To Mom, With Love

Mom - Mother's Day - Milly Fiet - with me. By Judy Berman

It was late Monday night, and my 3-week-old daughter, Danielle, was fast asleep. So I turned on “The Lucy Show” with Lucille Ball.

On the TV show, Lucie Arnaz (Lucille Ball’s daughter in real life), announced that she was going to leave home. That’s when I began to cry.

I called my friend, Doreen Klee, and told her between tears and gasps of breath that that’s what Danielle was going to do. Dee, a practical and funny mom, brought me back to earth with: “I’d wait until she can at least feed and dress herself first.”

This scenario now reminds me of how my Mom, Milly Fiet, must have felt when I left home when I was 21. My family planned to move down South while I chose to stay in New York.

I saw this scenario thru a different lens when Mrs. Cunningham (played by Marion Ross), on the TV show “Happy Days,” felt life has passed her by. Her children are growing up, and she feels like she’s not needed. So, Mrs. C turns to Fonzie (Henry Winkler), whose apartment is above the Cunninghams’ garage, for a sympathetic ear.

It’s odd how often everyday things remind me of my Mom, who passed in 2001. Too many times, I’ve seen a TV Mom or a skit that hits too close to home and thought of my Mom. Mrs. C. “gave up her secretarial job in order to become a stay-at-home mother and take care of her children, Richie and Joanie,” according to Access Hollywood’s Top 20 TV Moms of All Time.

My Mom did the same after my brother, Hank, was born.

Our house in North Syracuse, N.Y., like the Cunninghams’, was a kid magnet. Mom’s desserts were one attraction. Her sympathetic ear was another. Kids could always count on her to listen attentively to their troubles.

My Mom might be surprised that another TV mom also echoes memories of my childhood. Marge Simpson of “The Simpsons.” Think her high blue coiffure is bad? You should have seen the haircut I gave my Mom – at her encouragement. As a teen, I was confident I could do a layered cut. Boy, was I wrong.

I felt awful. Mom never complained. But she did wear a hat every time she left the house until her hair grew out.

Mom was like Marge Simpson in another way, too. Marge “instills morals, and provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family’s antics,” according to Access. Check. That’s my Mom to a “T.”

Moms. When it’s done right, moms have a tough job, whether they’re stay-at-home working moms, or working-outside-the-home moms.

So here’s to all moms. Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13th and every day.


* Main photo: My Mom, Milly Fiet, when she was 22, and me when I was 6 months old.

* Photo: Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross) and The Fonz (Henry Winkler) on the TV show “Happy Days.”

* Photo: The Cunningham family on the TV show “Happy Days.”

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

  1. Judy: Very nice piece, and I especially like the picture of you and your mother. I think I see a resemblance.
    My mother was a secretary, too, but stopped working to raise the family. She did go back to work as a secretary in the late 1960s, however.

    1. My Mom also went back to work when my brother was a teen, I think. Thanks for visiting my blog. (I always thought I resembled my Dad more, but I can see what you’re saying. There is a little bit of her in me.)

      1. Thank you for telling me the correct spelling of Lucie “Arnaz’s” name. I changed it on WordPress, but was not able to make the change on LinkedIn – even though I reposted the story. Bummer!

  2. Great post, Judy! Really love the sentiment. My poor mom raised all seven of us (one year apart, each). Don’t know how she did it. Just amazing. And she always had this super-calm sense about her even in the midst of broken bones and stitches, seemingly every day.

    Your mom was very special.

    1. Seven children? Wow! My Mom also had that super calmness in the midst of a calamity. I was a real tomboy so that demeanor came in handy. Knowing what a great guy you are – and thanks for the help today by the way – your mom must be very special, too.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Mom was loving. I recall many of the sacrifices she made for me and things she did – like going on a Girl Scout camping trip – that she would not have taken part in if it had not been for my benefit. She is missed.

  3. Very nice memories. I know I’m more thankful and appreciative now of all the things you did for us as kids then I know I was back then. I guess that’s just how it works. You never really appreciate it until you’re in the same situation and know what it really takes.

    Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Danielle

    1. Danielle … I could say the same about my growing up years. They say you appreciate your parents more once you’ve become one yourself. So true. Thanks for the sweet compliment. luv, Mom

  4. Mom, Great story. Your Mom would have loved it. I agree with Danielle, thanks for all you have done for us, and continue to do for us. Love you! Jenn and Vern

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Jenn and Vern. All six of you (sons-in-law and the grands included) are a total joy. It’s great living near all of you. luv, Mom and Dave

    1. Thanks, Kate. Moms can be alternately easy and difficult to write about. Lots of material. As a newspaper editor said of one of my longer stories, “Save it for the book.” 🙂

  5. Moms know moms best…after having traversed the same paths. Compassion and fond memories come more easily to us, especially when we’re in the midst of all the hoopla…but even later…when we look back in our own golden years…and after they’ve passed. Savor the moments…the good and the bad…for they add up to a life…lived…fully.

    hugs…hugmamma. 🙂

    1. Thanks, hugmamma. Your sentiments and experience are appreciated. I’m glad I had Mom as long as I did. She was 79 when she passed. I miss our talks, our visits. I still chuckle when I look back and see how well she handled a certain incident involving a certain mischievous daughter (me).

      1. Sounds like a post in the making… 😆

        (**note from earthrider: Maybe … sometime in the distant future. Love your smiling icon. :lol:)

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