Mom’s Words


With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I couldn’t help but recall things my mother has said to me over the years.

Some of things aggravated the hell out of me at the time. Things like, “There are plenty of fish in the sea” when the love of my life broke up with me at age 20. (and again at age 25 and age 29-same guy)

Then there is the classic, “Oh well, what are you gonna do?” when things were crumbling at my feet. She always said this with a caring smile and a slight shrug.

I cannot forget her sage wisdom of, “It’s either going to work out, or it isn’t” when I was going through a major decision.

Then, there is the highly annoying, “Oh well, no one ever died from that,” said when I was in my teens and 20’s, laboring over some physical or mental malady.

Everyone’s mother has or had those sayings, or something akin to them.   Now, my amazing 15-year-old daughter gets the pleasure of hearing me say them to her, with the same love behind them as my mother hoped to convey to me.

At the time you hear those things, they seem trite, and you are SURE your mom does not understand what you are going through. Like when she said to me, “Men are a dastardly lot” when the love of my life (at the time) went off to Hawaii without inviting me to come along.

My mom had no shortage of advice on men. Perhaps the piece that threw me the most at the time, was, “Men have fragile egos”. I couldn’t imagine that this was true, but it is. And the sooner you accept that , and work around it, the happier you and your significant other will be. The key here (a’ la’ Mom) is that you can’t let them know that you know this about them.

Not all her advice is something I share with my daughter…like “Wearing jeans will make you look like a hood”. My mother grew up on the south side of Chicago in the 50’s…to be a “greaser” back then, was not a good thing.

She would not let me get my ears pierced, because her mother told her, “Only gypsies wear earrings, besides, it’s going to hurt”.   I did get them pierced, and it hurt like hell!

She is the kindest person in the world-never a bad word about anyone (I guess you could argue, except about the gypsies). She always looks for the good in a situation (which can make you crazy if you are the one going through the difficult situation) with the classic Sylvia McKnight, “This too shall pass”.

I love her, admire her, and hope that I am half the person she is. Everything I know about joy, laughter, sorrow and mothering comes from her.

One of the best pieces of advice she gave me, when I was struggling with a career change: “You are trying to open up a new door with an old key”.

My mother: an 80-year-old Roman Catholic Buddha. I honor her today and thank her for her wisdom.

And when things get rough for you, remember, “It’s either going to work out, or it isn’t”.





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