Friday, August 29, 2014

All I Ever Really Needed To Know I Learned From My Mom

 When I was going through my mom's books right after she passed away, I found an old copy of one of her favorites: Robert Fulghum's book, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."

I wanted to write my own version of that concept utilizing some of my mom's best bits of wisdom.

Mom's List for A Successful Life

1. Do it right the first time.
2. Getting an education is your ticket to a better life.
3. If you don't like what your child is doing, stop and correct them early.
4. Keep your mouth shut when you know giving your opinion won't matter.
5. Put your head down and keep on going. No matter what.
6. Complaining does not help. Ever.
7. Gossip is useless, a waste of time and is not done in polite society.
8. Use the good china, silver, and crystal for any occasion. Guests will never forget it.
9.  You can make culinary magic by learning how to make the five basic Mother sauces.
10. Pray-God's listening.
11. If you are depressed about your own life, go out and help others who are less fortunate, you'll feel better about your own problems.
12. Work in the food service industry-you'll never go hungry.
13. Don't expect handouts, rely on yourself.
14. Be gracious at all times.
15. Know that bad things will happen in your life-how you handle it defines your character.
16. Send written thank you cards.

My mom was a true class act. She was selfless-putting a lot of energy into making sure everyone had enough, even if left her exhausted. She volunteered to make sure people were fed during the holidays, cooked and prepared meals for the elderly or immobile and always personally made sure we had everything we wanted at her house when we would bring our family to visit. There were always plenty of the little sausages my son liked, the boxed sugared cereal my daughter liked and a few bottles of my favorite Chardonnay.

When we came to see her this summer for what would be our last visit, I found six bottles of 3 of my favorite Chardonnays in her back room. (Thanks Mom!) Our family and those who came to say good bye to her, enjoyed those wines while I insisted on serving meals on her china and using her good silver and crystal even if it took us twice as long to clean up...because that is who she was and wanted us to be, as well. "Because when you put the extra effort into anything, what you get is something special".


  1. Your mom was a class act indeed. More even than the words she had, I love the chardonnay waiting for you. Your happiness mattered to her, right along with the well being of her friends and neighbors. Hugs.

  2. Thank you Gail. She never cut corners. She had a work ethic that was unbelievable. And yes, she loved to do something special for those she cared about.

  3. I am very sorry for your loss. It sound very much like what we whet through when my mother passed in 2006 from COPD. We had no idea she was that sick because she didn't want us to worry. She wait until we were all able to be with her be for a let go. I remember your Mom, Jim, Mark, Delores and Jimmy and of course you. I remember the summer my mom called us icky and sticky all summer in Clear Lake because of something we did. I would love to get in touch with you, see how you are doing. Find out how you and your brothers and sister are doing and catch up. Patti Mahoney

    1. PATTY! WOW..what a happy surprise! My best buddy when I was 8-9! Funny that I now have a son who is about to turn me at and let's reconnect!

  4. Sorry for the typo in above post I sent from phone and published it prior to proof reading :(. And your writing exceptional!). I moved back to Pacifica in 2006 and think about you and your family when I passes by your old house.

  5. Your mom would be happy you passed this wisdom on.

  6. Julie - Just wonderful!

    Your mom lives on in you and your kids!


    1. Thanks Ira..taking the best parts and trying to shape the smoking..for anyone..ever! ;-)