What can one mom even do to make a difference?
We moms need to know this.
Here’s the next part of a short series about all the huge little things moms do. It’s not a contest, but let’s all tell about our memories of those little things that mean so much, that only moms know how to do best. ❤
My mom shared. The sixth child of a woman whose husband died young during the Great Depression, my mom knew exactly how it felt to be in need. One of her favorite sayings was, “We might need that someday.” Considering the entire course of her life, that was exactly true.
Her other saying was, “The poor people in (insert your favorite country, here) would kill to get what you’ve got.” Also probably true, more than we’d like to realize.
Given her context, what else could my mom do but share, and by example, teach her children to share.
And so it was that while she always made her children clothing, she also spent some time on a church ladies’ project of making clothing for poverty-stricken people elsewhere. In fact, the first time she ever took on the task of making a man’s long-sleeved shirt, it was for a man she’d never met in Cambodia, a country she’d never heard of.
And when a vacationing family had a wreck near our town and lost the dad, spending time in the hospital in our town, she took me shopping for the poor children who’d lost their dad. And arranged for a friend to take them in, since they were not really injured, and could enjoy his horses and pleasant estate, as a sort of therapy, until the mother could arrange their affairs.
And if there was not enough dessert to go around, my mom always pretended she was full.
What did your mom share with others? Think hard–if she was modest about it, you might have to examine clues to realize it…
8 thoughts on “What would your mother do? Share.”
Sometimes, I think my mom only buys things just so she can give them away. Her crockpot, a new glass water bottle, kitchen towels, a stack of washcloths, even a microwave. Seriously. My mom can’t NOT give things away.
I can remember my mom fixing food for others. She actually did help feed a hungry family our church had heard of. But she was very frugal. She would make a shirt for someone foreign to her, but she’d never buy one. She made cookies and candies all through November and December, and gave many of them away; she hardly ever bought cookies or candies. Maybe a bag of jelly beans or a package of windmill cookies, now and then… She made a quilt out of all denim fabrics cut off the backs of old jeans. It was lovely. Then she gave it to the church for a bazaar. She always prized things that cost the least. 🙂
my mom made all of our clothes. she cut up worn clothes that had been hers and dads, so that she would have fabric. she had me remove buttons from old clothes (and zippers too). remnant tables at the fabric store were the source of other fabric. the library was our source of reading material, not bookstores. she canned when we had fruit trees and vegetable gardens. our vacations were camping on sandbars on the Mississippi River. we shared. we loved. we laughed. wha joy.
Kate, we did those things, too, and I know what a blessing it was for me! All of our vacations were to visit family, where we children all slept on the floor, or to camp at free camping places and make breakfast over an open fire. What a life! And sew, my mom did that, too, for us girls. The brothers all got hand-me-downs; we had lots of older cousins. No one just dumped stuff. We gave to our friends and relatives or we held garage sales, or we mailed to missions. So different, now.
Your mother sounds wonderful! My mother worked so hard taking care of all of us and pretty much doing everything. She never left us with a sitter or went anywhere. The only times we had to stay with anyone else was when she had cancer and we stayed with my grandparents. She was very involved in church, serving all throughout her life in various ways there. She also was baking pies and goodies for people in the community even at the end of her life when she was very ill.
I was embarrassed when I was a teenager, because Mom would come to the school dressed in old clothing and with a bandana tied around her hair to keep it from getting all windblown. She was older than most of the other mothers. I looked back later and was so thankful that she cared enough to go to the school dressed in her old clothes. I still miss her. This August will be 15 years since she went to heaven.
Thanks for this opportunity to remember and share!
Oh, Anne, thanks so much for this lovely comment! WELCOME to Home’s Cool!
My mom probably was nearly wonderful, and I keep trying to see that, having been, as you were, embarrassed by her being different from my friends’ moms. I am one of five children and for most of our lives we were a single-income family. Times just plainly were tough for my folks, but somehow, they kept a sense of adventure and cheer, kept us fed and clothed, and even spoiled us a bit.
After my mom passed, we left her phone active so we could call each other when one of us was at her old house, sorting things for an estate sale. For several months, I was able to call her house when others were NOT there, and hear her voice again, on her answering machine. Never told anyone that before, but it’s true.
The longer she’s gone, the more I miss her.
My mother shared her time and her talents with others. I remember going with her when she taught inner city girls to cook and embroider. (Many times she had to undo my stitches because I had sewed my design to my skirt!) She was a special education teacher who loved teaching, and would give herself after hours for no pay to those who could not afford it. When she started her own school, she loved giving scholarships to those who could not afford the private school tuition (much to the dismay of her business manager, who often told her that she couldn’t give ANOTHER scholarship if she wanted to be able to pay her teachers!) After she retired, she continued to volunteer, teaching illiterate adults how to read.
What a legacy, Ruth, that completely explains your own generosity and ability and desire to share the steps and outcomes of your lovely work!
(Clue: everyone who reads, here, should click on Ruth’s name, above and enjoy the amazing art!)
I constantly find that every time I know something about someone’s mom, each generation shows the good from the previous, in a new iteration of goodness.
Thanks for your contribution here, making that even more clear! 🙂