Sunday is Mother's Day, and we want to help our readers honor their mothers in print. Mothers make an indelible mark on their children, whether they are birth mothers, adoptive mothers, mothers-in-law or just mother figures. Here are short stories from several loyal readers whose mothers have shared special life lessons with their children.
We hope you'll take the time on Mother's Day to honor your mother by recalling the life lessons she taught you, funny stories from your childhood or aspects of your mother's personality that you admire. Put these memories on paper, share them with your children and, if your mother is still alive, thank her for all she did for you growing up.
Always a teacher
If you homeschooled six children from 1983 to 2009, would you immediately return to the Oklahoma City Public Schools as a first-grade teacher? Most women couldn't and wouldn't do that. My mother, Sally White, has been a teacher all of her adult life. She encouraged my love of reading and suffered through high school algebra with me. She taught me to cook and to embroider. She taught me to fight for myself and for the people I love. She taught me that the best lessons are in my past and my family's past. I am continually realizing lessons she taught me when I was young, and am grateful for the lessons she continues to teach me.
Mom, thanks for loving me, my siblings, and your first-grade class enough to teach us who we can be and to love us when we seem unteachable.
— Abigail White
My mama — Mamie L. Brown (11/22/1929-3/12/2008) — she was an amazing woman. She was my go-to person ... in good and bad times. I always felt loved and a tremendous amount of comfort and joy, just hearing her voice. Not only was she my mom, but she was my best friend. Her most treasured time was with family, especially her grandkids. See the website I created for my mama at memorialwebsites.legacy.com/MamieLBrown.
— Adrienne Perry
Cultural contributions remembered
One of the outstanding memories that we have of our mother, Anita Martinez, was in 1983 she was employed by the Salvation Army as the director of the only Spanish-speaking Senior Center in Oklahoma, La Puerta de Oro. The Folklife Festival committee was looking for traditional Mexican music to represent Oklahoma at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for the 100th Diamond Jubilee. Anita's band, “Los Viejitos,” was chosen to represent Oklahoma. They were showcased with the likes of Bob Wills, Bill Monroe, Johnny Lee Wills, Pedro Ayla, Lydia Mendoza, and many others.
— The Martinez Siblings
Work ethic admired
I always thought my mother, Joyce Marie (Walker) Ruggles, (4/8/1920-8/9/1983) was the most beautiful lady in the world. She taught me good manners: “Yes sir,” “No sir” and “You are welcome.” Always respect authority but don't let anyone take advantage of you.
Her kids were the most important people in her life. She would fight a circle saw for them.
She always said you can be anything you set your mind to. All it takes is lots of hard work. You are as good or better than anyone else, and you can do it if you want to.
She had a job after I started school. She and my dad were always trying to work to a better life. They both came from farm families where hard work was the normal way of life.
I credit her for the strong work ethic that she instilled in my two brothers and me. It is something I have tried to pass down to my three children.
I believe it must have taken because my recently retired daughter said she credits her dad and me with her strong work ethic.
— Joyce (Ruggles) Statton
Blessed with two moms
When I was 4 years old, I was put up for adoption. My mother didn't want to separate me and my sister, Julie. I couldn't understand why we were put up for adoption — my mother said that back then, my birth mother couldn't take care of us financially.
Well, my adoptive parents have passed. A few years ago, my friend David was helping me figure out what Indian tribe I came from. We found out, and I actually met my biological mother. When I met her, she always told me that I'm somebody. Both my mothers told me that. I guess you can say I was lucky to have two moms. I wish I could go to Canada and spend time with my biological mother and my grandpa. He is 97, and she is 64. I was blessed to have two mothers.
— Shelley Ashline
Sure-footed mother wore many shoes
Mom (Winnie Gallagher) had good feet — she worked the farm in Ireland barefoot, cycled to town in her brother's shoes, and crossed the Atlantic at age 17. Up and down boardinghouse stairs and 6 a.m. bus trips in waitress shoes for the breakfast shift.
After marriage and three kids in five years, she shifted to night shift. During the days, she shopped Philadelphia streets in sensible lace-ups shunted aside on Sunday for her one pair of high heels for high Mass, low Mass, whatever it took to keep her walking the hard-won path she saw strewn with roses.
— Sheila Gallagher Tiarks
Love without bounds
Cherished most is my “mother's” ability to love not only by giving life, but also her ability to change a life. Her son, Brett, my life's greatest gift, died Aug. 21, 2011. We were together for over 23 years and called each other husband and wife.
Brett's mother, Carol Pinson, loves me with a heart equal to his. She loves without bounds. Creating walls I confined myself in through addiction and depression, her belief in me produced eight years of sobriety. She reached my core and has shown me more beautiful ways to live. She believes I am someone deserving of love and I feel honored to reciprocate. Happy Mother's Day!
Tea for Two
My grandmother Frankie Terrell is like a second mom to me. She was always giving me advice. But I don't get to see her much since I have gone off to college.
She loves fashion, decorating, art, dancing, books and watching old movies. And I like the same things.
My grandmother is a character. She took me to my first tea room, and we had to wear hats. Come to think of it, her house looks like a tea room. She likes to have dinner parties and dress up in different costumes to surprise everyone.
She is so much fun! She has always told me to keep a sense of humor.
Happy Mother's Day, grandmother!
— Desiree Acebo