Essays from the heart grow fonder with time
May 12, 2010
Every year I enjoy our co-sponsorship of the Mother's Day Essay Contest. Some of the entries are so very touching and just plain cute.
It's not often that moms get to read in great detail what their little ones think of them. As we become adult children a signature on a card often replaces the childish scrawl. We believe our moms know how much we appreciate them and writing all the reasons is sometimes hard. Can even be a little painful. But there's no reason not to do it, even if the mom is no longer around.
I received an essay from Louise Simpson, age 84, of Imlay City. I wasn't able to include it in the contest but am so moved by her effort to show gratitude to her mom I want to share it here:
"My mom was wonderful in the way she lived, to be a nice person. Always to her own family first, next to our friends.
"There was never a 'bad' word to come from her mouth. I am 84-years-old, youngest of eight siblings. There was never, ever a cross word between my mother and me. Now that she's passed away I often find myself wishing I could call her on the phone to let her know I love her and think she was always the best mom in the whole wide world."
I have to say I'd probably give Louise some competition. I, too, believe my mom is the best in the whole wide world. Because she is.
My mom raised four girls. Four girls. We're all three years and three months apart—one born in each season. Each of our personalities reflects those seaonal differences and taking care of four little girls who turn into four teenage girls is more than a full time job.
While doing that—making sure we were well-dressed, neat and clean, participating in after-school sports and activities, doing things with friends, hosting sleep-overs and whatnot, she made meals that were to die for. With very few exceptions (we all went through that eeewww, I'm not gonna eat that broccoli and brussels sprouts phase), the family dinners every evening were spectacular. Now some of the stuff we turned our noses up at we beg her to make, wish we would have listened to our dad. Whenever we turned something 'kinda weird' down, he'd say "you just don't know what's good for you." He was right. Some of those Italian specialty items My sisters and I crave to this day. Dad was right: We didn't know what was good for us.
My mom never panicked whenever any of us got injured—and we got injured plenty. An injury that includes a knocked out tooth (my poor little sister when she was in 6th grade playing hardball with the boys). Cuts requiring stitches, broken bones, burns, scrapes, bruises, rashes, all the glorious stages of boisterous childhood, she dealt with without panic or alarm. She would have made a great doctor or nurse—in fact the neighbor kids (there were nine in their family) were sent to my mom by their mom for minor injuries—splints, burns, cuts and the like. It was amazing. During those high-tension injury times that would frighten the daylights out of a lot of people, especially when it's happening to their kid, my mom acted cool as a cucumber and did exactly what was required to get the best help the quickest possible way.
Like a lot of moms, mine also had (still has) an uncanny knack for knowing when something's up. She can sense it. Maybe hears it or sees it, I don't know. Sometimes when I'm trying to hide something the most (like when things aren't going so hot but don't want to spread the misery) she'll say "What's wrong?" out of the blue.
When we were younger we weren't too fond of Mom's psychic abilities. We got away with very little, which was in hindsight productive. We didn't try to scam too much cause we'd usually get busted.
My mom also has a quick wit, she's very clever and can make you laugh when you really need it most.
I'm fortunate to have her still. So very blessed. Fortunate to have this opportunity to write my own Mother's Day Essay, too.
For those who may have missed last week's entries, visit our Web site at www.tricitytimes-online.com. They're worth the read, and maybe you'll even see what your own youngster has to say about you.
Email Catherine at
Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.