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thank for Mom
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Thank You Mom
When we asked our readers to tell us what makes their moms great, we were flooded with mail—close to 1,000 letters with more still coming in.
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This story's category:
Nostalgia
When we asked our readers to tell us what makes their moms great, we were flooded with mail—close to 1,000 letters with more still coming in. We wish we could print them all. The stories we read were tales of compassion, sacrifice, and enduring, unconditional love. The mothers we read about overcame disease, disasters, heartbreak, poverty, and the Great Depression, and without exception they made us think how much love we owe our mothers, and how we should be thanking them often with regular notes of gratitude—not just on Mother’s Day. Herein, a sampling of the letters …
I roller skate competitively, and it’s not the cheapest thing. I don’t know where I’d be if my mother didn’t make my costumes for me, or pay for my skates (my father helps also). My mother home-schooled Ashley, and when we were done with our school work, we would go to the science museum, horseback riding in the metro parks, swimming, sledding down huge hills until you’re frozen stiff, visiting the art museum, or we’d go to Cleveland to the market there and just walk around. And when we would go to places, we would stay there for hours at a time!”
—Elizabeth Anne Walker, Medina, Ohio
“‘Hey you guys, be good to your mother.’ Those words, spoken from a military hospital room window, were the last words I ever heard my father say. When my mother took us back in the afternoon, we were told he had passed away. Two days later my mother delivered my sister. Now she had four sons and a daughter.
“When I am having what I think is a bad day, I need only recall all that, and realize it’s probably not a bad day at all. The determination and strength my mother used to get our fatherless family raised amazes me to this day.”
—Richard A. Heath, Topsham, Vt.
“We were poor when I was young, but I don’t remember ever feeling poor, or hungry, or deprived. My mom did things to prevent that. One Christmas she made us all skirts and jumpers on her old sewing machine, staying up late working on them after we’d gone to bed. One year we all got bicycles for Christmas. They were used bikes, but we thought they were the best. One year we got our very own horse for Christmas (even though mom was afraid of horses). There wasn’t a dry eye in the house that time.
“She was the one person I could always count on, and I knew she loved me unconditionally, even when I didn’t love myself.”
—Marsha Sichting, Blackfoot, Idaho
“Mom, I want to let the entire world know who Annette Smith is, and what makes you amazing. I will never be able to thank you for everything—rocking me to sleep in my brown rocker, teaching me to bake your mouth-watering rolls, and demonstrating how attitude determines happiness.
“I want the world to know how proud of you I am. Your vegetables are grand prize winners, 30 chickens all have names, and the pigs have their own first-class bed and breakfast! We created our first craft store together, and the farm has gone from bare land to a place others flock to.
“I hope I can give my husband the love and support you give dad. I love you.”
—Marie Vineyard, Ellensburg, Wash.
“Mother’s greatest gifts to her children were how she taught us to love by taking the smallest portion on the plate for herself, returning “too much” change to the grocery, and sitting in the middle of the car seat so we could have the window. Mother taught us about washing our hands, behaving in public, and loving God.
—Linda F. Thomas, Beaumont, Texas
“Did you ever want to just stop life? Did you ever want to start over? Is there anyone but me who can’t seem to get it right the first time?
“Through a series of events, at age 17 I found myself homeless. One day, a teacher I’d grown so fond of and admired came to where I was temporarily living. She told me simply, ‘Our home is yours if you would like for it to be.’
From the moment I was welcomed into the Roberts family, no distinction was made between my two new siblings and me. Nothing but love, direction, and a sense of belonging was conveyed to me. My education was given to me as equally as if I had the same blood as my mother, for indeed she is my mother. She possesses an abiding faith in the power of God’s direction, an enormous heart, and a spirit unequaled in the ability to convey love.”
—Linda Morris, director of elementary education, Nassau School District, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
“Our mom tells us she loves us every morning and every night before bed. Our mom reads to us every day, and plays silly games that no one else will play with us. She makes us feel warm inside with all the hugs she gives.”
—Dante Yang, (3 1/2) and Sophia Yang (6 mos.), Albuquerque, N.M.
“Mom loved Dad—no questions, no doubts, no hesitations. They were one; a unit. Even though I felt that unquestionable, unconditional mother’s love, it was clear that her love for my father was unshakable and a priority. She has taught me the importance of honesty and fidelity. Now as a wife and mother of four, sometimes when things get chaotic, what I need is just a talk with mom. She reminds me that I don’t have to do it all, and that I should be good to myself in order to be good for my family.”
—Teresa M. Cullen, Carroll, Iowa
“I grew up on a small farm during the Great Depression. Cotton was our only cash crop. I was in school, and it was planting time. As Papa got up from the breakfast table, he said to me, ‘You can’t go to school today; you’ll have to help me plant. I’ll go hitch up to team. Finish your breakfast and come on out.’
“Nothing more was said until he was out of the house. My mother, barely 5 feet tall, quietly said to me, ‘Clean up the table, wash the dishes and get dressed for school. I’ll plant the cotton today.’
“I was a freshman in high school at the time, and I’m glad my mother lived to see me graduate from three colleges.”
—Acie Puckett, Normandy, Tenn.
“On November 22, 2002, my mother lay in a hospital dying. I kissed her goodbye, and told her we’d all be fine, and would never forget her. As soon as my father told her goodbye, she was gone. (Later) as I went through her belongings, I realized she didn’t have things of great value. What was most important to my mother had never been things—it was us, her family!
“I have a box of birthday cards and letters she sent me over the years, that I read when I feel longing for her. Boy do I ever miss her! Treasure every moment you spend with your mother! When she’s gone, you’ll never feel the same.”
—Kathleen G. Lupole, Smithville Flats, N.Y.
“My mom does best at taking care of my family at my house because my dad is at war.”
— Eric Redding, 4th grade class at McBride Elementary School in St. Helens, Ore.
“What makes my mom great is that she loves me for who I am, and not who I’m not.”
— Jen MacDonald, 4th grade class at McBride Elementary School in St. Helens, Ore.
My mother opens her home to kids she does not know—to try to help them, love them, and give them a home to call their own. She has had over 35 foster kids. I was one of them, and a year ago she said she was going to adopt me. My mother is the greatest.”
—Nicole Corle, Bedford, Penn.
The first thing our mom taught us was respect—respect for the Lord, adults, our peers, our house, and her. She raised us alone, as mother and father, and was even named Father of the Year once by a radio program. She raised us on $86 a month. We thought we were rich. She never let us know how poor we were.”
—Nicole and Tiffany McGee, Terrell, Texas
In my late 20s, I became pregnant three times, all of which I lost. My mother was there telling me to keep my faith, and pray, and God would bless me with a child. Eight days before my 32nd birthday, I found out I was pregnant (but) two weeks later I found out I had cervical cancer and might have to abort. I was devastated. My mother was there, telling me to keep my faith and pray, and God would work miracles.
“Today I am the proud mother of a 3-year-old boy. Thank you, mommy. I love you!”
—Teresa Swanger, Greer, S.C.
first appeared: 5/4/2003
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