All about Our Mothers

I thought I would open up a thread here for you to tell us about your mums. I’ll go first.

When I was quite young I had a paper route. I had to get up very early, before even 5:00 a.m. (When I started attending early morning seminary and therefore had to give up the route, it seemed so luxurious to be able to “sleep in” for seminary.) My mother would get up at the same time and make me a cup of hot Postum (yes, very Mormon!) with two slices of toast each cut into thirds, which I would dunk into the Postum and eat, and then venture out into the cold cruel world to deliver my papers. On the worst winter days, she would actually drive me around on my route. I never asked her to do any of this; she just did it.

The other thought that comes quickly to mind when I think of my mother is the fact that I have never in my life heard her utter an unkind word about another human being. In the words of a recent popular Mormon book, “not even once.” That is an otherworldly bar to set for her children, one that I certainly have not come even close to reaching myself. But to whatever extent I manage to be a kind and empathetic person in my life, I credit it largely to the example my mother set for me.

What would you like us to know about your mother? Share with us your stories (good, bad or indifferent).


  1. My mom was one of the quietest, most gentle people I’ve known. She never raised her voice. She would cry when we did something wrong, instead of raising her voice. Those tears hurt more than the occasional discipline we got from our father, whose foundational rule was that we never talked back to our mother or caused her to worry about us. We didn’t know why until years after we left the house and started families of our own.

    She almost never cooked (except for the excellent homemade bread we loved). I never saw her clean the house or do any kind of household chores. I never saw her drive a car. I never saw her do much, really, except play the piano, read and tell us she loved us.

    She played the piano extremely well, but was too small for her hands to reach even an octave. (She was 4’10”.) She sat under a built-in desk in our kitchen during the winter, next to the heat vent, reading.

    Growing up, I thought she was a saint – the spiritual one in her relationship with my dad, who, in my eyes, was wonderful but just a common, ordinary man who was fortunate to have married up.

    She was schizophrenic, but we didn’t know that, since her “sleeping pills” and my father’s commitment to shielding her from every worry of life kept her condition at bay throughout the time we lived at home. I only came to see my dad for the unbelievable man he was years later, when I finally realized just how much he gave up (literally laying down his life for his best friend) to allow her to be my mom.

    My dad is gone now, and my youngest brother and sister have taken over his role in regulating her life so she can continue to be our mom.

  2. Corrina says:

    Ray, I really appreciated reading about your mom and your love and respect for her. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

    My mom was 48 when my dad died, and at the time, she was just barely into her first year as a full-time English teacher. There were many ups and downs for her in the 19 years since my dad died, but she continued with life and raising us children, while dealing with 7th graders day in and day out. I’m so proud of her for staying strong and hopeful.

    My mom never dated or was interested in remarrying, but last year she reconnected w/ a good friend from her home ward. She got married and retired in the same month, and I’m so happy she’s now able to relax and enjoy life with a wonderful partner!

  3. My mom is the best. Seriously. She is hilarious and kind. She can slice a single steak into nearly-transparent slivers so as to feed a family of 4 kids. She can make chocolates. Her laugh is infectious. She likes to go to garage sales and lowball people. She doesn’t like science fiction, though,

  4. Angela C says:

    My mom has an excellent vocabulary and is great at Sudoku. Her dad used to use her as a pointer dog when she was a little girl. She also said one of the great pleasures in life was pulling a rabbit skin off in one go. I’ll take her word for it.

  5. Michael A. Hickman says:

    My mother never ever hit us even when she was raised in a Sicilian home. When I was about 11 years old I attended a church activity. I remember being alone with my mom and 8 year old sister Lisa out in the foyer getting a drink of water. When my sister was done getting a drink of water she turned around and a boy about the same age as her ran up to her and spit in her face. My mother did only what would come to any mothers mind. Let’s just say her Italian hand met with his face. That day I witnessed a loving, protective and imperfect mother.

  6. whizzbang says:

    My Mum is a total rock. We grew up broke, my dad didn’t always have the best jobs and I know sometimes my Mom had to ask her Mum for money to help support the family. I know for years and years her sister, which is my Aunt would criticize my Mom for having 4 kids and a husband. My parents were sealed in the Temple but my dad wasn’t always active.Thing is my Mum has two university degrees and made a very decent wage prior to meeting my dad and made more money than he did when they married. I have never once heard her complain about how things were. She has had to give up so much that we could have things. I was talking to my younger sister once about it and how life was when we were kids and we came to the conclusion that we don’t know how they (she) did it. Almost no money, my dad smoked, the constant need for things to keep us together, rent, bills, food etc. I am amazed that they came through all that. Now, years later my mum is very well taken care of, she has grandkids that adore her and all her family just love her to bits and my dad of course, who has quit smoking and comes to church more often when he is physically able.

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