Hats off to Mom!


Mom and Mom

A Mom and her Mom ... although not mine.

Moms don’t look alike, live similar experiences, or have similar hopes and ambitions for themselves and their children. Since my mother’s ambitions have included, for most of the last four decades, staying out of the photograph, the picture with this column isn’t one of the two of us! But I can tell you that her accomplishments — for which she refuses credit — include:

  • raising five productive adults, four of whom went to college, even though neither she nor my father have a degree.
  • continuing to manage her family’s blueberry farm well into her 60s — a farm that produced 30 to 60 TONS of berries annually, and she herself worked the fields every year.
  • earning a “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Naval Relief Society somewhere into her 30 years of seven-day-a-week “retirement” service at the thrift store where she had acquired almost all our clothing throughout our childhoods.
  • baking so well that a local caterer asked her to provide all  the cookies for her company. (Mom turned her down because she didn’t want a state inspector in her kitchen …)

and, perhaps the most surprising,

  • becoming a vegan at age 79 because her doctor convinced her it was the most certain way to avoid a disabling stroke.

Inscrutable, astonishing, always able to accomplish more than they themselves let on … Thanks, mom, for reminding us how strong we all are and how great we can be.

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About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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