Thank you Mom


Today I’d like to thank my mother for the things she did that helped me become the person that I am. My mother-in-law passed away in March, so I don’t want to let another moment go by before I tell you, Mom, how important you are to me.

You married my father when you were still in high school. You and dad lived in a small one-room cabin when I was a baby. You took me there several years ago. I was startled to see how small it was. What it must have been like for you in that small room with a baby, I can only imagine. Yet, I’ve never heard you complain. You talk about that time almost with yearning. It must have been a happy time for you and Dad.

I have some of my happiest memories of later, when we lived in a small singlewide trailer until I was five. I remember falling asleep in my bunk bed listening to you doing the dishes and singing or talking with Dad. I felt safe and warm and wanted to live in that trailer forever. You never complained when you hauled our clothes to the ringer washer in the trailer court and then hung them on the line. I remember playing under the clothes strung from one end of the trailer to the other, the smell of laundry soap heavy in the air. As a young child I thought it was fun running through those clothes, not able to walk from one end of the trailer to the other. I never asked you how you managed to raise five kids living so simply. I’m so proud to call you my mom.

Mom TodayTrina 5th grade

Mom, you had a huge influence on my success. Here are a few things that you did that helped make it possible for me to pursue my dreams.

• Because you were so young and cooped up with my sisters and I, you extended your only childhood. You played games with us. When I was very young, we played, “I’m thinking of something green.” We begged you to play “the color game” and others, endlessly. Later it was cards, yahtzee, and even Barbies. I still love games because of you.
• Mom, you made the time to read us stories. You hauled us to the library every week, where I checked out as many books as I could carry. Because of you, I still love reading today. You will find me at my happiest with my nose in a thriller.
• You played the piano and sang and encouraged all five of us to play an instrument. You forced us to practice, which we hated. Although none of us pursued it, the experience taught us persistence and a good work ethic.
• You made our clothes, for all five of us. You also made all of the clothes for my dolls and Barbies. You taught me to sew, which is a skill that I found so valuable later in life.
• Mom, you instilled a work ethic in me that has brought much of my success. I would not have been a good teacher without that skill. The attention to detail and drive for success that helps me now as a science education researcher I owe to you.
• You are not afraid to stand up for yourself. That one example has probably helped me more than anything else. I’ve watched you march up to a receptionist or make a phone call where you were relentless in getting what you needed, either for your husband, your children, or yourself. You are an inspiration to me.
• Mom, you show me that you love and care for me every time that I talk to you. I treasure our walks together and our long talks.

So thanks, Mom! You have helped me by your example and your caring. I love you.


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