52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Mother’s Day

In our little town, a church’s billboard reads: TO ALL OF OUR MOTHERS IN HEAVEN, YOU ARE LOVED AND MISSED. How true with many of us as we greet this Mother’s Day! Memories flood and swell inside our hearts as we imagine and remember our mother’s voices, words, actions, and images. We embrace how our moms grew from those strong, young women to those delicate yet iron-willed senior ladies.


Falls Church, Virginia   1950

In honor of my mother, Merna Mae Storer Slabik (1924-2014), I would like to share some of the lessons that I learned from her… I bet many of these resonate with you also.

  • “I will teach you to be independent.” My mom wanted me to be able to do things for myself even at a young age. She wanted me to develop my own talents. She wanted me to be my own person.
  • “You cannot change that person so do not even try.” Mom longed for me to enjoy each person in his/her own way. We all have different personalities…accept everyone.
  • “Go ask your father.” Mom did not want anything to be a deal breaker between herself and my father. She was leaving it all up to him in that particular case.
  • “We are huggers.” Mom wanted to leave each person with a warm hug and a warm smile.
  • “You have to earn that…you will do chores for an allowance…you will save.” It started at the age of five when I asked for roller skates. Mom told me that I would start to dry the silverware (age appropriate) for a nickel a week. I got the skates, but I learned to work with a goal in mind. That lesson would be a premise of my being.
  • (Message on my answering machine at least once a week) “Hi, it’s me Mom. Give me a call back when you can.” I wish I would have saved one of those messages!
  • At the end of each visit and phone call, my mom would say, “Remember that I love you.” Those three words taught me more lessons than any combined.

I love you, too, Mom!


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