Monday, 28 March 2016

What's The Best Thing Your Mother Ever Did For you?


In idle chit chat mother-in-law was recalling memories of her own Broadstairs childhood. Her mother was a full time teacher who ran a home, shopped for the week's meat on a Friday by bike and catered for a whole gaggle of relatives for the entire summer holidays as Broadstairs was the destination to visit in early postwar Britain.
Selfless motherlove that has been reenacted a million times over in a million homes

My own grandmother was famous for saving my mother and uncle during an air raid over liverpool during the war. Just before the bomb blasts brought down the ceilings and blew in the windows, she single handedly covered the children with a heavy sofa before leading them to safety wrapped in chenille curtains.
Selfless Mother Love on a grander scale.
Both as important as the other.

What is the best thing your mother ever did for you?
I'd be interested to hear.


120 comments:

  1. She worked 3 jobs so I could go to college.

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    1. Did she know you were grateful?

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    2. Good..thats all that mattered

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  2. Two equally "best things" come to mind: My mother taught me good manners and also to appreciate the wonder of nature from thunderstorms to flower buds to the feel of wind on my skin and sand on my toes.

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    1. I can feel tears coming on

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    2. +1,000 to zenaide and to you John. i've got the tears too.

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    3. That's so beautiful!

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  3. My Mom was a single parent, and worked to support her 3 girls. She taught me to be self-sufficient..cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, hold a job, etc.

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    1. Preparation for the world eh?

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  4. I was one of five siblings. I didn't realise at the time, but only on later reflection I marvelled that she'd given us all equal affection, as had my father. There were no obvious 'favourites' amongst us.
    It was also only later I got to appreciate how hard she had worked (as did my Dad) with hardly any obvious and extended breaks, to keep all of us fed and respectably clothed. I still feel shamed on thinking how much as a child I'd taken them both for granted - and never told them how much I later recognised it. (She died in 2005, my Dad in '79).

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    1. Being consistant with a whole brood must be dreadfully hard...nice Raymondo

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    2. I'm sure I was lucky, J.G. - and one of a minority for those in my situation.

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  5. Alas, I don't have any memories that fit the bill, other than when I was 15 and announced I was going to live with my sister she didn't argue.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Ok mike, what nice memories have you of your sister....my elder sister, i remember making craft work, fun and a real joy......fun we udnt really have at home

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  6. I think it is only as I have gotten older and had kids of my own that I realize just how hard my parents worked, and why I have to make sure I go back to the UK as often as I can to see my 94 year old mom, even if she doesn't realize I was there. We had very little when I was growing up but I always knew I was loved, and as a family of ageing brothers and sisters we are still very close. My other half commented recently how lucky I was to have that relationship and I find it sad that he doesn't. When my youngest took me to the airport recently he was talking about some of the kids at the school he goes to for his apprenticeship are so rude to the teachers. I told him we owe courtesy to everyone and how one of our neighbours sought me out to congratulate me on such a lovely lad! That was the best reward I can ever think of, and I hope one day to pass that on to my (future) grandchildren.

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    1. I think sometimes we always realise how much sacrifice was done for us when you sacrifice things for your own kids...

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  7. She hasn't tried to contact me in 20 years...........She let me go....it was the best gift she could give me.

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    1. Tell me about some who did give you something special

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    2. Sometimes that is the only way forward.

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  8. Off topic. Most of my paternal family were born and bred in Broadstairs.
    I wonder if your mother-in-law may know the name of Strevens.
    I spent many holidays there, I love the place.
    Erna Yule.

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    1. Sorrel knew a june strevens ?

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  9. Raids in Liverpool calls to mind that my first husband's mother came from there and her brother and his wife were killed in a direct hit on an air raid shelter during the war. She brought their two children up along with her own twelve.
    What was the best thing my mother did for me? Well I suppose it was to give me a happy childhood and to make sure that I knew she loved me and was proud of me.

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    1. Pride is sometimes more important than bread and butter on the table

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  10. Not much. She was too young when she had me. She never really matured. She remarried when I was 5 and he was nice. He was the real parent. I have a brother 10 years younger than I and I love him. Otherwise, my mother was a bit of a twit and still is and she is best seen from a distance.

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    1. What did your step dad do for you

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    2. I was 10 when my stepbrother ( whom I adore) was born. Before that, my dad took me fishing with him. He also taught me how to shoot a rifle .. :)
      So I got to be the boy for a while, when it was fun.
      He was my dad ... in all ways but that one .. He gave me a great childhood ..

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  11. My Mom is the rock that holds our family together. Always there to help when we four kids fuck something up.

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  12. I guess you could say that she taught me how to be self-reliant at a very early age.

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  13. My mother suffered from anxiety and hardly ever laughed - but when she did it made our day.

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    1. A flash of sunshine on a rainy day

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  14. She had high expectations and made sure I had the tools I needed to meet them. She was a fierce, sharp-tongued, sometimes unkind but more often generous woman. Hard work sometimes, but more than worth it in the end.

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  15. She met a 'boyfriend' when I stood him up to explain I couldn't make it to the theatre. He handed her the corsage he had bought for me and asked her if she would like to go in my place rather than waste the ticket. She declined the offer but graciously accepted the corsage to bring home to me. I was such a cow.

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  16. Packed her suitcase and left, dreadful, vain and selfish . She now only haunts me by phone and at 80 hasn't got a single bit more pleasant

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    1. Who gave you those warm gifts kate?

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  17. My mother worked very hard ironing,cleaning and was a perfectionist our home. She paid dearly with migraines poor thing. Her mother (my grandmother) was love, kisses and cuddles personified! She would hold my chin look deep in my eyes and tell me what a great person I was and would be someday. She was my rock!

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    1. We all need that chin hold eh?

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  18. She loved me, gave me a happy childhood, encouraged me to use my imagination and taught me to cook.

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  19. She didn't stop me leaving home at 17. The best thing for both of us. She didn't say anything, I just packed a bag and went, no goodbyes, no kisses, no hugs, nothing. But at least she didn't stop me.

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    1. As I recall you made up later in life rachel

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    2. It's a long story.

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  20. I think it was the holidays at her home on Anglesey; they were magical for my two children & my nieces. Mum & I had all her grandchildren there together many many times - happy days.

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  21. Instilling a determination to just get on with it, and simply being there to give good advice. Miss her dearly.

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    1. A simple and sweet answer simply and sweetly put

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  22. such an inspiring post,, I don't know if it was the best thing my Mum did ,, but the one thing that comes to my memory is her cooking and eating chicken wings one cold January night so she could dry and thread the chicken bones on a red thread for a necklace to outfit a costume for an outdoor skating party I was going to that frosty night, she was so good to do that,,
    ,, I remember giggling eating those chicken
    wings with her ,, silly but strong memory,,

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  23. mine told me to drop dead in 1990; I gladly did. she was an enabler who did nothing to stop my father's abuse.

    now HER mother - if it were not for grandmom, I would not know how to cook, or knit, or be shown the kindness a person needs to thrive. I would like to think my grandmom would approve of the way I have survived.

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    1. I guess some of the posts here underline just how people survive and prosper despite their mothers eh?

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  24. My mother believed in me. That covered a whole lot of good stuff. Not to say that home life was always a ray of light but she expected me to do my best, she encouraged me, she taught me to stick up for myself (by her own example) and look after myself (again by her example and also by putting my health and welfare at the top of her priorities), and she was always my cheering section. She BELIEVED in me, and I can't tell you how much that anchored and lifted me. One of the saddest times in my life was a couple of years ago, for a duration of about two years, I believe she had some kind of brain event and she became quite harsh and critical - something she has been of others but never of me until that time. Gradually her temperament improved again and now she is like she was before that. It is such a relief and I feel so lucky to have the old mom back again.

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    1. Having someone in your corner, no matter who they may be is the most important thing me thinks

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  25. Letting me slip into bed with her when I had nightmares, and rocking me to sleep. Greetings Maria x

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    1. Warm memories there..lovely

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  26. She didn't laugh at me when at the age of 16, and having known him for 4 months I confirmed that me and my boyfriend were getting engaged - she had already guessed it was coming. In May we will have been together for 35 years and married for 32. Her support for our love was very precious,as was my Dad's.

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    1. Rare patience there my gal

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  27. The best thing my mother did for me was to teach me to read. You know that car sticker - "IF YOU CAN READ THIS THANK A TEACHER"? It always annoyed me because I could read quite fluently before I went to school thanks to my mother.

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    1. My mother had a love of books too...i had forgotton this until you reminded me

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  28. my mom did mine and my sister's hair every day. always beautiful with little bows and ribbons and things. she brushed our hair every night before bed. and she laid out our clothes every night. and those are beautiful memories for me.

    we will not discuss that she sent me on my first day of highschool in laura ingall's braids. yeesh. i still feel the pain of that day.

    a beautiful post John and lots of beautiful comments. sending love. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. What a wonderfully small but oh so significant memoryx

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  29. I have three siblings: two older brothers and a younger sister. My mother never showed favoritism to any of us, yet each one of us felt as if we were the only child in her life!

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    1. See above ....a great skill

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  30. She tried, my mother but due to her own issues and depressions...well.
    I tell you what she did give me- a determination to love my own children for exactly who they are, to support them in their lives with love and respect. To not pretend to be someone I am not. To be honest with them. To cherish them and let them know, without doubt, that they are cherished. And worthy of being so. To admit when I am wrong or have wronged them. To accept their love as the greatest gift in the world because it is. To not pit one child against another but to recognize each child's individual gifts. To not ever shame them.
    To laugh with them. To let them know in every way possible how much I love and adore them. Which is easy as hell.
    I wonder why it was so hard for my mother? I wish it hadn't been.

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    1. In one way your mother gave you the drive not to do things her sad way.....in that way your own children have benefited

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    2. Yes. That is my fondest wish.

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  31. My mother was phenomenal. Farm wife who unfailingly put food on the table, watched over Dad and us, taught us who God really is by living her faith. She loved us.

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  32. My wonderful mother, who died 4 years ago at the grand age of 92, taught my siblings and me to seek new adventures, explore nature, experience exotic foods and cultures all while keeping a family of 6 fed, clothed, and educated on a modest budget. I still feel the security of her love.

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    1. The teaching of new exotic things sounds like a cracking job for a mum

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  33. Just being there for us. Kids on the bus would comment how she sat in the window looking and waiting for us to get off the bus.

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    1. .....and that comment has stayed with you
      How wonderful

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. It's an honest one.....if your step mum reads GOING GENTLY perhaps she would give ypu a mention in this post!

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  35. She read to me and taught me to read when I was quite young and always took me to the library. Also she allowed me to enter an accelerated school program in 4th grade where I started learning French. Reading and learning another language opened up my world and have helped me through many hard times. Overall, we didn't have a close or easy relationship but sometimes we clicked and that was very special. I miss having a mom; she's been gone 3 years.

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    1. I was struggling to think of something, some gift my mother gave to me, but I think one was a loveof books as a child

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  36. She read to me and taught me to read when I was quite young and always took me to the library. Also she allowed me to enter an accelerated school program in 4th grade where I started learning French. Reading and learning another language opened up my world and have helped me through many hard times. Overall, we didn't have a close or easy relationship but sometimes we clicked and that was very special. I miss having a mom; she's been gone 3 years.

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    1. I had a ricky road relationship too

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  37. She gave me the love of reading, and learning. And while she didn't precisely give it to me, from her I learned about the joy (and undeniably hard work) of gardening. She gave me a lot of things I could do without and still fight, but reading/learning was an invaluable gift.

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  38. The best thing my mother ever did for me was to do something that gave me the courage to walk away from her and not look back. She was a mean and jealous woman. I vowed I would never ever make my children feel like she made me feel. (I was a mistake and she never let me forget it).
    My granny was the one I went to for a cuddle.

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    1. My grandmother too
      Was my touchstone

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  39. I owe my life to my mother not just for giving birth to me but for making it possible for me to emigrate to the United States for the heart surgery and saved my life in the late 1960s

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    1. Now there's a blog story

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    2. Yes! Some day i will write it.

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  40. Because of my mother I didn't have to spend my life in leg braces, using crutches... and having multiple surgeries. My feet turned right the way out and the above were the standard methods of correcting the problem. She and the brilliant woman who was my doctor at the time came up with the alternative of special shoes and ballet training instead.

    Ballet lessons weren't cheap and we weren't a wealthy family so Mom did whatever she could to pay for my lessons: child care, laundry, ironing, sewing ballet costumes for other children as well as myself, etc... Whatever it took, she did. One of the best days of my life was the day I could take off those damn 'special' shoes forever.

    She also taught me a deep love of reading.

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    1. This sounds like a movie script! Wonderful

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  41. Oh goodness, I had to think so hard, she was a `wire hangers mother`....truthfully, she allowed me to survive...after a fashion. Mothers eh...if you have a good one its hard to imagine there are any other kind, I`ve given up trying to convince people otherwise.

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    1. We have more wire coathanger mothers here than i expected

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  42. My mother taught me how to be gentle and giving to others.
    She also encouraged me and my siblings in whatever endeavour we undertook.

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    1. Gentleness is a lovely skill to be taught

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  43. My Mum worked very hard (as did my darling Dad) he had 2 jobs, she worked in a pub when I was at school, cared for me and my two Sisters and looked after her elderly parents. We didn't have a lot of money but they always took us for a drive out on a Sunday (my Dads one day off ). She made us strong women and told us not to take shit from anyone, but try to be kind. She is 81 now and is the rock of our family, When my Dad died far too young 14 years ago, she said she remained strong for our sakes. She does that everyday of her life and we love her dearly for it.

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  44. My Mum worked very hard (as did my darling Dad) he had 2 jobs, she worked in a pub when I was at school, cared for me and my two Sisters and looked after her elderly parents. We didn't have a lot of money but they always took us for a drive out on a Sunday (my Dads one day off ). She made us strong women and told us not to take shit from anyone, but try to be kind. She is 81 now and is the rock of our family, When my Dad died far too young 14 years ago, she said she remained strong for our sakes. She does that everyday of her life and we love her dearly for it.

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  45. holy crap! you should write a book about this post and comments. or something?

    u no hoo

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    1. As usual the comments out weigh the post

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  46. Conversation, circa 1956
    Dad: You should teach that lazy daughter of yours how to clean floors.
    Mum: I'll do exactly that Jim when her four brothers join her.

    One of the few times she ever stood up to him. She still inspires me. She died far too young. But she knew I adored her.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Best line of the comments xx

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  47. My mother-pass. My paternal grandmother however gave me so much love and kindness that I still cherish many years after her death. She also taught me to sew, which I do most days,and she also passed on her fondness for M&S puds! I can often be found lurking by the chiller thinking what nan would have chosen- probably more than one ! lol x

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    1. My grandmother too, took over mothering skills to me from my mother, thank goodness x

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  48. I was correct in my first comment years ago, John. You are an angel.

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  49. My mum has no mothering skills, I interrupted the life she wanted being born, my dad different kettle of fish , he adored me continually told me he loved me was so gentle and soft, I was the total apple of his eye and I knew it!. I adored my dad with a passion a total daddy's girl.He made everything in the world safe and good. From picking me up as a teenager half an hour before disco closed, so no boy would smooch his daughter, to helping with first flat, to secretly sending me money as a student, just being the main man in my life who made everything rite in the world. My mum was jealous, but she burnt her bridges with me.

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  50. The older I get the more I realise that my mum is/ was quite narcissistic so I have a hard time separating out the good. There was a time when I wanted to be just like her.

    Mum taught me to drive with much more patience than the few times dad tried. More skill, too

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  51. My mom taught me to dance, when she got altzheimers and no longer knew me I used to visit her in a care facility, they used to put on social evenings and have a couple of guys in playing the piano and guitar, the last memory I have of my mom was us dancing together she still knew a foxtrot even though she did no know me.
    She gave me joy and I still miss her.

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  52. The best thing my mother did for me was take me to the library. If I didn't love books and words as I do, then I wouldn't be me. I'd be some other junebug. One with a tiny vocabulary. She also found a new piano teacher for me when my childhood teacher retired. She drove me to my lessons faithfully and wrote the check to pay my excellent teacher.

    Love,
    Janie

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  53. Taught me to read. I was having difficulty in school. I had transferred in and not had the same reading preparation that my classmates had had in the previous year. Fortunately, my Mom was already working through this with the teacher when I came down with a childhood disease right before Christmas break. Mom already had the teaching materials and text. She tutored me during my recovery period, so that I was at grade level proficiency when I returned to class. That is only one example of Mom at her absolute best. Her commitment to caring for her family was unshakeable and beyond the throes of the dementia from which she suffered from later in life (asking her 40+ son "Are you going to be warm enough?" ....as if I was 4 years old).

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  54. Giving birth to me. What more important role could there be!

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  55. My mother, who gave up a wonderful career when I was born, had the good grace not to kill me when I would tell her that I didn't want to grow up to be a housewife like she was and she encouraged me to develop a close relationship with my father's younger sister, a never married career woman I absolutely worshipped. It took me a lot of years to realize what a hero my mother was and how much she loved me...and by that time she was gone. But she lives on in loving memories.

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  56. My mother will be 80 in several months . I love her so much and she has shown me much about endurance , strength , loyalty and her selflessness in caring for and raising two daughters when she was widowed aged 37. I am blessed to have the mother that I have .

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  57. My Mother died when I was 10 years old but she taught me that we are all equals, none better than the other or worst. That what you do for good comes back to you to the twofold but what you do for bad returns to you by the tenthfold.

    She welcomed every human being with open arms and in the process I had to become a Humanist if for no other reason than her example. She was made of pure love and in my heart no one could ever take her place. When my Father remarried he became a stranger to me by my choice. We never tried to bridge that chasm, and I never regret it, but I mourn her passing to this day.

    Allegra

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  58. She taught me the value of work, of being tough as nails, how to be a self-centered SOB, it is complicated.

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  60. She gave me siblings so I would not be lonely when she was gone.

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  61. My childhood was turbulent but I have early memories of my mother plaiting my hair with ribbons and singing the song 'scarlet ribbons for her hair'

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  62. My mother is an anxious person who suffers from depression (gee, I wonder where I get it from!), so I am not filled with memories of loving things that she did when I was little. When I was ten, I shot up like a reed & my legs suffered the most terrible 'growing pains' as a result. I recall her messaging the aches away. I'm still grateful for that.

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  63. My mother and I look very alike, more so as the years go by, and we think alike in many ways but not all. She is so dear to me, and we are so close, I don't often think of her as a separate person. I couldn't come close to listing all the things she has done that I appreciate her for, but the one that stands out is that she let her stubborn, strong willed and very smart daughter try things out. Me trying things my way was more important than any mess, waste of time or materials were because she got the hang of it early on - I did not want to be shown, I wanted to do it myself. She kept her mouth shut and let me have a pink wallpaper, lilac curtain bedroom with purple floral bedspreads even though she detested purple. It was as hidjus as it sounds but I loved it, and it gave me such confidence in my own taste, which over time of course has matured with me. As a pretty powerful personality, that was a real case of her doing what needed to be done, not what she wanted to do, and she taught me that too. That often you have to say or do what the other person needs right then, not what you want to get off your chest. That's love! :)

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  64. My mother was giving . . . thought of others, was kind . . . she presented an attractive self . . . in appearance, attitude, warmth . . .
    She was a mother, teacher . . . principal . . . homemaker . . . she knit, sewed, she was wonderful . . . I miss her every day . . .
    This would have been her 106 year . . .

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  65. My mother taught me the joys of cooking, but they baking part never caught on. She also taught me how to be forgiving and grateful, because she had a hard time doing both. I loved her and took care of her 24/7 the last two years of her life. I miss her evening hugs.

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