Lasting Memories of Mom

Mom - Milly Fiet2 - copy

By Judy Berman

As a child, my favorite hangout on the weekends was a room filled with electronic gizmos and tubes.

I marveled at the naked TV tube that sat on a table. There was no cabinet surrounding it because my father, an electronics engineer, was always tinkering with it – even though it worked perfectly.

When Captain Midnight’s show came on, I’d pretend I was part of his daring adventures.

By the time the show’s sponsor – Ovaltine – came on, I was running downstairs to the kitchen and nagging my Mom for a cup of that chocolaty milk drink.

My Mom would heat up that drink or fix something else. By then, I’d be caught up in what she was listening to on the radio.

It might be the mischievous antics of Froggy on the “Smiling Ed’s Buster Brown Gang” (which became “Andy’s Gang” on TV), an opera or pop music of the day.

This is where I learned to appreciate many types of music.

But what I loved most was when she’d put down what she was working on and read to me.

I confess that I didn’t really get into reading on my own until I was in fifth grade. Oh, I could read all right. But I preferred to listen to Mom as she told the story.

“You may have tangible wealth untold, Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold, Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me,” (Strickland Gillian)

She opened my eyes to a world outside of what I knew, where I could immerse myself in the stories and take on the role of one of the characters. Mom introduced me to authors that she enjoyed. They soon became my favorites as well.

I’m sure Mom preferred that I was inside reading, rather than off on one of my adventures. If only she knew some of the derring-do I attempted outdoors, her hair would have turned white decades earlier.

I thought of those escapades with dread many times as my own girls were growing up.

“Being a mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” (Linda Wooten)

Mom and Dad - Boulder City, Nevada

My Mom, who passed in 2001, taught me well. Hopefully, I passed those lessons on to our daughters, too.

When I was hurt or had worries, Mom would be the one I turned to for comfort. Like the song, “Mama Said,” by the Shirelles, Mom always said something to lift me up.

“What is a mom but the sunshine of our days and the north star of our nights.” (Robert Brault)


Wishing all mothers, stepmothers, guardians an early Happy Mother’s Day. This quote from Sophia Loren says it best: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”


Music Video: “Mama Said,” Shirelles   

Photo: Mom and me

Photo: Mom and Dad (Milly and Joseph Fiet)

  1. What a lovely, poignant post, Judy! It is so filled with love and memories, and perhaps a bit of “wish I did or said.” I think it’s true that we do not truly appreciate our parents until we’re parents. Sophia Loren got it exactly right.

  2. What a beautiful post. I enjoyed your trip down memory lane, and the quotes by Strickland Gillian and Sophia Loren are wonderful. We really do think twice, and as I’ve now learned, it doesn’t stop when our kids are teenagers. Maybe it never does…

  3. Judy the Storyteller, the beat goes on and on, and on from your mother through you and to your grandchildren. This collection of stories, quotes, and music – once again, memorable!

  4. This is such a fantastic and wonderful tribute to your mother, Judy. I love the way you tell stories about life and this one is one of your best.
    I feel books are so much better read by a loved one, while young. I am wondering about your real adventures you elude to here, too.
    The quote is beautiful and wishing you an early Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Robin … I was a real tomboy. I’d jump from one tree limb to another, rode a raft over the swamp with my dog even though I couldn’t swim. I’m glad you enjoyed my tribute to my Mom.

  5. I love this beautiful tribute to your mom Judy. Is that your mom and dad in the second photo? A great looking couple!

    I loved when my mom read to me or sang to me. I used to think she had the voice of an angel. I still love being read to. ❤
    Diana xo

    1. That is my Mom and Dad when I was grown and they were living in Vegas. Thanks, Diana. I always thought they were good looking.
      I still love hearing a good story. 😉

  6. Judy such a beautiful heartfelt post and I love that quote, for a mother who reads to their children is worth more than all the riches and possessions in this world. Giving children your time is all they ever really need. When I ask mine what do they want to do on any given day, they usually ask me to play a game with them. Time means so much when they are young. Mothers day is still a week a way here but wishing you peace and family time on your Mothers Day.

    1. Kath … That time spent together does build wonderful memories – whether it’s reading to your children or playing games with them. Mother’s Day is on May 10th here, but I will be out of town for most of that weekend. 😉

  7. What a lovely tribute to your beautiful mother, Judy. I have no doubt that you exceeded in passing the lessons from your mother on to your daughters.

  8. Unfortunately my poor Mum suffered with depression and nerve related illness so it was difficult to get her attention . Still against all odds she taught me the beauty of reading and although she died ten years ago, I thank her from the bottom of my heart, because unwittingly she taught me the world of imagination . Our favorite book was Heidi by Johanna Spyri . I still love it to this day in fact I am a great fan of Children’s classics and always have one on the go . Happy Mother’s Day to all in your corner of the world .

    1. Thank you, Cherry. Your Mum gave you a wonderful gift by sharing the world of imagination with you. Sending the love and good wishes for Mother’s Day back to all those across the pond in your neck of the woods. 😉

  9. great pictures. i love your draw to the outdoor adventures and the quotes are outstanding. motherhood so well defined.

    1. Beth … Even though my Mom was more comfortable indoors, she was part of some of those adventures outdoors when I was in the Girl Scouts. Glad you liked the quotes on motherhood. 😉

  10. One of the best things a Mum can do is read stories. My Mum read to me – Winnie the Pooh and the Christopher Robin poems; Milly Molly Mandy and of course, Peter Pan are some of my earliest memories. She instilled a love of reading in me and I in turn have read to my son for hours on end. One of our favourite family memories is a holiday taken in a tiny wooden chalet on the side of a river, sitting on the wooden deck reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My husband enjoyed it too!
    Happy Mothers Day to my American blogging pals – our British one was just before Easter .

    1. When I pondered which Winnie the Pooh book I should get – the original or the Disney version – I went with the original. I love the drawings and the stories so much more. I would love to holiday in a tiny wooden chalet by the river … reading to me would just be the icing on the cake. 😉

  11. What an endearing post Judy.

    What is it that makes a mother such an embodiment of love in all its purity? Is it the selflessness? Is it the fact that long after the umbilical cord has gone, something more stronger and enduring takes its place?

    A father of two, I have always sensed that I can never occupy that centre of gravity that my wife, the mother of my children , so effortlessly occupies within the family. Does this come from that one additional ‘X’ chromosome that the good lord bestowed to the mother? Or is it something else? I remain unsure…


    1. Shakti … If your children are anything like I was, I’m sure you also hold a very special place in their heart as my Dad does in mine. I believe my Mom gave up many things so that her children could have a better education and a better way of life. I’m glad your children treasure their mother. Thank you for your sweet comments.

  12. You have a lot of similarities to my own childhood Judy, I was an Ovaltini kid too,and had a mother who read to me! Made me quite homesick reading this – in a comforting way, what a lovely Mothers Day post! 🙂

    Your mother sounded like she was the perfect kind of mother that all children would love to have – you were very blessed! And also like you I could read but preferred to hear wonderful stories read by mother. I was a little disappointed when she began to say to me that I was old enough to read my own now. 😦 I was nearly 11 years old and still asked her to read an occasional bedtime story. Which sounds like such a big baby now! But on other hand, even adults like to hear audio stories – it remains a pleasure to hear something read to you.

    I’m trying to imagine that naked TV! Could you see all the wiring and bits on the inside?

    Talking of Ovaltine – I can’t remember when I last had an Ovaltine drink. I’m not into milky drinks these days, even have my tea without milk. I always liked to have some yummy home made biscuits with mine. Did you have a favourite snack with your Ovaltine? We were a bit like Scooby the dog in our family with our bedtime snacks – and I’ve never grown of the Scooby snack!! 😀

    1. Suzy … My Dad made that TV – our first – and, yes, I could see all the wirings and tubes.
      I can’t recall what I might have had for a bedtime snack. My Mom made lots of desserts which we quickly devoured. 😉
      Thank you for your comments on my Mom. She really was a great Mom and took an active role in our lives – even when she might have preferred to stay home and read a book. (ex. camping overnight for Girl Scouts. She was there and pitched in.) 😉
      You nailed it when you said “even adults like to hear audio stories.” Yes, I do enjoy a good story being read to me.

  13. I just knew Mothers Day 2012 was going to be the last one. She passed that September. She had saved the card in her things. I think she knew too. But I am learning it was not the last Mothers Day at all.

  14. This was a beautiful collection of memories and thoughts, Judy. I’m quite sure you passed along the move and knowledge to your daughters, too, my friend. Happy Mother’s Day, after. 🙂

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