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I Remember Mama - My Momma

Updated on January 22, 2015

“I would like to be rich the way I would like to be ten feet tall – is good for some things, bad for others.” From the play, "I Remember Mama"

My Mother, Father and Me

My mother, father and me with my doll.
My mother, father and me with my doll. | Source

I Remember Mama

The original play was written in 1944 and later adapted for film then television. I remember because my mother loved to watch the television show. We saw the movie too and I must admit over the years I've seen it more than once. The thing about this charming play is of course Mama. She was what everyone dreams a Mama should be. Mama keeping the family running and keeping everyone happy, even the eccentric relatives. If you haven't seen the film and you don't know anyone like Mama in the film I certainly hope you will because my mother fits the bill.

You have to know the Mama in "I Remember Mama". She was wise beyond her years and always so gentle and understanding. She was able to figure out any situation at a glance and handle it with grace. From her children to her relatives to the few eccentric friends we meet along the way.

Her daughter, the writer of her own autobiographical novel, is very obviously in awe of her mother. This daughter is the one who tells the story. Mama is always the go to person to smooth things over for family and friends and her daughter tells us all about Mama.

My Uncle Chris

Two sisters and a brother; my  mother's Aunt Eva, Uncle Chris and my Grandmother.
Two sisters and a brother; my mother's Aunt Eva, Uncle Chris and my Grandmother. | Source

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My Mama

Yes, this whole thing was a segue into the introduction to MY Mama. Much like the Mama in "I Remember Mama". My mother wasn't Norwegian but of German descent, and there would be times we would hear a German phrase or two when she was angry and didn't want us to know what she was saying. But my mother had the same indomitable spirit and deep knowledge of people that Mama did.

We even had an Uncle Chris! Actually he was my mother's Uncle Chris but we called him Uncle Chris too. He was my mother's mother's brother. Got that?

Uncle Chris was a character you could write a book about. I know he was married in his younger years but his wife died before I could meet her and I never met his children. But I knew and loved Uncle Chris. He was a big man, almost completely bald and he wore glasses, big brown framed glasses. The other thing everyone remembered about him was his smile. He was always smiling! Maybe because he was always drinking. Uncle Chris once owned a bar and beer was his friend. He lived in Ridgewood Queens, NY and we lived in Glendale. Neighboring towns. When he would come to visit we would impatiently wait for his appearance. He would proudly arrive hours late telling us he walked to save the nickel for the bus. What he didn't tell us but what was quite obvious was, he had stopped in every bar along the way to "wet his whistle". My mother would chide him but never scold.

My mother took care of all her mother's siblings. When each was sick it was my mother, not their children, that would go and tend to them. All hours of the day or night with never a complaint. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table at her Uncle Sebastian's house. You know those old wooden tables with the white porcelain tops? I loved coloring there because the table was set between the windows in the kitchen and it was always bright and the table top was always smooth. The apartment was what they called a railroad apartment where all the rooms were in a line like railroad cars. You entered into the kitchen, then there was a line of bedrooms with the parlor in the front. I never did see the parlor in that apartment, I never made it past the kitchen, but that was okay. I got to color and sometimes had cookies and milk. Never seeing the sick or dying.

My Parents' Wedding Picture

My Mom and Dad's wedding.
My Mom and Dad's wedding. | Source

Our Kitchen Was Always Full

Not a very big kitchen but always room for more.
Not a very big kitchen but always room for more. | Source

My Momma was always fun

My mother loved a good time and loved to laugh.
My mother loved a good time and loved to laugh. | Source

Growing Up with My Mama

Actually I called my mother "Momma", very similar to the Mama of "I Remember Mama". I remember our house was always full. My mother's parents, aunts and uncles came every Saturday night to watch wrestling. I loved those Saturday nights. There was lots of laughter and I must admit some yelling at the wrestlers. We got to stay up a little later while we had company and we loved them all so dearly because they were all so good to us and didn't ignore us like many other adults. We had to have our pajamas on and yes, we could eat some of the wonderful food Momma prepared for the grown ups.

Momma was always preparing food. Every Sunday saw a houseful of people. My aunts and uncles, grandparents, whoever. It was always family with a friend or two thrown in for good measure. We didn't have a large house by any means. There was a kitchen, bathroom and living room on the first floor and believe me, none of those rooms were big, but no one cared. We could always squeeze in one more and Momma always had plenty of food. It was especially fun for us when relatives brought kids our age. We got to play outside together and then come in and eat together.

Of course I didn't notice it back then but there were always clean curtains on every window. They were changed regularly which was no small feat as they all had to hang on the line to dry and then each one had to be ironed. They were changed on a regular basis but being a kid I can't tell you how regular, I just know they always looked nice.

We had chores to do though we often weedled our way out of them. Now and again though Momma stood firm and I had to clean the bathroom on a Saturday morning. No TV and no outside until I was done. There were no questions asked and no arguing, that's just the way it was. You did what you were told because you were supposed to. Of course we knew Saturday afternoon meant going to the movies or to the roller rink but not until our chores were finished.

I heard the threats, "Wait until your father gets home", but we both knew they were pretty idle. He would usually side with me or my brothers and my mother would just say, "I don't know what I'm going to do with you" and we'd all laugh. She knew we all respected her and eventually, even though there'd be whining and some crying in between, we would do what she wanted.

Who else would walk to the bakery every morning while we were sleeping and come home with fresh hard rolls for our breakfast and lunch? Who else would cook for us and anyone else that happened to stop by? Who else would do all the washing and ironing...there was no such thing as a clothes dryer when I was growing up.

I think you get the picture. I was so very lucky to have a mother who just loved. She loved us and everyone she met. She never said a harsh word about anyone. If we did she'd counter with, "Oh, don't say that. You don't know what's going on in their life." She was the perfect example of a perfect mother.

I remember Momma every day of my life. I remember all the things she did for us and all the wonderful things she taught us. I remember the joy and happy times we shared and I even remember the sad times. I remember Momma as the center of my universe. Nothing made me happier than coming home from school and seeing Momma somewhere in the house. Nothing made me happier than spending time with Momma and talking to her about anything.

My mother passed away November 10, 2005 but she will always live on because I remember Momma.

Property of Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

A Mother's Love


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Laila. Our mothers deserve all the tributes and memories we can share!

    • profile image

      laila salas 

      4 years ago

      great tribute to your mother! i also remember my mother dear!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Graham. As they say, "those were the days".

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Mary. A lovely warm heartfelt hub. I felt that I could have been in the kitchen as well as watching the wrestling on Saturday nights. Great stuff.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Shyron, seems you and I have much in common. So glad you stopped by and enjoyed!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Oh..Mary, you brought back so many memories. My Grandmother was the go to person when I was little. My brothers and three cousins and I lived with my grandparents after Mom's nose was broken. And, Saturday nights were hoe-downs. Mom sang and played the violen and guitar; and my grandfather and uncles and cousin played Guitars and Banjos. And neighbors came and we would all dance.

      And yes, I remember Mom.

      Voted up, UABI, and shared. I would pin this to my Amazing HubPages Board, but you don't have a pin button.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I can't imagine moving around so much and having to make new friends over and over. I am still friends with my girlfriends from when i was seven years old though one lives in FLA now and one in CA. Thank you for reading and leaving such a nice comment Moonlake.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      What a wonderful mother you had. I loved reading your tribute to her. Growing up my mother was always there for us but she rarely if ever did much for other people. She does more now that she is older and the kids aren't around. Maybe it was the military life she didn't want to make good friends because she knew she would be leaving soon. Voted up and more on your hub.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Rajan for stopping by!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Wonderful memories of your mother and such a beautiful tribute to your mom. Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing, Mary.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      My mother's birthday is Wednesday!

      You are so right Lyricwriter. I'm aware each generation thinks theirs was the best, but as you said in looking back, we had it all. We didn't have a lot of money but we had Mom's at home when we came home from school, we had family dinners EVERY night! We did value relationships and the art of communication was innate, now its texting.

      Being on the computer isn't a bad thing if we continue to balance it out with real life. Glad you enjoyed and hope your Mom has a very happy birthday.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      First off, I'm deeply sorry for your loss Til. I'm sure she would be very proud of your accomplishments here on Hubpages and elsewhere. I always enjoy reading your early history articles and entertainment. Mary, I love stories like yours. It's such a great tribute to your mother and what she stood for. It also shows me how much life has changed from then to now. And by the way, your mother was a beautiful lady, I see where you get your looks from Til :) LOL This was a time when families were valued, we watched out for one another, and we valued those relationships. You don't see that much anymore. Everyone is to busy trying to be a superstar on Facebook. I miss simple conversations. I have no right to speak cause I'm always online, but it's certainly the golden years of America. Enjoyed this very much Mary. Voted up and all across, shared on Facebook as well. My mother's birthday is tomorrow, think I better call today :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you B.A. Williams. I know what you mean from talking to others and I have always told my children, when you have children they are your whole world. They didn't ask to be born and it is up to you to make them happy and make sure they feel loved.

      Oh Suzie. My Mom's birthday was October 3 so it is a special time for me too. I am so glad you enjoyed my hub and hope it helped ease your pain a bit.

      Thank you Gypsy. I am a very lucky lady.

      I know what you mean Vinaya. It seems so much more romantic when it is the story of your parents. Glad you enjoyed.

      Graham, thank you for adding that beautiful comment!

      Oh Schoolmom, I know the scene you mean. I cried and wanted to clap because she made it into the hospital! I'm glad you treasure your Mom. I'm sure she treasures you as well.

    • Schoolmom24 profile image


      5 years ago from Oregon

      Your mother sounds so wonderful and I loved hearing about her and seeing all of the pictures! I have seen the movie, "I Remember Mama" several times and in fact, have it recorded on a DVD. Love it so much! (One of my favorite scenes is when she sneaks into the hospital to be with her child who had to spend the night there.) I still have my own mother but have to help take care of her- she's 86 with limited eyesight and other issues. But I'm grateful to still have her with me. Thank you for sharing the story of your Momma!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Mary. A touching tribute to the one we can never replace. The one that guided us along the road of life, the one that worried about us unto her end. So well done Mary. Thank you.


    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal

      I love hearing my parents' stories. I never get tired listening to how they met, how they got married, and how they found love.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Gypsy48 profile image


      5 years ago

      Lovely hub and tribute for your mother. You have wonderful memories of her

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      You really do write so beautifully and eloquently, a real joy to read. My own mum I lost just on 16 years (her anniversary is next week) ago and I miss her each and every day. At this time I always get sentimental and emotional as I think back to that day in October. Your mum sounds wonderful and your original photos are amazing, I love old photos. Thanks Mary for another well penned article we all have come to love and admire from you.

      Up, shared, interesting, awesome and more!

    • B. A. Williams profile image

      B. A. Williams 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great memories, and you're fortunate for that. Maybe mothers who read this will examine their parental-hood and try to strive for what you have and believe in. Well done!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Our mothers are so much a part of our lives, always.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I still miss my mother. She was a blessing in my life. So glad to hear how yours was such a treasure.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Grandmapearl...I think mothers like mine were more likely to be seen in the years before women had to go to work to help support the family. Those were also the days of "automatic respect" as you pointed out. Things were different then and it is good to remember them. Glad you enjoyed and it brought back some good memories.

      Oh Faith, I'm sure you receive blessings every day but I am glad I could provide you with memories of your dear sweet mother. No matter how old our mother is or when they leave us, we always miss them and love them. (Keeping your granddaughter in my prayers.)

      Thanks Michele, I wanted to share a little piece of my wonderful mother.

      DDE you said it so beautifully, "the first person who gave you a special gift"!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An excellent tribute to a wonderful person the first person who gave you a special gift, life and memories of family times will always be with you. Sounds like those times simply the best.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Mary, your mom was a great woman, and this was a fine tribute too. I vote across and share!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Dearest Mary!

      This beautiful piece straight from your heart brought the tears on thinking of my sweet mother, who passed away just this past Christmas. She was 84.

      Yes, who else? I know I was so very blessed to have my sweetest mother in this life, just as you dear Mary. Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of your wonderful life with your mother and family. All of the photos are just great.

      I received a blessing from reading your wonderful write here.

      Up and more and sharing

      You are beautiful, just as was your mother.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers, dear sweet lady.

      God bless you and yours,

      Faith Reaper

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Mary, I loved learning about your Momma and your family life. There were definite similarities to our Mom and family. She was always in the kitchen cooking something delicious; always knew what to do in whatever kid crisis that came along; knew how to do most anything that needed doing, and was a both a parent and a friend to my brothers and sister and me. We also had chores to do on Saturday--our allowance was dependent upon their completion.

      Mom wasn't strict, but like you we just did what she said because she was Mom. Those are the days I miss. The days of automatic respect of elders, and when kindness meant something without being considered 'corny'.

      I thoroughly enjoyed this article, which brought back many very pleasant and fond memories;) Pearl

      Voted UP+++

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Genna I sometimes think it is a generational thing when all mothers were devoted to their families and all families were devoted to their mother. Yes, we will carry those special moments with us forever. Thank you for the lovely compliment as well.

      Aviannovice, our memories sustain us and keep our mothers alive forever. So sorry to hear you lost your mother at such a young age.

      You are most welcome Martin. I love writing happy stories.

      drbj it is the loving, smiling, and kindness that makes our mothers so special. Actually the tv Mama was Peggy Wood and the movie Mama was Irene Dunn.

      I'm so glad you could reminisce and think about your Mother Blossom. Thanks for reading.

      True Paul. Our mothers were the ones who not only nurtured but held the family together. Thank you for the votes, share, and pin!.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is a very beautiful account of your mother. I, too, remember seeing the TV show "I remember Momma" in the 50s. My mother was a lot like yours, and the family certainly would have been a lot different without Momma. Voted up and sharing with followers. Also Pinning.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A lovely story about your mother, I enjoyed reading it and reminiscing about my own mother at the same time.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      What a lovely Momma you had, Mary, and what a beautiful tribute you have written about her and your family. My mother whom I also lost in 2005 was much like yours. Sweet and loving, always smiling and never, never a bad word about another person.

      I also remember the TV show, I Remember Mama, and the movie. Was it Loretta Young who played Momma in the film?

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much for this. I love reading happy sories of other's moms.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great story, Mary, your mom was a lot like mine. I have no brothers or sisters, so my mother did everything for me. We spent a lot of time together. I lost her when I was 21, but she is never forgotten.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Ohhhh, Mary! This beautiful hub brought tears to my eyes, remembering my Mama as well. I noticed that the poll at the right yielded 88%: “Yes, everyone depended on her and came to her with their troubles.” Your mother was a treasure, and I suspect this is why your are such a wonderful person as well. We carry these special moments – memories of our mothers -- with us, always. Thank you for sharing this, dear friend. :-)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Friends like you make everything just a little easier to deal with! Your support, understanding and of course your praise, are a help today and every day. Love you girlfriend!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh girlfriend, I didn't think it was possible but I love you just a little bit more after reading this...

      The love you show, even now, for your Momma...makes you the beautiful person who is able to rebound through whatever life decides to lob your way...truly an example of..."like Momma, like daughter...!"

      Beautiful photography too...thinking of you and yours, have a peaceful weekend, my friend. Love, Maria

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Ah Joe, the picture with her hand on her hip, did you not notice the pipe? She really wasn't Mammy Yokum ;) I am so glad I was able to get your weekend off to a good start.

      Our little home was overfilled with love and memories I will never forget. It certainly was a different time but as you said, filled with life, love, the occasional pain and must be a writer sir :)

      Thank you for the wonderful, heartwarming comment my friend. Enjoy this weekend. Aloha.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Oh, I love it so much when good writing and charming yesteryear photos take me back, way back, to a time when less was more and small rooms were filled with life, love, the occasional pain and angst, and the stuff from which the writer in each family would draw from...

      Your mother would be so proud of you. And she'd love this absolutely heartwarming and beautiful tribute to her!

      That picture of her with the hand on her hip? I can definitely see where you got your indelible and lovable life signature, Mary.

      And with that, my friend, I thank you for getting my weekend off to a great start and hope that my sharing will have a similar impact on you. You're the best!


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      And thank you Frank for the lovely comment. Sending angels your way.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      This was a wonderful tribute beautiful hub and those photos will surely keep the memories burning high thank you for sharing your precious moments and past bless you :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Nell. I thought washing to front steps was a German thing...guess it was just across the sea and it made it's way over here.

      We never stop missing our parents no matter how old we get or how long they're gone.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Beautiful Mary I smiled as I read this, and yes the curtains were always washed in my house regularly too. I think it was one of those things they did back then, along with scrubbing the step outside the front door. I love reading your story of your wonderful mum and I totally understand you still missing her, I miss mine too, she passed away ten years ago, nell

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you for reading Linda. Like my Momma, my door's always open!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Tills, I felt like part of the family crowded into your home while I was reading your tribute to your Momma. I agree, we keep our loved ones alive with our memories and the special spot we carry them in our hearts. Thank you for sharing your Momma with us :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Martie, you couldn't pay me a higher compliment. Being half the woman my mother was would certainly be an honor. She was truly beautiful inside and out. Our parents always shine in us and yes, some brighter than others.

      Thanks Peg, glad you liked my photos. My Mom certainly was a gem, no prejudice, love for all, I could just go on and on.

      Thanks WND. She was a great lady that gave me so much to write about having so many wonderful memories. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg!

      Oh Bill, I forgot about your Dad when I was writing this. You are so right, we do only get two parents. I hope those that have living parents will cherish them and not be afraid to tell them "I love you".

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mary, this one really touched me having just lost my father. I've always said that we only get two parents in life so cherish them. I don't know what else to say other than thank you. I'm quite certain that your mother was a wonderful women.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama

      You are very fortunate to have splendid memories of your momma.

      A very blessed hub.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      What a great grouping of family photos and the story about your Momma was so dear and touching. You were lucky to have such a wonderful, endearing example of a great parent. Mommas shape our world view and yours was a gem.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Mary, this a heart-touching tribute to your beautiful mother. And you are just as beautiful :)

      Whether we want to admit it or not, our mother, and also father and all who had played a role in our upbringing, always shines in us, some brighter than others.....

      I can see your mother shining in you :))))

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Sheila, I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a wonderful tribute to your mother!


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