● By Aimee Cormier
Writers Pen An Open Letter To Mom
In honor of Mother’s Day, we would like to celebrate all of the moms, mommies, mommas and mothers out there. And to do so we asked a group of people who we think are pretty great with words to help us out – our freelance and staff writers. These writers are such a valuable part of the Acadiana LifeStyle lifeline and we wanted to give them the opportunity to pen something personal. In this special Man On The Street feature, a few of our writers eloquently explain what their mothers have taught them and how they shaped their lives.
I went to college thinking all moms taught girls how to cook. And then I had a roommate who could barely cook mac and cheese! My mom says I took to cooking on my own, but it was sitting at the kitchen counter watching her prepare dinner that made me love food. I still remember the first time I cooked on my own to make dinner for my mom. She was impressed by my attention to detail and that a 10-year-old made something edible! Today, my mom and I still share a bond over cooking by swapping healthy recipes and gifting Vitamix Blenders for Christmas. I still think there’s no better restaurant than sitting down to eat my mom’s chicken piccata. Maybe it’s because this dish evokes memories of when I lived at home or that she knows I love extra capers, but nobody can make it like my mom does. As a mom myself, I already see the pattern repeating as my daughter sits at the counter chatting with me while I cook. I am eternally grateful for my mother who taught me an invaluable life skill that I can pass on and relive the memories at the same time.
Author Jill Churchill once wrote, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” My five siblings and I had a mother who was good in at least a million ways.
My mother, Eulalie Broussard, never worked outside the home; she stayed busy from early morning till late at night. Six children require time and attention. Through her efforts and sacrifices, and especially as a devout Catholic, she taught us all how to approach problems with faith and trust in God. When she rode in the passenger seat of an un-air-conditioned station wagon with all six of us to the New York World’s Fair, stopping for nights in one hotel room, she was a good mother, demonstrating that what is important is making memories, even in hot and crowded conditions.
Her astuteness with tasks requiring math taught us that we, too, could do anything. When Mom was 95 and still enjoying her trips to the beauty shop and local stores, she proved how very sharp she was mentally. Her bankbook was always balanced to the penny.
I regret that I never knew all the good deeds Mom did, but those we did observe taught us to be kind and think of those less fortunate. My sisters and I became somewhat alarmed when she was in her 90s and we noticed stacks of coupons in her purse or chair side table. Diligently she clipped coupons, though for products she never used. Most were for food, and she continued this task even after moving into an assisted living facility, where all her meals were provided. We began to wonder if she would need increased attention since such a “hobby” seemed quite strange.
When she died in 2013, still remembering every family member’s birthday and phone number, we discovered that we needn’t have worried about the coupons. Her devoted helper, Allison Mitchell, solved the mystery as we cleaned out her apartment. In many drawers were stacks of coupons, and we mentioned to Allison that we had no idea that our mother was in a confused state. Allison laughed gently and informed us that Mom knew exactly what she was doing; she was providing coupons so that Rev. Zachary Mitchell’s Shepherd’s Pantry would be able to save money and thus provide more commodities for those in need, and she had done it in her way, quietly and without recognition. And there were at least a million other ways she was a good mother by serving as an example and accepting God’s will for her. Rest in peace, Mom, and thank you for being such a good mother.
Amanda Jean Harris
My mother taught me the value of character and that money or status isn’t relevant. She taught me to enjoy even the smallest things in life by watching her do that very thing. She was thrilled, grateful and joyful with any gift, big or small, and it showed me over the years that the heart and the effort are truly what matter most. She showed me what it looked like to be an amazing mom while being totally imperfect (pulling in on two wheels, applying lipstick), but full of love and life. And she taught me the most important lesson of all — the power of prayer both by showing me how to pray and then living it throughout our lives.
My Mom, Sharon Hope Brown Hanchey, is a true inspiration to me. As a retired French and English teacher, my Mom taught me to appreciate languages and literature, both of which I still love today. She is exceptionally intelligent, and even tried out for Jeopardy! She is a true lady, always dressing fashionably and never leaving the house without her red lipstick and heels. She’s also the best cook I know, and her crawfish bisque would put most restaurants to shame! I love my Mom, the lioness, fierce protector of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild.