Honor Thy Mother

There’s no denying it… we wouldn’t be here without them! They come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.They may drive us mad or to success – or both. We admire, love and respect them – yet we can have more complex relationships with them than anyone else on the planet. Let’s face it, there’s just no one quite like your mom.

Read our stories of what’s the most important things we take away from our relationship with our truly unique mothers. Then take some time to reflect on the relationship you have with your mother.

Oh, Mama!
Sometimes the line is veritably blurry between what I, a Sag, might have inherited from my Aquarius mom genetically, and what I have learned from watching and listening to her all these years. She cooks family style out of preference, but I love taking cooking classes and testing recipes with unusual ingredients. I am tall, she is short. She is fair, I am dark. Most often I see us as polar opposites. But I do know that the one thing she appreciates most about herself, and somehow I am in sync in that ideal, is that our brains are the most beautiful thing about us.

She is multitalented. She speaks five languages – four fluently. She has the memory of a computer for facts, history and numbers that still blows people away to this day. I speak only English, having forgotten every other language I ever studied. I don’t have a passion for history or facts, and I’ve never balanced my checkbook. But what I do have, and will challenge and exercise for all of my days on this earth, as my mother has, is an enormous appreciation for the brain I was born with and have nurtured as voraciously as she has nurtured hers. We are a mother and daughter, who love the gray matter inside our heads, who take great pride in our intelligence and carry it more proudly and with more satisfaction than a pair of Hermes bags. Thanks, Mom. (Daina)

Truly rich!
The first words that come to mind when I think of my mom are yummy (she’s an amazing cook!) sweet, strong and full of faith and patience. My mom’s family endured difficult times – first as refugees, then surviving a war and persecution for their origin. As distressing as these times were for my mom, she lives life with faith and appreciation of the moment. I won’t pretend that I don’t worry sometimes but I certainly know how to live in the moment – maintaining a good sense of humor about things – and I learned that lesson from my mom. I mean when you don’t know if tomorrow will come, literally, you learn to have faith and take it day by day. What else can you do?

Part of that appreciation is sharing what you have, no matter how small it seems. I remember watching my mom work for a week preparing delicate dishes with such care and love before welcoming guests for a delicious feast. Sometimes she’d let me do the more menial chores I thought were boring (I wanted at the knives and cutting boards, but I still have all my fingers, so maybe mom did know best!). Now I realize that just being in there with her, I absorbed more than recipes. I found the fun in feeding friends and family… and the joy in hospitality – I would rather host a party than go to one anytime! Patience in the kitchen and in life is one of my Mom’s greatest strengths.

As a mother, she was very patient with me and my three brothers. I don’t know how she managed all of us but she did. Not only that, but she taught us her native language, helped us with our schoolwork, made our clothes and sang us to sleep at night. When I feel overwhelmed by things or when I’m losing faith in myself or the world, I remember what my mom has been through and just witnessing her strength, resourcefulness, faith and kindness gives me the courage and drive to go forward again. If I’m sad or nervous, I sing a song even if it’s off key! And if I’m home for a visit, well, I ask my mom to cook all my favorite foods… and she enjoys watching me eat them all happily! (Marie)

Independence Day
My mom was a terrible cook. In fact, she likened cooking to servitude and tried to avoid it at all costs. I can’t tell you how many scrambled egg dinners my dad and I made together before I was age 10. In reflecting back, I think the most important thing I learned from my mom was that I could work hard and earn my own money… oh, and not to get married until I was at least 30. I see the boomerang effect this has had in my adventerous life. I never attracted the friends who were looking for meal tickets in mates (hence, I attracted those off to study, play music or explore exotic lands). I valued getting an education and I held out for true love – no settling due to parental and societal pressures to get married and have kids. Thanks, mom!

First and foremost, I have always felt immensely loved and adored by at least two people on the planet (mom and dad). Secondly, I feel like I have always had choices in life – and could make good solid decisions for myself. I will have these gifts long after they both have passed and for that, I am very grateful for my mom’s independent spirit, her intelligence and ability to separate herself from the enormous obstacles of her youth (growing up in poverty with 12 siblings affiliated with a religious cult). She paved her own healthier road starting out at age 14 and never brought any of her messed up past into our lives. On the contrary, she showed my sister and me how we, too, could live long and prosper – respectfully – no matter what obstacles we faced. Oh, and did I mention that I learned (and loved!) to cook as soon as I could read a cookbook? I guess I have mom to thank for my gourmet cooking skills, as well. (Kim)

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