7 Things I Learned to Love from Mother

by happynutritionist

Being a mother can be one of the most important responsibilities a woman can have, and my mother overcame and is still overcoming challenges a mother would rather avoid.

My mother faced some of the most challenging life circumstances with grace and peace, and taught me to love and appreciate many things as a child. I think being a mother has helped me to appreciate my own mother all the more. I put this page together for her to read one Mother's Day, and to share her with you at the same time. I am sure I learned more than 7 things, but this is a good start.

I know that everyone is not blessed with a good mother, and my heart goes out to those who did not have Moms that were all that they could have been, but I hope that each of you reading this has some special memories of your Mom, or a person who was like a Mom, in your life.

My Mom is gentle, gracious, kind and beautiful, inside and out. I learned to love many things through her, and learned what is important in life.

The photo above and later on this page was taken at my sister's wedding a number of years ago. Dad has since left us for Heaven, and Mom is now in her mid-80's.

Come along with me as I share my love by writing this tribute to my mother.

Intro Image owned by me
page by Claudia Meydrech aka happynutritionist
New on Wizzley May 2015 -  Updated July 23, 2015

One of my favorite pictures of my Mom and Dad

Taken at my sister's wedding
Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad

1. I Learned to Love Flowers and Trees from Mom

My Mom loves gardening and flowers

Orange Double DaylilyMy mother was a wonderful gardener. When we were young, we lived in a fairly small brick home in a typical 1950's development with sidewalks and neatly mowed lawns in central New Jersey. Of course we were small, so it seemed huge to us, it's only by going back and looking at the house and property later in life that I realized just how small it was. Dad and Mom purchased the home new, and Mom, with some help getting the soil loose from Dad, put in some beautiful gardens.

Looking out the window from the back of the house, there were rose bushes growing along the fence to the left, and her Mimosa Tree grew just off the patio outside the door. To the right along the fence was her vegetable garden, and a grape vine that produced many concord grapes and delicious grape jelly almost every year. I remember watching her strain the cooked-down grapes through cheesecloth and then she stored it in the freezer to make jelly when ready. The far right corner of the yard had 3 huge tulip trees, yes, even the trees had flowers in the springtime...a little gift from God that came along with the house. Up against the house right outside the window was a trellis with honeysuckle growing on it, and along one side of the house, another trellis with roses growing.

When you looked out the front picture window, a garden was right there along the window, with ivy growing up against the house. There were flowers, including the flowers that my dad teased her about mercilessly, but all in fun, her Coral Bells...he thought they were such small flowers hanging from such a long stalk. In the front lawn to the right of the walkway to the front door was a garden ring with a large Azalea bush in the center of it. We would run around and around the bush when we played.

Though I don't have the green thumb that my mother has, I did learn to love things that grow, and did put in gardens on our property when we moved here over 30 years ago.

Image: Double Orange Daylily from my garden.

Heirloom Seeds and Plants - Just like mother and grandmother used in their gardens

Heirloom seeds are seeds that are from plants down through the generations...just like mother or grandmother used to use. Not altered by hybridization and should be GMO-Free.
135 Variety Organic Heirloom Survival...Heirloom Organic Garden Vegetable See...12 Heirloom Varieties of Vegetable Seeds

2. I Learned to Love Birds from Mom

We always had a feeder in the yard

I love birds, and learned everything I know about them from my mom. She didn't have a fancy Morning Dovebird feeder, she'd just take the seeds and spread them out on an old cookie baking sheet, and put them out for the birds to enjoy. I love animals and would watch the birds that came to eat, and she'd tell me about each one. The Sparrow and the Grackles; the Cardinals and how they partnered for life; the Cowbirds, Blue jays and the Titmouse and so many more.

When the spring and fall migrations were going on, I remember watching her break up bread as the Grackles and Starlings came through in large numbers. She would throw the pieces of bread out in the lawn, and the white on the lawn from the bread would disappear instantly as the birds swooped down to get their share. These simple pleasures left an impression on me...I love to feed the birds, and we have many around us.

Image: Morning Dove on our Deck Railing watching me while I watch it.

3. I Learned to Love Jesus from Mom

It helped during a time of abuse from a teacher and beyond

I remember my parents taking me to Sunday School from my earliest memories...people seemed like giants when walking with the crowd of adults to my class back when I was very small. The Bible, prayer and a relationship with God were number one on my mother's list of important things. I would see her reading her Bible or a daily devotional book called "Streams in the Desert" some mornings when I'd peek in her bedroom and knew that this was her quiet time, and (I hope) didn't disturb her.

I went through some abuse from a teacher in my earliest years. I went to public school through the 2nd grade. The teacher was one who liked to bring the attention of the class to your weaknesses, and invited the class to laugh at you as her strange way of degrading or punishing you. She turned small fears into great ones this way...one example is the school alarm that went off right over my head at lunch time...when I saw the clock hands getting close, I'd cover my ears...to which she would bring the classes attention so all could laugh out loud at me. I can't believe this even as I type it. I became so traumatized that I couldn't eat, so what did she do? She took me to the "cloak room" to sit...a little closet-sized cloak room with coats hanging on pegs above the benches that lined each side where the lunch boxes stayed until it was lunch time. I had to sit on the bench in that little room, head and body between the coats that were hanging, until lunch was over and she came to get me back to class...too young and too afraid to express how it made me feel and to know what to do.

In time parents realized something was wrong, and the teacher was finally dismissed from the school when parents came forward with stories...but not before leaving many a scar on me and other students. Even though the teacher denied the stories, my mother trusted me and knew I never lied.

I believe that it was this that led my parents to take me from public school to a private Christian school, where it took years for me to heal. I am so grateful for that experience. And that teacher? When I was a teen, I was behind a woman in the checkout line at the supermarket...she turned around and said my name as if trying to recognize me, and I felt my throat close...it was her looking a bit older, and with an expression of someone who regrets something they have done, I was too shocked to remember what was said between us, but hope I knew enough to be gracious and forgiving.

But back to Mom and my love for Jesus, it was my Mom who was there to pray with me after we came home from Vacation Bible School where she taught and I learned. I wanted to know how to have a personal and close relationship with my creator, God. She explained and prayed with me as I asked God to forgive me for what the Bible calls sins, accepting and believing that Jesus had covered them all when He paid that terrible price on the cross. I was only 4, but it was a transforming experience in my life. It is knowing God and how life and circumstances fit into His plan that has helped me forgive hurts of the past, find direction in the present, and look forward to living forever with God. It is all so real to me. My Mom is the person that she is because of Him, I don't know what kind of mother I would have had otherwise.

As children, after dinner, we learned passages of scripture with Mom and Dad. We learned the love chapter, I Corinthians 13; the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, Matthew 28; a passage that we turned to, and I still turn to in difficult times for reassurance, Psalm 91; and other passages that mean so much to know.

4. I Learned to Deal with the Challenges of Life

I can't say I enjoyed them, but learned to deal with them

We were a generally happy family during my childhood. I am the oldest of 4 children, and we are all 4 years apart. Each year we would vacation at my grandparents.

One summer when we were at my grandparents, my youngest brother who was only about 6 months old, became very sick. I was about 12 at the time. He ended up in what they called the Children's Floating Hospital in Boston, Mass. He was there for weeks, often with a 50/50 chance of living until the next day. As I had my own children it was painful for me to try to imagine what this must have been like for my mother. My brother did live, but as a result of spinal meningitis, he was and is multiply disabled...almost deaf so cannot talk, mentally disabled, yet able to take care of his basic needs. This brought significant change to our family. Challenges to faith, questions, sometimes arguments as to what the best course of action to take would be, a complete turning upside-down of our family in many ways. It was hard for Mom to accept that there was really something wrong with my brother, her love for him was so strong...it was hard for us to watch my brother struggle, knowing something was not right.

This brought challenges to my faith as well, and temptation to resent a brother who, though he had been through so much, now took all the attention away from us, me, during the teen years when life seems all mixed up as it is.

Through it all, my Mother clung to God, her faith, and her belief in all the best for my brother. It took some time for me to come to terms with the fact that a disabled family member has many more needs than a "whole" child, and that it is only natural that they will require much more attention. Watching my mother remain strong in her faith, even though I may not have admitted it at the time, was surely what helped keep me strong in mine. She remained full of faith, full of hope, and a rock for all of us, though at times I'm sure that a tempest was going on inside that she brought to God during her quiet times, and left there with Him.

The photo is one of my brother taken maybe 8-9 years ago when my husband and I were taking him for a weekend of camping at a wonderful place in Pennsylvania. We did this a few times over the years, enjoying bringing something different and fun into his life. This went on until I with a little help from my other brother and sister, was able to get him settled in a wonderful group home close to us all.

Currently Mom, in her mid-80's at the time of this update in May, 2015, is going through the painful challenge of watching her son, my brother, close to leaving this life for Heaven due to a brain tumor. She is strong and courageous though her heart is in pain, and her faith never waivers. We know where he is going, and that we will all be together again...and we will one day have our first conversation with John in Heaven.*

I think the greatest challenge before the current one was the 5-year illness and passing of her husband, my Dad, in October of 2005. She misses him terribly, but gets on one day at a time...I hope I am half as strong if and when a challenge like that comes my way.

* UPDATE on my brother - on June 29, 2015, my brother left behind his body and went home to be with Jesus in Heaven. We miss him terribly, it has been a difficult journey getting to this point. I know this is so hard for my Mom, it is hard for all of us because those with special needs touch deep places in the heart.

5. I Learned Where Hope is Found from Mom

The following old hymn done in a moderately contemporary style, with joy and excitement because there is a lot to be excited about, does a good job of expressing where my Mom's hope was found, and mine.

6. I Learned about Love and a Commited Marriage from Mom

For better, for worse, until death do us part

50th Wedding Anniversary ImageMy Mom and Dad remained faithful marriage partners through thick and thin, and as in most marriages, there was plenty of both. I didn't realize the full significance of this until I read that many marriages don't survive having a disabled child...sad for the Mother, sad for the precious and wonderful child.

This doesn't mean that there weren't challenges in their relationship. They differed greatly sometimes in how things should be handled...but never did the thought that they might separate or divorce ever enter our minds. Mom's faith was strong, she worked hard to keep her marriage strong, as did my Dad, who remained faithful to her when he could have done otherwise....it's hard to share your wife with a child with great need, something he did for her until the time of his death. (I see I will have to do a tribute to him one day).

In marriage, if you don't work through the difficult times (depending upon the circumstances), you may miss the opportunity of seeing the miracle on the other side.

Photo: Taken at my Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary celebration when they renewed their wedding vows.

"Work through the difficult times in marriage,

or you may miss the miracle on the other side."

Mom and Dad Dating
Mom and Dad Dating

7. I Learned to Love Books from my Mom

Reading was my favorite way to pass time

I loved to read as a child. I think the first books that really captured my attention were the Nancy Drew series that sat on the shelf at our little school library. I read the completes set of Nancy Drew books and loved each one.

My mother read many a book and loved historical novels, and biographies of Presidents. I have taken to listening to audio books now, as it is something I can do while crocheting, or working on other projects around the house. I also have my Kindle loaded up with more books than I'll ever read in my lifetime, I guess that's better than having shelves full of them in a small house.

When I was young I used to ask my mother what books would be good to read, and she would always have a suggestion.

I have borrowed books from my mother, including Amish series of books written by Beverly Lewis, and many others.

I hope you have enjoyed this tribute to my Mom

There is so much more that I could say

There is so much more that I could say about my Mom, but I've shared the things that came to mind first.

I love you, Mom!

Updated: 07/23/2015, happynutritionist
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Guestbook - I hope you have enjoyed this tribute to my Mother.

happynutritionist on 07/23/2015

@Mira It is good that you can see your Mom often, I am due for a visit to mine. A few weeks ago, I lost my brother, her son, a very difficult time...he was disabled and I am one of his guardians, so focused a lot on that over the past 9 months of his illness. So hard for his 86 year old Mom. Yes, I did mention him in this article, I should edit that information if I haven't.

Mira on 07/23/2015

This is a wonderful, heartwarming tribute. I am different from my mother in many ways, but I still learn many lessons from her, and am very thankful to live close to her and see her often. Thank you for this article.

happynutritionist on 06/03/2015

@burntchestnut That is a good idea...for those who are not as blessed in that area.

AngelaJohnson on 06/01/2015

This is a nice tribute to a wonderful mother. You're right in stating that not everyone has a good mother, but perhaps we can be a good mother or father figure to a young person and perhaps make their life a little better.

happynutritionist on 05/14/2015

@CountrySunshine I have raised my children, and do see some of her traits in them, and always wish I had more of her tenderness than I do...but Mom is a good influence on anyone that she comes in contact with.

CountrySunshine on 05/13/2015

This is such a sweet tribute to your Mother! She must be a long-lost cousin to MY Mother, as I was instilled with the same love of nature, reading, faith, life and love. I hope the lessons she has taught you are handed down in your family over the years, and that the memories stay with you forever.

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