At an early age, my Mom taught me one of my most valuable lessons that I would carry for the rest of my life! One day, my brother and I were complaining about something and she took us to Children’s Hospital in Downtown Buffalo, NY. After visiting the sick and terminally ill children, she reminded us of how fortunate we were. I want to thank my Mom for teaching us how valuable life is and not to take anything for granted.
My folks were a lot older than my friends’ parents. My parents had me when they were 40. Looking back, I believe that I had an advantage as I was raised “old school”.
– In social settings, kids were seen, but not heard unless spoken to.
– You did what you were told and if you talked back, your mouth was washed out with soap.
– We sat at the kitchen table eating as a family. If my brother or I didn’t like something on the plate, we had to sit there until we finished eating.
– We were raised on Grand Island (across the Niagara River from Buffalo) and spent the majority of free time outdoors. We didn’t have to be told to “get outside and play”. We made tree forts, snow tunnels, ice rinks out of a small pond, camped in the backyard in the summer, and were gone all day until we were called in for supper.
These are only a few examples of how we were raised. We knew our place as our folks were our parents vs. friends. Life was good, especially when we had family camping trips and once a year we went to Disney World.
My Mom taught me how to sew my own clothes. No, I wasn’t Amish, but when my friends were wearing cool clothes in school, I wore dresses that my Mom made. Sure I was embarrassed at the time, but now I realize that she was trying to pass traditional values on to me. I used my seamstress skills to hem and sew patches on my uniforms when I was in the Navy.
When my brother got to mow the lawn, I had to rake the grass as girls didn’t use “heavy equipment”. My brother had it easy as his chore was to take out the trash. I couldn’t go outside until I dusted the furniture, washed the dishes and did laundry to mention a few of many chores. Once again, when I was a kid, I didn’t realize that my Mom was grooming me so I could live on my own.
Although my Dad passed away last October, my Mom is 88 and is as determined as ever!
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and all the Moms’ out there!
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