Mary Jo Brown: Celebrating Mother's Day

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Mother’s Day was Sunday, and it reminded me of those gone before me. From the first time I heard about Mother’s Day, I wondered what it was all about.

My mother taught me by her example of selflessness and love all about the meaning of what it was to be a mother. Regardless of what she had to do, she would make sure we were all right in every possible way and in a manner that maintained her quiet dignity.

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Mary Jo Brown

In a home that was poor in a lot of material ways, we were rich with the warmth of love and sharing what we had with others.

My mother often was ill when I was 7 and 8, yet she would stay patient with me as she taught me how to take care of my younger siblings, the house and her. She never was too sick to listen to me when I asked how to do things, from changing diapers to keeping the house running.

As I became a teenager, I learned just how special my mom was. I met kids whose moms were mothers in name only: They never held their kids, didn’t sing while doing the dishes or cook special foods for them when they were sick. There were moms who didn’t spend quiet time with their kids or teach them about how special Christ was.

Regardless of where we were, my mother always made sure we always had prayer time, something I still do to this day.

As I sit here and think of her, I tearfully remember how much she sacrificed for the whole family and how much she loved us. She had such a gentle, kind manner about her and a quiet way of teaching us without yelling or cussing.

I never heard her complain to my dad about anything I did as a caregiver. Instead, she would ask me why I did whatever it was that I had done instead of talking to or asking her first. This made me try even hard to not add to her illness by doing anything that would cause her stress.

When I became a mother myself, I really appreciated what it cost her to be the wonderful woman she was in the face of not being able to do for us as much as she wanted to. Quiet and not complaining, she lived her life doing the best she could for her children and grandchildren.

She is remembered with love and respect for her gentle kindness that held an inner strength born of her faith in the Lord and her dedication to her family. I know I can’t measure up to her in many ways, and I regret not telling her more often that I loved her, but I hope that she knew by the way I learned from her.

She was to my sisters, brothers and I the true meaning of "mother," and we will always love her for just being who she was. Rest in peace, Mom, and know we love you.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Shirley Maschetti, Heath Earl and Maddisyn VanGrandt.

Remember Armed Forces Day on Saturday, and thank those who have served or are serving in the armed forces.

Those interested in taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life this year as a team, a volunteer or just walking solo are invited to come to the start-up meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the meeting room at the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

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