More than DNA

Some people aren’t very lucky and only receive DNA from their mothers. I am fortunate and blessed to have received DNA and a host of other wonderful traits from my amazing mother as well as many life lessons.

Today is my mother’s 88th birthday so I thought it would be appropriate to write about her impact on my life today and to share what a great individual she is. My mother grew up surrounded by 5 older brothers and immigrant parents who worked tirelessly for what they had. Her work ethic is second to none and her sense of family also comes from this core. Both of these traits came through her pores into mine. She became a nurse and worked outside the home long before it became the “norm”. She told me to be a good nurse and I’m honoured to have followed in her footsteps. She was supportive of the fact that I worked when our children were small and for that I am very thankful.

She spent her entire adult life volunteering in our small town and still to this day does what she can. So the fact that I give back to the community is something I come by naturally. She often thinks that I am too busy but I remind her that when she was my age she worked, did volunteer activities and had 4 children and had an active social life.

My mom connects well with people and always has;her friends or our friends, random strangers or distant cousins — all are welcome at her table and into her world.I didn’t learn to drink like my mother (but my son Spencer shares her love of a good whiskey) but like her I don’t want to leave the party to early and miss something. Like her I also like to entertain

Speaking of her table — she didn’t grow up cooking as her mom was too busy to teach her (which is another story that I will write about here someday) so when she married my dad she didn’t cook. The stories told about her matrimonial cake is legendary and yet over the years she became a good cook and a great baker. Buns, bread, pies and a roast beef dinner that is second to none. Every one of her kids take after her in this. She was genius when we were growing up when it came to getting the freezer filled up. She encouraged us to have “bake offs” with each item being worth so many points. My sisters and I would spend the afternoon sharing stove and oven space while creating food and memories. I am sure none of us remembers who won but really in the long run we all did.

My mother’s creative side was in the clothes that she made for all of us and herself. I didn’t grow up sewing believing that she and my sister could make me whatever it was I needed and do my home ec projects. I never had her patience when it came to knitting either and she has created some lasting gifts for many of us. I believe she thinks that I have surpassed her in the creative section but perhaps that is only a reflection of the times and how “free” time is now used for personal fulfillment.

My mom has always loved to read and this pleasure has been a bit difficult since her sight as started to fail. But being cutting edge she recently requested a tablet and my brother bought this for her birthday. So she will learn a bit more technology and enjoy this pass time again. She is also on Facebook which is a bit “revolutionary” for someone her age but she felt that it was a good way to keep up with the world wide spread of her grandchildren (and now great grandchildren).

My mother is truly a wonderful role model and a caring, compassionate human being. Aren’t I blessed to have received more than just her DNA.

Bernie

PS When you see the picture you will realise I also share some physical traits with her but fortunately I didn’t get the Bradford nose but just the eyes.

Mom and I in cottage country. Ontario Fall 2009
Mom and I in cottage country. Ontario Fall 2009

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