The importance of mothers
May 16, 2016
by Jenni Sebora

I know I am late in writing about Mothers Day; however, it is never too late to discuss mothers and their contribution, as well as honor what they do.

For me, Mothers Day was extremely enjoyable. I spent some time with my husband, purchasing flowers for my flower beds; had a midafternoon luncheon with my children and husband at a favorite bistro we love, took a short nap, and then planted my flowers.

One of the best parts about the day was a handwritten card from my middle daughter that said she would never trade me for any other mother, and that if she becomes a mother, she hopes to be one like me.

Those are high compliments. I, of course, cried and will cherish that note forever.

She also painted me a picture of the sun with the words, “Dear mom, your love is like the sun – always there, even though I cannot always feel it.”

This needs some explaining – her meaning: sometimes you know what is better for me, when at the time, I don’t see it that way. Now, that makes sense.

I have thought about the women who have been influential in my life. Of course, my mother is at the top – she was always sacrificing for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. This is how she wanted it.

When my mother passed away, it took a while to reestablish our family’s grounding. She was the rock (both my parents were, but my father passed away before her) of our extended family – the reason that we all came together for holiday celebrations, Sunday dinners, and picnics.

When she passed away, the rock of our foundation was no longer physically present. We had to establish a new footing.

We did. It is just different. We still say, “That is what Grandma or Ma used to do.” And I think I have her bean potluck recipe down.

I get remarks from my family members, “These taste just like Grandma’s beans.” I’ve finally tweaked the recipe to near perfection.

My mom was always accepting of people, and she could hold a conversation with anyone. She loved to visit and chat, and was respectful to others because they were human beings. That role modeling was such a presence in my life, and continues to be – plain and simple, “Be kind to others.”

Huge memory – my mom would be 95 if she were still living, so laundry when I was growing up was not done in an automatic washing machine or dryer (not until later years did she allow my father to purchase a dryer). She did have a small spin dryer.

A day was set aside for laundry (just like those towels have embroidered on them).

She would wash the clothes in a wringer washer, putting each item through the wringer a few times. They would then go in the spin dryer to get the extra water out. Lastly, they would be either hung outside to dry, or in the basement where there was a wash line hung in the laundry room.

It did not stop there. She ironed everything, and I mean everything. Socks. Underwear. Everything.

Thus, I had the cleanest, whitest whites, and best-pressed clothes in school, because everyone else had washing machines and dryers, and ironed only what was required.

My twin and I were the best-dressed kids in school, not only because of how clean our clothes were, but because of our older sister, who was another major female presence in our lives – dear sister Kathryn.

Our siblings were a lot older than us. They, in fact, aside from our next of kin, who was a senior when we started kindergarten, all had their own homes and families.

This, however, did not stop my sister from sewing many of our clothes. She was a fantastic seamstress. I had the most fashionable elephant pants with a shirt that matched the pants. She sewed us overalls, and shirts that matched our overalls.

She didn’t stop there. I had the best doll clothes and Barbie doll clothes, all created and sewn by my sister.

When it came to a costume for Halloween or school; yep, she sewed those, too.

In fact, my twin and I were junior attendants in our brother’s wedding. She sewed my long lavender dress, made my hat, and sewed my brother’s lavender shirt to go under his tux, which my sister had to hem and make alterations to, because my brother was in a cast from pelvis to right foot toes.

She continued to be such a presence in our lives throughout our childhood, through high school and college, and then moved on, doing so many things for our children, right up until she passed away.

She was the one who helped my twin and me with all of our college searches, applications, and visits. She sent us care packages, and the list goes on and on.

Now, I look back at all she did for us and really think how lucky we were to have her in our lives.

So, mother role models can not only be our mothers, but can come through so many relationships. Thank God for mothers and all those females in our lives who impact us, and love and cherish us.

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