Monday, January 07, 2013

My Mom's Words of Wisdom

My sisters and I miss our mom.  It has been 6.5 years since she passed away from breast cancer that eventually spread into her bones.   The other day we were sharing emails that mom had sent us and it was amazing how at any point in our lives, my mom could tell you exactly what the 5 of us were doing in quite great detail.  Our classes, grades, friends, jobs, heath, fitness etc and how we FELT about it all.  It's not because she peppered us with questions.  She just asked us how we were doing and listened.  And affirmed.  And was empathetic.  And truly cared about what we had to say, more than anyone else.  She didn't offer advice unless we asked for it.  It's so hard to have that missing.  Yes we care about each other as sisters, but not to the same degree.  I didn't call Trish after her first day back at work (sorry Nut!) but mom would've for sure!  I emailed and facebooked her, but it's not the same.

My mom would always say `You go, girl!' `Bless you, girl' `Love you girl'.  Her names for me were Louisa, Louisie, and `Girl' (I guess that was easy with 5 girls!).  My mom had 5 brothers and no sisters growing up so she was soooooo happy to have so many daughters.

I miss my cheerleader.  I miss my support. I miss my mom.  After she died, every time something happened in my life, I would think `I have to tell mom!' and then realized I couldn't.  This took almost a full year.

My mom wasn't perfect, but she was an amazing mom.  Like awesome.  I don't know how she had the patience for 5 hormonal girls and me in particular.  I was ridiculous from the ages of 12-15 and she stood by me and loved me unconditionally, even if she didn't totally understand.

So often I hear her words coming out of my mouth.  Here are some things my mom taught me growing up that I hope to impart on my kiddos:
{Mom and dad way back in the day}

1.  If you're bored, it's because you're boring.  So true.  Be creative, find something to do.  Get outside. GET FRESH AIR.  I love, love, loooooooooooooooooooove the outdoors.

{Mom pregnant with me!}

2.  If you want your kids to share things with you, spend time together daily.  We ate every dinner together and then in the evening (this is soooo dorky), we would sit around the table and have a cup of tea (and a cookie!) and share about our  day.  Mom said she didn't have to ask questions, we would just talk.

{Mom and Me!}

3. Smile. Better than any make up or jewelry.  She had a terrific smile.

4. Be wise with your money.  A house is a great investment.  Pay off your debts ASAP.  If you get any money, put it towards your mortgage/debts.  Work hard. Share money with those in need. My mom dropped me off at the mall when I was in grade 10, and said she would pick me up once I had  delivered all 50 resumes. No joke.  I got a job at Purdy's and loved it.

{Always camping!}

5.  Be thankful for what you do have.  I don't remember my mom ever saying that she wished something was different.  Oh ya, except she thought she had big thighs which is hilarious because after 5 kids, she was still under 125lbs!    She was so incredibly thankful to God for all her many blessings. She was very simple.  Never dyed her hair once.   Got her ears pierced in her 30's.   Even when she was really sick, she was still so thankful for everything.  She would've liked more time to `finish her work' with my littlest sister but she knew that Trish was in good hands (ours and Gods!).
{Maria and I go snowshoeing with mom!}

6.  Don't waste time fighting/arguing.  Life is too short.  My sisters and I get along incredibly well now (maria and I fought like  CRAZY as teenagers).  There's just no point in getting worked up about stuff that doesn't matter.  I always think when having a disagreement with Gary, what the heck would I do if this was the last conversation we ever had?!  It's fine to disagree and argue and have conflict, but work through it.  Quickly!

7.  Homemade food is the best.  I don't think my mom every bought store bought cookies and our fridge was always full of fresh baking.  There was a warm homemade dinner for us every single night.  I'm soooo thankful that I married a man that can cook! And, no offense to my momma, but he has introduced me to tons of new flavours:)
{Always made us cakes too!  Happy 1st birthday Trish!}

8.  Gargle with salt water.  Any time you have a sore throat, that's the first thing you should do.  Also make sure to drink plenty of water to `get your kidneys going'.

{More camping.  Always.}

9.  Read!  Mom would take us to the library every week and I would check out the maximum number of books (13 I believe).  Mom would always find time to read in the evening or on holidays, even with 5 kids and a part time job.   She didn't play with us often but she would always read with us when we were little.
{Mom reading with Jan.}

10.  Approach everything with a positive attitude.  I remember, like it was yesterday, being a teenager trying to sleep in.  In the next room was my mom singing at the top of her lungs while cleaning one of our many bathrooms and scrubbing that tub.  On that note, she really taught us to take care of our stuff and to keep our house clean (not sure dad got that memo, thankfully Joanne is in his life).  She would come into my room and open my blinds and greet me with a cheery `Let the sunshine in!'.
{Up at Green Lake, one year before she passed away.}

I'm so thankful that I had my mom in my life for 27 years.  She was such a great model for me of what a wife and mother should look like.  I miss her so much but I know she's okay and I'm okay too.  I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to pass on her love and words of wisdom.

What is something that you learned from your mom?

Love, Louise


  1. this is an absolutely AWESOME post!!!
    Things I learned from my mom (there are many, but the biggest ones) were to forgive, be faithful, have fun, love, homemade is best :)

  2. I love this Louise! I love hearing about your mom through your words. She sounds like an amazing lady. She would be so proud of you, your boys an miss Nya... Not to mention the rest of your beautiful big family. Keep the memories of her alive- share them with us, they're beautiful.

  3. SUCH great advice!!! Your mom sounded like a truly wonderful and special person Louise. I am so sorry that you lost her so early. I can't imagine. But I am POSITIVE she would be proud of who you are today as a momma :)

  4. This is such a wonderful post. Your Mom sounds like she was so wise and caring, among so many other traits. I really admire the woman that she was. How beautiful will it be if our kids can say the same about us when they are older.....I pray this will be true!

  5. Beautiful post, Louise. I always enjoy hearing your memories about your mother. (Always makes me sort of wish I had a daughter though!)

  6. I love that you take the time and are willing to share your thoughts about missing your mom. In a strange coincidence you posted this just a couple of hours after a good friend lost her mom suddenly in a car accident. Hopefully she can keep her the memories of mom alive like you :)

  7. Advice from my mom? Brush your teeth. ;)

  8. Louise that was incredible! I think I will save it because those are such wise words to remember! Thank you for sharing your memories with us- it's a great reminder to not take our time with our mom's for granted.
    o! and something I learnt from my mom- never worry about making conversation, just ask questions about the other person...and listen!