Mom’s Influence

I didn’t get to see my mom in person this Mother’s Day like I did last year. But I just got off the phone with her after nearly a two hour chat. I wish she lived closer. I was raised in a home where my dad worked long hours and my mom worked even longer hours at home. I don’t recall a time when I needed her and she wasn’t there. She was there at the door reminding me to wear a jacket as I left to school. The rule was the temperature had to be a firm 60 degrees or higher in order to go jacketless so I spent a lot of time calling the time and temperature number. I called that number so often I’m surprised they didn’t have a recording customized for me that went something like,  “Too bad. It’s only 55 degrees this morning. Try calling back when the sun’s out”.

Mom attended hundreds of my baseball, football and basketball games. We lived in Utah so many of the games were played in rainy, cold temperatures. No matter how I played she was proud of me. She was always there for me. Yet she knew when I needed to talk and when to give me space. It was uncanny how she practiced this delicate balance in reacting to the ups and downs of school, sports and girls.

Dad & Mom in Ogden, Utah

She’s a voracious reader and possesses an amazing range of knowledge. She also had this weird skill where she could guess the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune when only a few letters were showing. I swear she should have gone on that show because nobody would have been able to hang with her. We used to watch the early versions together when the winner went shopping for overpriced gifts like the his and hers baby blue jogging suits for $300. Those were sweet!

I’ve been thinking about the many areas where my mom has influenced me. Here are a few of them:

Organized Minimalist– My mom never kept a bunch of sentimental crap around our house. She hated clutter, and I learned early that my homework, wallet, and paychecks had better find a home other than the kitchen table or I’d be spending the next morning searching for them in the garbage can. I’m the same way now and it drives Kim crazy.

Outspoken – My mom always spoke her mind. Often in blunt terms. I’m the same way which means I end up offending some people. Although it wasn’t always easy to hear, I appreciated knowing where I stood with her.

Love of Music – My mom always had music playing in our home. I’ve teased her about her taste in music but, looking back, it wasn’t bad. She listened to Abba, the Bee Gees, Roberta Flack, Simon and Garfunkel and the Beach Boys. She’d let me stay up late listening to my music while I rocked back and forth in her rocking chair eventually leaving permanent marks in the shag carpet.

Classy Dress– Although my dad didn’t approve of some of the clothing I wore, my mom was normally very supportive in my choice of attire. She allowed me to experiment and find my own style. My mom always looked great when she left the house. Something she learned from her mother. She also taught me to iron my own clothing at an early age which came in handy when I served a Mormon mission and wore white dress shirts for two years.

Dedicated Writer – I wish my mom would start a blog but I’m not sure her health would allow it now. But she’s kept a journal for as long as I can remember and is a fantastic writer. Her writing style is very unique and her penmanship just cool looking. When she had something to write that she didn’t want us kids to read she’d write it in shorthand. As a kid, I’d find a piece of paper full of short hand except at the very top of the page where she’d written, “Christmas List”. Ingenious yet pure torture for us kids.

At church today, Luca, Lincoln and Anna Lynn ran up on stage with the rest of the primary children and sang my favorite children’s song (I Often Go Walking) as a tribute to mothers. They sang. They smiled. They even waved as us a few times. I wish their grandmothers could have been there to see those cute grinning faces.

I’m certain they will be influenced by many of those same traits and skills I learned from my mother.


Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I thought about you all day and was thrilled tonight when you told me that you read my blog every day.

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One thought on “Mom’s Influence

  1. This is a nice tribute to your mom, Brett. I’m sure she will love reading it and appreciates being remembered in such a nice way. I wish we could have seen your kids singing in church today also.


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