken recipe, which is what I think of when I think of comfort food. Here's wishing the happiest of Mother's Days to my mom, and as a gift from the Catheys, here's a recipe for her curry chicken that is guaranteed to make the mom or moms in your life smile.
— Dave Cathey, The Food Dude
½ cup oil
2 cups chopped onion
½ cup green pepper
2 cloves garlic
6 pieces chicken
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon curry powder
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste
8 ounces whole mushrooms (optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add onions, pepper and saute a minute before adding garlic. Continue until all are softened but not quite brown.
Move the vegetables aside or remove, then sear the chicken on all sides.
Add remaining ingredients except for the flour. Cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about two hours.
If using mushrooms, add them after an hour.
About 15 minutes before finishing, mix the flour with a little warm water to make a slurry. Increase the heat to medium to attain a low boil. Add slurry to the pot and simmer the last 15 to 30 minutes uncovered.
Cook's notes: I've found the cook time from the original recipe is longer than necessary. The chicken is usually good and cooked after an hour. But the longer it cooks without drying out, the better. Since the original recipe never made enough sauce to satisfy all our sopping needs, I always go with an extra cup to cup and a half. If you're using all white meat, use chicken stock or vegetable broth to compensate for the lost flavor of the dark meat. I substitute Mexican-style tomato sauce, like El Pato, for regular tomato sauce to add a little kick. Finally, I usually use at least a full teaspoon of curry powder if not more. If you don't like curry, I've made this recipe substituting paprika, and the result was effective. Other spices to consider: toasted, ground cumin seed or ground coriander.
Source: The Cathey family.