Mother's Day Tribute - Thanks for the Momeries

Mom & Me in front of the White House, August 1982. (Credit: Susie Moore)

I think one of my favorite things about Mother’s Day is the fact that it arrives in mid-May, when everything is greening, flowers are blooming, and Summer (my favorite season) is just around the corner. And, of course, it gives us a chance to celebrate our moms (be they birthing, adoptive, surrogate, or figurative). I’m happy to celebrate my own mom every day. At 90 years old, she’s still pretty spry — still lives on her own, still drives to the store and church and out for Bridge with friends — for which I am grateful.


In the spirit of celebrating our moms, I thought I’d share something I wrote on the occasion of my mom’s 80th birthday, a little over 10 years ago. Hope you enjoy:


Today is my Mom’s 80th birthday. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around how that’s possible because she neither acts nor looks like an 80-year-old. I suppose in my mind’s eye, she’ll always be somewhere in her late 40s or early 50s — just as my 26-year-old nephew will somehow always be four.

The people we know and love longest — our family — take up residence not just in our hearts but also in our memories. It’s funny, the things that stand out when we look back on the times we’ve shared with them. I’m fortunate that most of my memories involving my Mom (and my entire family) are pleasant ones!

This past weekend, we celebrated Mom’s birthday with a luncheon at a winery. My siblings and I wanted to do something special to show our love and appreciation for her, so we each sat down and came up with several special memories to share. I thought I’d include my “Momeries” here in honor of her actual birthday:

  • Some of my earliest and fondest memories of Mom are of planting irises and tending to the garden in the backyard with her.
  • Though I was only three years old at the time, I vividly recall the day I cracked my head open, and the comfort I took from Mom sitting in the back seat of the car with me with my head in her lap while Dad drove us to the hospital.
  • It was always nice to have Mom as one of my Girl Scout leaders, but I particularly remember the time we were camping and it got so cold she agreed to move the entire troop back to our house to complete the “campout.”
  • Mom’s always been creative – one year for Halloween, I was supposed to be a clown. I somehow wound up with mosquito bites or something of that nature on my face, and Mom figured out a way to cover them up with little patches of some sort and make them look appropriately clown-like.
  • We had a blizzard one year when I was little, and I remember Mom bundling up and trudging off down the road with one of our sleds to get to the grocery store.
  • I can’t remember if it was our trip to Virginia and North Carolina or the one the following year to Florida, but we hadn’t gotten too far from home the first morning out when Mom got pulled over for speeding. She handled it calmly as I recall. Grandma, on the other hand, wanted to give the Trooper a piece of her mind!
  • Speaking of speeding, Mom tends to have a lead foot. Or, actually, feet, since she drives with both of them. It got me used to quick starts and stops!
  • Regarding Mom’s love of genealogy – some of my happier childhood memories are of accompanying her to the library to look through old microfiche records of birth, death, and marriage certificates – also, traipsing through graveyards to find headstones of long-dead ancestors.
  • Mom’s a great cook and she makes the best pies. One of my favorite things to do when I was little was watch her roll out the dough and then trim off the excess and turn it into yummy pie crust, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Also with the great cooking – Mom makes amazing fried chicken. (And I don’t even like chicken that much.) I remember the time I was in law school attempting to make a fried chicken dinner for friends, and Mom did her best to coach me through it over the phone. (Mine was nowhere near as good as hers!)
  • When I tell other people about my love of sports – football and baseball in particular – I can’t help but smile at all the times we’d have a game on the TV and I’d know what was happening by how loud Mom was yelling at it.
  • It’s actually hard to pick out isolated memories of Mom because she’s simply always been there for me – whether it was to tend to my injuries or make delicious meals or mend my clothes or dry my tears or cheer me on or pick my daughter up or chat with me on the phone – I can never adequately express how blessed I am to have her as my Mom.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for giving me a life filled with such happy memories.


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