I have been blessed with such a beautiful Mother in every way.  She is strong, loving, giving, funny, and very talented in anything she decides to do.  She is the wisest person I know!

Life for her at a young age was not easy, but she was strong and prevailed.  She was and still is a fighter, a survivor, and she is where I get my positive outlook on life.  My Mother is the one who taught me respect of money and I watched her squeeze every penny until they squealed.

We grew up in a valley near Monterey, California and enjoyed the freshest fruits, vegetables and nuts—she took advantage by canning, preserving and freezing for a rainy day.  She made the best homemade breads, cakes, and pies.  My Mother is also a very talented cake decorator, which included holidays, birthdays and even wedding cakes for family.  One of my regrets is that I didn’t learn from her how to decorate cakes.

All my clothes were hand sewn with love by my Mother; you could not go into a store and buy anything more unique or beautiful than her creations.  She taught me how to sew and I am grateful for that because I have used those skills my entire life as a way of being frugal and creative with fabric.

I love my Mother’s quick wit and humor and I grew up listening to her quips.  Through my whining or complaints, she always had realistic words of advice—some of which made very little sense, most very funny, but somehow all were a comfort to me.  I would say, “I wish”, she would say “wish in one hand and spit in the other to see which one fills up the quickest”.  I would say “if”, she would say, “if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his butt every time he hopped.”  She has a lot to say and everyone enjoys listening.  Especially my boys, they can’t wait to hear what Mema has to say next.  They call her words of advice, memaisms.

I may not have appreciated everything she did, and all the sacrifices she made when I was growing up, but I am thankful and so filled with appreciation now.  Everything I know and love I learned from my Mother.  And she hasn’t given up on me—she is still teaching me life’s lessons everyday and I AM listening.

If I had any advice to share, it would be…life is tough, but we can get through it with a strong will, faith, love, laughter and a smile.  I learned that from my Mother.  Thank you Mother for all your love and sacrifices—I love you so much!