Friday, December 7, 2012

Remembering Deana: Part IV

For today's "Remembering Deana" segment, you are stuck hearing from me ;) I figure I oughta write down my own memoirs of my mom, even though I share tidbits here and there. Plus...other people needed some extra time to get back to me with their writings.


Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from my mom.
Whether she ever realized it or not, my mom taught me so many valuable life lessons, both through word and through deed.

My mom kept an immaculate house. She made sure to teach her children how to keep an immaculate house, too! Each week we had our chore that we were responsible for (bathroom, living room, kitchen). It was our job to keep that area of the house cleaned up daily and to deep clean it on Saturdays. At the time, we moaned and groaned about it. When I went away to college, and had 5 roommates and weekly “clean checks” at our off-campus apartment, I was grateful for the skills that my mother taught me. I am grateful now that I have my own household, that I know how to keep a clean house. Okay…a somewhat clean house. I’m doing the best I can with 5 kids. I honestly don’t know how my mom did it!! Thank you, mom, for teaching me the value of hard work and how to keep a clean house.

My mom was a great cook. She taught us the importance of eating a balanced meal and made sure we had a healthy dinner on the table every night, which-I might add-we ate ALL TOGETHER. We rarely ate fast food. Mom wanted to keep us healthy. This was another very useful skill that I took with me when I went away to school, as well as when I got married and had a family. Thank you, mom, for teaching me how to cook and for also teaching me the value of eating together and connecting as a family.

My mom was talented. She made beautiful cakes. I remember my siblings and I would cringe when we went to friend’s birthday parties and their cakes were store bought (I know, we were cake snobs!). That was unthinkable in our household. My mom, who learned from her mom, made every single birthday cake as well as our wedding cakes. Even with twins, she made sure we each had our own, special cake for our birthday. She began teaching me how to decorate cakes when I was a young girl. When I was 13, she let me venture on my own and my best friend and I decorated the numbers “1” and “3” for my and my brother’s cake. When I became a mom, my mom was there by my side guiding me and directing me on how to make my children their own birthday cakes. Thank you, mom, for sharing your talent with me.

My mom valued family traditions. The holidays were always a great time for us. Every year, my mom would have a Christmas baking day and make all kinds of yummy Christmas goodies, passing them out to friends and neighbors. I loved helping her bake, especially at Christmas time. Friends and neighbors always looked forward to her treats as well, especially the English Toffee. This is a tradition that I have kept with my own children, and cherish very much. Thank you, mom, for passing down family traditions that I can carry on with my children.

My mom was fun. She liked to go to amusement parks, water parks and take us on camping trips and vacations. She liked to be silly and try to make us laugh (especially when we were grumpy!) I remember many a times when mom would turn the music on her stereo full blast while we were cleaning or baking, and singing and shaking to the beat. Sometimes, when I was little, she would take me by the hands and have me dance with her. My friends thought my mom was fun, too. I remember when she started working at my elementary school. She was the “nice” supervisor. I was proud that my mom worked there and even more proud that she was one of the favorites on the playground. Mom kept her fun spirit as I grew into a teenager. I remember feeling pride in the fact that my parents were young and fun. She loved to joke around and she liked to *try* and be funny. Some things were not as funny as others. One morning, she was driving my friends and me to school. Our high school was in a rough neighborhood, full of low-riders who blared their car stereos at deafening volumes. It was quite annoying. Thinking she would make something comical of it, mom lowered her carseat, slouched down, rolled down the windows and turned up her stereo full-volume. Her music of choice? Oldies. I remember shrinking down in my seat, begging her to turn it down, but deep down I was laughing and thought she was pretty funny. Thank you, mom, for having a sense of humor and for being fun.

My mom was open-minded and had open communication with her children. There was nothing we couldn’t talk about with our mom. Sometimes it could get embarrassing, as my brother asked some far out questions about sex (things he had heard from kids at school). Mom, though reserved, always answered our questions and was always there to talk when we needed her. She made it clear that, no matter how embarrassing it was to talk about something, that she wanted us to come to her. Anytime I had a problem that I needed advice for, or even someone to share happy news with, mom was there to listen. Thank you, mom, for listening to your children and for teaching me how to have good communication with my own children.

My mom was religious. She had a deep faith in God and in His son, Jesus Christ. She took us to church every single week; even in my younger days when my dad was “less active” and did not attend church regularly with us. My mom faithfully took us, every week, despite our embarrassing and sometimes unruly behavior. Mom taught us to love and have faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She taught us how to pray and how to build our faith and testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She taught us the importance of going to church and serving others there. Thank you, mom, for living your faith and teaching us through your example.

My mom was supportive. Her children were her first priority. She was at every award’s assembly, every spelling bee, every piano recital and every choir concert. I remember her chaperoning almost every field trip we took in elementary school. She was always the class mom and there for every school party. When I was in high school, she did her best to be at every home swim meet that we had (by that time she was working in the afternoons as a Head Start Aide, so sometimes she was late to my meets). She was always there to greet us at home after dates or nights out with friends. She was there for the births of all her grandchildren (except the grandbaby in Florida; she went after the birth).
Some of my favorite memories were when my mom came up to visit me at college (a 16 hour drive away from home) for our college's annual "Mother's Week". I think this was the time when I really grew closest to my mom. Going away to college, at 17 years old, made me realize how much I loved and appreciated my parents. And even though I was having the time of my life, I missed them terribly. Mom really began to become more of my friend during this time and I loved to spend time with her. I remembering counting down the days until it was time for mom to come up for Mother's Week. During that week, she would go to my classes with me, take me out to dinners and shopping (which was a big treat for a "starving student"!, attend college events (including our fashion show that I was a part of), and she took the time to get to know all of my friends that I had made while away at school. It was truly a wonderful time of bonding with my mom and it brings tears to my eyes to think back and remember these special times. These are memories that I will always hold dear to my heart. Thank you, mom, for always putting us first and supporting everything we were a part of.

My mom was many things; this is just the tip of the iceberg. These are some of the things I love most about my mom; some of the things I miss most about my mom. Thank you, mom, for teaching me everything I needed to know to be the wife, the mother and the friend that I am today.

If you have a memoir you'd like to contribute for my Friday feature of "Remembering Deana", please contact me.


  1. Very touching...I miss her.

    I remember the lowrider incident, haha!

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