By Don Mohler
This is the final installment of the This, and that… Mother’s Day tribute. When I asked Facebook friends to share some memories of their moms, I had a feeling that some moving and inspirational stories might come forth, and come forth they did and in those stories were some very clear themes- themes that my own Mom had in spades, with memories that bring a smile to my face on this special day. Selflessness, kindness, warmth, accountability, and most of all, family first, family first, family first.
If you become faithful followers of this blog, and I hope you will, you will become very familiar with June Scruggs Mohler, better known simply as Q because her grandchildren decided that her snow-white hair looked just like a Q Tip. And she relished that title. She is without a doubt a part of my soul.
She was a single mom when there just weren’t many of them around, and one of the smartest people on the planet. Q became a nurse because let’s face it in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, if you were a woman you were either a secretary, nurse, teacher or a stay-at-home mom. Those were your choices. Sure, let’s Make America Great Again. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist even on Mother’s Day.)
She worked all night to take care of two crazy boys during the day, never missed a game, never met a stranger, and had a smile that could light up a room. And although she struggled to pay the rent and put food on the table, we had no clue: selflessness, kindness, warmth, accountability, and most of all, family first, family first, family first. Qs values have been validated in post after post the past few days, and provide a wonderful road map to make us all just a bit better. Thanks Mom.
My mom died of lung cancer this past February 25 despite never having smoked a day in her life. She was stolen from her mother in France, abandoned by her father in Italy, but came to the USA in 1949 and made a better life for herself and our family. Despite anti-Italian prejudice after WWII, she worked hard and stayed faithful to her strong Catholic faith. She was one of the many immigrants who made America great. – Frank Passaro
My mom always made it known that I could stand on my own two feet, in a relationship, out of one, with children, without. I never realized how valuable that was until much later. Love you mom. – Sandra Gallagher Mohler
My mom was always there for me. She got me involved in sports, came to every game and I still love playing to this day. When my grandma was sick she jumped everything to help her. She was there for me whenever I needed her especially this past year when I left my 19 year marriage. Every step of the way, she was there with me. I love her so much. – Holly Jett
Her intelligence, gentleness, and wisdom are the grand mountains of our family. She is the one who anchors our values, who beacons us home, and who lifts us up to the stars. She is two birthday cakes and hand-sewn Halloween costumes. She is plans and lists and research. She is there is a right and a wrong, family first, life needs balance, always show kindness, and get up and try again. She is a good book and a sunny nap. She is a wicked sense of humor and a quiet disposition. She is Thanksgiving Dinner, warm brownies, peanut butter eggs, and Christmas cookies. She is a lap of comfort, a shoulder to cry on, and a hug to take away all the hurt. She is counselor and cheerleader, chef and chauffeur. She is selflessness and sacrifice. She is fierce protector.
She is family.
She is love.
She is my heart.
She is my mother. – Jennifer Lynch
My beloved mother, Naomi Florence Dietz Berlett, always gave to others very quietly, never seeking recognition. She cooked meals for the elderly, cared for the infirmed, visited the lonely with flowers, prayed with the dying and gave her abiding love to each of us so blessed to be in her life!
Every friend and each relative wanted to be in our twelve room farmhouse. The door to our home and her heart always were open! Each Sunday, my wonderful parents would prepare dinner for everyone who stopped by; often, as many as forty people. The delicious food was abundant, surpassed only by the unwavering love that was so very evident. Even when my dear mom was gravely ill, her kind heart and steadfast faith never wavered. The love she showered upon everyone remained her focus; ever caring and so strong. On her dying day, Mom continued to ask about others, offering her love as we prayed for and with her.
At her funeral, friends and relatives gave personal testimony after testimony of Mom’s life of giving, love and faith. Her pastor called Naomi “the closest to a saint he had ever known.”
Mom’s goodness, giving heart and amazing love shall live on forever. I was so blessed to be her daughter and thank God for giving our world the blessing of Naomi Florence Dietz Berlett. – Bev Berlett Norwood
My mom taught me everything I know! She taught me curiosity about the world, my please and thank you’s, and she helped build my self-esteem to know that I could do anything I put my mind to! I always loved her stories of what to wear. First, “never wear a little black dress- everyone does; always make sure you stand out from the others! Always have the back of the dress more exciting than the front. You will always be the person people will remember as you leave!” She was talking about life. In life, whether it was to leave a job, or leave a relationship, it’s how you leave not when you leave. – Patty Mohler
My Mom taught me everything by example. Family immediate and beyond (2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins) is first and foremost. Friends and faith. – Mary Hook
It’s hard to put into words, lessons, and thoughts into one summation of what my mom and Mother’s day means to me. While I often tease my Mom – calling her by her first name and ribbing her when needs to “land the plane” when her stories have gone off course – I am the father, husband, friend, and leader that I am because of the important life lessons she has taught me.
The most important lessons my mother taught me were not through direct teaching, but by simply living life. I’ve learned to protect your tribe – that your family is the core of your universe. I’ve learned that family is your safe space and that honesty is the root of trusting relationships. I’ve learned the importance of being a provider and that providing is about more than finances – it is about showing up and doing the little things.
I’ve learned that success comes from grit, resiliency, and hustle. Nothing is ever given to you – you have to work for what you want. I’ve learned that women’s and civil rights are more than a movement, they are a way of viewing the world. I learned that you need to show up, speak up, and stand up for an inclusive society. She introduced me to a profession of service and showed me the value of representing and protecting all, especially the voiceless and vulnerable.
She taught me that grief can be deafening, but that love is louder. She taught me there is life after loss. She taught me to cherish those you love.
She also taught me that an Irish temper goes well beyond the Irish – for better or worse.- Brian Lynch
Don Mohler is the former Baltimore County Executive and President and CEO of Mohler Communication Strategies. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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