Memories of my Mother

photo by vancity197 @
photo by vancity197 @

Tribute to My Mom

My dear mother was born in 1927, and grew up with a sister and two brothers. She was born, however, with a speech defect, otherwise known as a harelip and cleft palate. I don't know when the first of her surgeries took place, but by the time I was old enough to understand, she told me she had undergone more than 20 operations from the time she was a child till her mid-30s, which included surgeries on her mouth, ears, nose. The very early surgeries took a toll on her, as back then, they used to 'drip' the anesthetic in your mouth, and it ruined her teeth. I know they fixed that from the pictures I saw of her as a young child, so she was never without teeth.

She loved school, and was a straight A student. She progressed to high school, however, in the 10th grade she quit school. The reason? The teasing from her peers was merciless and she couldn't take it anymore. She found a job in the local 5 & 10. One day, her teacher found her working there, and told her to get back to school, but she never did. The kids were too cruel.

Prior to meeting my dad, she never lacked for dates :). I saw many pictures of the gentlemen who courted her, and wow! were they cute! She eventually got a job at an Army base as a waitress, where she met my dad. They got married, and since my dad was being shipped overseas, she stayed at my grandparent's house. I was told that my dad wrote to her and said their baby would be a girl, with blonde hair and blue eyes, and her name would be Patricia. So, on October 10, 1948, I was born, complete with blonde hair and blue eyes. I was two years old when my dad was discharged and met me for the first time.

When he came home, they began house hunting. They were able to borrow money from my grandmothe, and soon thereafter, found and bought their first house, where they raised me and my brother.

It was the early 50s. and I can honestly say I had a happy childhood. My mom would always play games with us. Winters were the best. We all went sleigh riding and ice skating a lot. When it was too nasty to go out, we'd play board games, bake things, or watch tv. Every several years, we would take a vacation to go to OK to visit my grandmother, then to CA to visit an aunt and on the way back, stop in TX to visit an uncle. I often wonder, to this day, how they survived driving for three days with two young kids in the car lol..

My mom continued working as a waitress, which she ended up doing for 40+ years. She worked through probably four different owners. Many times they would give her a hard time about one thing or other, and she'd simply up and quit. It wasn't long before they called her, begging her to come back. She was quite a feisty little woman! The customers loved her. Despite her speech defect, she was loved and had lots of friends. Children in the neighborhood especially loved her. She was simply a 'kid' person :)

Oddly enough, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I even knew she had a speech defect. The phone used to ring, she'd answer, then always hand it to me to do the talking for her. It used to make me mad, because I didn't understand why she couldn't talk for herself. Till one day, she said, 'Patty, you know I have a speech defect, and they don't understand me', and I looked at her in disbelief. I said 'What? what are you talking about?' Then she told me, and I simply couldn't believe it. To me, she sounded like anyone else. I guess, because I grew up hearing her talk, I never discerned a difference in her voice.

She stood by me through thick and thin, and always played the 'buffer' between me and my Dad, who became increasingly strict the older I became. She had the greatest sense of humor and loved to have house parties. My favorites were Halloween and New Year's Eve. For Halloween parties, my best friend (Sally's Trove) and I were allowed to make the invitations, and we had great fun inventing different ways to do it. New Year's Eve was fun because when it was all over, my brother and I got to keep all the noise makers. He and I would get the job of cleaning up, and when we were teenagers, we'd taste some of the leftover drinks LOL,,,,but ughhhhh!!! What were we thinking??

My grandparents,,, I never knew my natural grandfather, as he passed away when my mom was only 9 yrs old. My grandmother remarried, to the man I knew and loved as 'grandpa' my whole life. He was the sweetest man I ever knew, and how I loved spending weekends with them. He would take me for walks, buy me a wonderful coloring book, that at the time used to cost $1, which I'm sure was pretty expensive for him. We'd sometimes walk to church. My favorite time was spent in their yard. They had wonderful fruit trees and beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. I was allowed to pick the fallen fruit which I'd carry in to my grandmother so she could bake her wonderful pies and cookies. He'd hold my hand and show me the flowers, and would pick one or two for me. Sundays, although a day of rest, he and I spent picking lint off the rug on our hands and knees. I thought that was great fun. Once we finished doing that, he'd turn on the tv and we would watch his favorite sport, wrestling.

I thank God for them and admire how they did what they had to do to make sure my Mom had a good life. It couldn't have been easy dealing with the countless surgeries, not to mention the cost.

My Mom was my hero. At the age of 53, she got her high school diploma, she was so proud, and we were so proud! Mom,,,,,unconditional love, compassion, strength, always standing up for the 'underdog'. I used to tease her that she'd take anyone or anything in if they were down and out, animal or human lol,,,,it didn't matter that our house was small, because the love in her heart could have healed the world.

I lost her at the age of 59, almost a year to the day after I lost my husband. I love you Mom.

This is for you Mom

Comments 43 comments

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

She just read/heard every word. How beautiful. I wonder what my children will say about me one day. I may ask them to write that down for me mothers day. While I live.

I wonder if we understand the impact we have on our children. Forever. I'm happy for your wonderful memories and love for your mother. She was an angel with a huge heart for the world around her. What a great example for you. No wonder you're so nice. =)

donnaleemason profile image

donnaleemason 8 years ago from North Dakota, USA

That was truly beautiful Trish. Thank you for sharing.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,

It's funny you mention that, because many times I sit and wonder what do my kids really think about how they were raised? I'm sure they both have different ideas about it. But certainly, they show me daily, so I guess I did ok lol,,,,

Thanks for the kind comments,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Donna,

Thanks very much for reading it, and your kind comment.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Your hub made my day, Trish! Thank you.

Your wonderful and real text reminded me to my mother and how she had given up her fantastic professional career, because of me. I still can't believe it, when I read her achievements and references. Our moms are golden!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Solarshingles,

Aww, I'm glad I could make you smile :)

There are no other words to describe just how wonderful our moms are. There is no other reason in the world for their sacrifices but for the love of the child :)

Thanks so much for the sweet comments,


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

well the other day, my son remembered spankings that I never remembered giving. So that part was sad for me. I took advantage of the moment and said, I hope you do not feel I was overly - spanking was never a first choice for me. Still, I'm sure I made mistakes. I want to erase any sad memories of that for you. -- he seemed ok with it...but you never know what they remember or perceive -- it woke me up for sure. I try to express love love love. =)

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Trish! As always a great hub full of feelings. I think your Mom must have been related to mine because they had so many of the same traits.

regards Zsuzsy

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Just lovely! I was actually thinking of my own memories with my grandmother (and mom). Grandma is almost 90 and not doing very well these days, after losing Grandpa last fall. Sounds like you had a terrific Mom and I know that she still feels your love! Steph

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

I love this dedication you made to your mother and I have to say it is unfortunate kids can be so cruel. However, your mom had a wonderful life and I am sure some of those kids later regretted the way they acted towards her.

TetonRose profile image

TetonRose 8 years ago from Utah

What a beautiful tribute to a wonder mother.  I'm truly happy you had that kind of experience as you were growing up.  Thanks for sharing with us.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,

That's really all we can do, hope and pray we did the right thing. Children need to realize that there were no instructions given to us moms when they were born, and we raised them the best we knew how. I'm sure your children love you dearly. I'm also sure everyone has some not so nice memories of childhood as well. I know I sure do, it wasn't always pleasant.

Thanks for commenting,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Zsuzsy,

I think moms all over the world have a lot of the same traits. Those of us who have fond memories are very fortunate, as I'm sure there are 'moms from hell' out there, as evidenced by those stories in the news of moms who kill, etc.

Thanks for stopping by,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Steph,

Grandparents are the best! I loved mine dearly, and only wished I had more time with my paternal grandmother. But apparently she made the memories very special for me even though I didn't see her a lot. I practically remember all the visits made to her. Her cooking was amazing, and she tried to teach me how to quilt, but either I was too young to keep at it, or I just didn't pursue if for whatever reason. When I see the prices they fetch now, how I wish I stuck with it :)

Thanks for commenting,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Sweetie,

Well, my mom always said what goes around comes around, so maybe those kids realized how mean they were when looking back at their lives. I can only hope so.

Thanks for commenting,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi TetonRose,

Thanks so much for your kind words. I was glad to share :)


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California


What a wonderful tribute to an incredible lady. You have brought tears to my eyes this morning as you have started your Hub with explaining the "defect" that your mother lived with in her life. My grandmother suffered with the exact same problem. I often think of the pain and suffering she endured because of it. She recalled that she still remembered the pain of her first surgery, even though she was only an infant. The doctor who performed it was totally inexperienced with her situation (possibly just the lack of technical skills of the time) and so her appearance was marred her whole life. Like lightening striking twice, her second child, my uncle, was born with exactly the same thing. My grandmother stood over the doctor this time instructing him in the surgery process, making sure that the same mistake wasn't made on her child. She was an incredible woman. As a young girl, I too did not realize she had anything different about her. It was not until I was in my teens that I realized the trial she must have faced because of this physical condition. She is now in a wonderful place where she is whole and beautiful, this I know because of the life of love and unconditional service she "spent" herself giving. Thank goodness for awesome women like my grandmother and your mother. Where would we as women today be without them? Thank you for the good cry, as I remember the great women in my life.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Awww, In the Doghouse,

I didn't mean to make you cry :(

Weren't they amazing? you're so right, VERY giving, and very strong women in their own right.

I was surprised to hear you didn't notice anything wrong either, until you were in your teens. I guess when we're youngsters, we don't pay close attention to things around us. I recall a time my hubby came downstairs one day, just walkin around,,,till he said, notice anything? well I looked, and looked,,,saw nothing,,,even my kids looked, but nothing. Finally, it hit me! He had shaved only half his moustache off, and none of us even realized it lol.

I have a brother who was from my dad's first marriage. I remember asking my mom once, why didn't she have any more kids? I would have liked a sister. Her reply was, 'because you came out perfect, and I didn't want to risk having a child with what I have'. When I got married, I asked the dr. what were the chances of my having a child with the harelip and cleft palate, he told me 1 in 500. So I really don't know if it's hereditary or not.

Thanks for the warm comments and for stopping by,


My guess is God only gives children as much as they can handle.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY


Wow, that was a beautiful tribute. It's so wonderful that she was a buffer between you an your dad. That really spoke to me, as mine wasn't.

The idea of those kids being cruel to her hurts me in my heart. I'm so sorry to read that.

My condolences on the loss of your mom and your husband. Obviously, they live on through you.



trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Thank you so much Veronica,

She certainly was a special lady and I was lucky to have her for as long as I did. Kids can be very cruel, and when they are young and cruel, I believe it's just sheer ignorance and they know no better, however, the older kids, that's an entirely different story. They do it BECAUSE it is MEAN. That she managed to make a good life for herself is a miracle in itself, and then, to turn around as an adult and help anyone who needed it, well what can I say. I believe it's because she KNEW how it felt to be treated mean and unfairly, that she tried to make others' lives better in whatever small way she could.

Thanks for your kind words, and (((((((Veronica)))))))),,,,back at you!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

great hub and there is nothing like a Mother...G-ma :o) hugs

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Thank you so much G-Ma,

I think they all turn into saints :)

Thanks for stopping by!


DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 8 years ago from Central North Carolina

Thank you for sahring those memories. I miss my mama every day.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Donna,

I know the feeling very well. I miss mine too. Thanks so much for stopping by,


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

I just found this- and can identify with it very much, as I had wonderful parents.

My mom, was very smart, but a bit dyslexic-- which nobody knew about at that time-- she also finished her high school diploma  in middle age.

I like your snowman.

spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Thanks to Rochelle (no I'm not stalking her) I found this too and I'm so glad I did. It made me smile when you wrote that your mother did get her high school diploma...I can imagine how that must have made her feel. :) Trish...I always love what you write and this was no exception. It is beautifully moving.

Btw...did you and/or Sally ever write hubs on how the two of you met and how long you have actually known each other?

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

It's OK, Spryte... I tend to look at your responses, too. Even the alter-ego ones.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Rochelle, so nice to see you!

Aren't moms great? How proud you and your mom must have been when she too got her diploma. I can also identify with dyslexia. My nephew went to school for many years and suffered through a 'slow' class. He was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia. Of course, it made all the difference, and he is now a career serviceman, doing a 2nd tour in Iraq.

Thanks so much for stopping by :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Spryte! 

LOL, Sally and I not only follow each other at times, but we also tend to like the same hubbers.

You're so sweet, thanks for the kind words.  My mom was an amazing woman, and of course, I loved her dearly.  I can still see her in her cap and gown :)

About Sally's and my friendship, I think we discussed writing about our friendship at one point, but never did anything about it.  Thanks for mentioning it, I'll definitely keep it in mind.  Looks like Sally and I have to confer again :)

I always enjoy you stopping by, thanks so much for the comment.

Terry Thinktank 8 years ago from India

That was soooooooooooooooooo wonderful!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi again Terry,

Aww, you're very sweet.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read my hubs, I really appreciate it.

Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 7 years ago from San Diego, California

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! This hub is a wonderful tribute to your mom. That's really sad that you lost her at such a young age. I've started really appreciating my own parents in recent years. It's strange how they seem to mean more and more to you as you grow older.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

I agree.  It's like when growing up, they'd say, I hope you have kids just like you, or, you think it's so easy, just wait, you'll see.  Well, they were right.  There have been many times when, long after my mom passed away, where I'd find myself looking in the mirror, and I literally saw my mom.  I thought oh my!  I really do look like her.  The same with some things I do and say, I stand there and say, uhoh, I'm my mother LOL. You don't fully appreciate the impact they had on you until you're a grown-up yourself.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check this hub out and commenting.  I really appreciate it.

My Life Thinking 7 years ago

Today is the mother's day in Egypt, I wanted to write something for mothers, so I was searching about mother articles and posts till I found yours :) very interesting and honest story!

Good job!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hello My Life,

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and if you're a mom, Happy Mother's Day!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

What a lovely tribute to your mum,trish, especially with Mother's Day around the corner.I especially loved this line- ' it didn't matter that our house was small, because the love in her heart could have healed the world.'

Lovely...I am sure your mum is smiling down on you always.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi diana,

I'm sure she is too, at least, I'd like to think so.  I miss her so much and only wish she could have lived long enough to see her great-grandchildren.  She would have spoiled them rotten.

If there is a life after death, then I know she sees them and watches over them as well.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and comment. 

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Mom's are the greatest! Mine was great and I miss her every day. Thank you for sharing!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi sweetsusieg,

I hear you. Where would we be without them?

I just went to our family reunion Labor Day weekend. I was amazed to hear the things my nieces remembered about my mom. I don't even remember when it was they went to my house, but they were very young and have held on to the memories after all this time. It made me so happy to hear it :)

Our loved ones really do live on in our hearts.

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

This is a beautiful tribute to your mother. I am sorry for the loss of your husband also. It is hard to lose people we love. I hope you find solace in your writing. I lost my Mom this past October, and I miss her everyday. I wrote a hub about "Grieving When You Lose Someone Close to You". Writing has helped me. I hope you continue to heal from your losses, and I wish you many joys, blessings, and pleasures in your future. Your mother seemed like a wonderful person, and I am glad to have known about her through you.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Losing loved ones is life changing. While we like to believe we humans are immortal, sadly we are not. Coping with the loss of a loved one is challenging to say the least. Through time, we learn to live again, albeit in an altered state. This is where, I believe, memories play a big part. The hurts are forgotten and one is left with good memories. However, for some that's not the case, and sadly, some never recover.

I am sorry to hear of your loss and I hope as time goes on, things will fall into their rightful place.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Awww, I loved this! Such a simple, beautiful tribute to such a wonderful mother. This is what writing is all about for me, the human connection, the description of emotions, the pain and joy and celebrations of daily life.

Thank you for this wonderful tribute about your mom.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Dear Bill,

I'm glad you enjoyed this. I enjoyed writing it :)

I agree with you. I love communication, whether it's written or spoken. It's what makes the world go round :)

You're welcome :)

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