By JoAnn Mullen

Our mothers may be long gone but their words live on. Just this morning I heard mine say, “Rise and shine! Time waits for no one.” Later she said, “You’re not going out in THAT, are you?” At breakfast she spoke sharply, “Your elbows don’t belong on the table!” and “Chew your food with your lips sealed! Don’t eat like a horse wearing a nosebag!”

Mom’s voice held more than a hint of fury and rasp when I reached my teens. “You and that attitude can go wait in the car!” When I’d wheedle for a new item Mom would retort, “Want what you have.” If I went to her with a tiny problem, she’d say, “That’s a first-world problem,” meaning there were real problems in the world and my hair didn’t qualify.

I would come home and tell her about my exciting day at school and she’d laugh and remark, “Well, aren’t you a boatload of surprises?” When our day went well, Mom would remark, “For this, if for little else, there’s reason to be grateful.” After making a statement about something, Mom would admonish, “Don’t be so judgy!”

Certain sayings she’d repeat often; “God has given you the gift of love and passion, don’t return these unopened,” “Good manners are not an act, they are a habit,” and her absolute favorite, “When a job is once begun, never leave it ‘til it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

Happy Mother’s Day!