A Collection Stories About Or From The Moms Of The World

My Mom by Ann Werner




Mom pictured: Mary Werner (1914-2007) with great grandson Hugo.

My mother was a first generation American, her parents having come to this country early in the twentieth century from Lithuania. They were dirt poor and what little they had was wiped out in the Great Depression.

 My mother, her brother and my grandparents lived in a two-room apartment in downtown Baltimore. Neither of my grandparents spoke English. My grandmother was illiterate and signed her name with an X. I don’t know about my grandfather. I never met him, as he died before I was born. With all of those disadvantages, there was no time for schooling. My mother had an eighth grade education. My uncle was sent off to the Jesuits after eighth grade and was educated to become a Jesuit Brother.
Although my mother wasn’t educated, she was an intelligent woman. She was also kind and always ready to help. I remember an Easter Sunday when my friend Donna walked over to meet me so we could walk to church together. She lived several blocks away and somehow, on the way over, her brand new Easter coat got caught on something and the pocket ripped away from the coat. Donna was hysterical, fearing her mother’s reaction. My mother took the situation firmly in hand. Before meeting my father, she had worked in a tailor’s shop—and there’s a funny story associated with that but I’ll save it for another time—so she knew just what to do. She got her sewing kit and found thread to match the beige coat and in no time flat, she repaired Donna’s coat perfectly. It was small but that was my mother. She did small things that made a big impact.
She and I didn’t always see eye to eye. What mother and daughter do? But I always knew I could go to her and she would tell me the truth. When I decided to leave Maryland and strike out for California and my ex-husband threw a fit and was angry that I would be taking our daughter across country with me, I went to her and asked if what I was planning was a mistake. My mother, who had no pioneering spirit whatsoever, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Ann, if you don’t go, you’ll always wonder what could have been. If you don’t like it, you can always come back.” Words of wisdom from a woman who would never have left her hometown but knew who I was and what I needed.
My mother passed away in 2007 and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and remember what a wonderful mom she was and in so many ways, continues to be.
I miss her very much and I guess I always will.

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2 thoughts on “My Mom by Ann Werner

  1. Donna Vaughn on said:

    Great story, Ann. Your Mom was a gracious and wonderful lady.

  2. Gee Ann, your mom was utterly brave and strong in all the ways we need our mothers to be. She showed her faith in you and your choices in life as well. She gave that demonstrably to you. Nothing can take it away. What a wonderful gift. The best thing is, that she was right about you! Love your story!

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