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Question of the day

Friday, May 9, 2014

* This Sunday is Mother’s Day. So, how about telling us your favorite story about your mom?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


38 Comments
  1. - Just Me - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    The time my mother started crying when I told my parents I accepted a political job in state government right out of college, and they weren’t tears of joy either.


  2. - MrJM - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Every year, my mom gets Mothers Day calls from multiple people who aren’t actually related to her.

    ‘Nuff said.

    – MrJM


  3. - Jacob S - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    If you take you Mom to a movie, you better know what it’s about beforehand.

    I took my Mom to see “Team America World Police” when it came out years ago and can laugh about it now but at the time I was so embarrassed. To say that it is not a Mothers movie is the biggest understatement in the world.


  4. - Black Ivy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    My mother has established a tradition of presenting her three daughters with Mother’s Day flowers now that we are all mothers. I find this odd as she is the qunitessential mother’s mother, but it is part and parcel of the incredibly generous and thoughtful woman that she is.


  5. - BMAN - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Growing up, i swam competitively which eventually led to being an All-American, college scholarship, and competing with other of the world’s best swimmers. It was my mom that drove me to all the meets in the summer. She’s gone, but thanks mom.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    My mom was a huge Beatles fan Growing up. When I mean huge, it was everything up to the crying part, but included seeing them at Comiskey Park, Fan Club, driving her parents insane about the Beatles, you get the idea.

    My Mom and her music obsession never “took” with me, but I was always around music because of her.

    Later, I asked her why she would let me do things as a kid, as a fan, within reason.

    She said, “Remembering what it’s like to be a fan, and a kid, is important for a parent. While you (me) might not think of me (her) as once being a kid, I needed to remember what it was like to be a kid while parenting.”

    Always stuck with me. Pretty good story as to how cool of a Mom I have.


  7. - Linus - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Mine was a single mom who raised two kids while holding-down a more-than-full-time job (and still was subsidizing the grocery bill for my dad / her ex, because his life was a mess and she felt bad he couldn’t pull his act together before he died at a too-young age).

    When I was a kid, we had to apply for help through a couple of stretches, such as food stamps. But Ma worked as hard as possible to be self-sufficient, and she happily met and married a wonderful man, my stepdad, who really helped us in so many ways.

    Bottom line: My mom taught me the value of hard work, AND the value of having available the kind of “gov’t assistance” that is so often slammed by those who don’t understand or don’t care that even the hardest-working families occasionally slip into tough times and need a little help to get back on their feet.

    Love ya, Ma. Happy Mom’s Day to all -


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    When she was a girl, my mother lived under Nazi occupation for more than give years in Norway.

    It as tough on a number of levels, not least of which was constant hunger, as the 11 German divisions get fed first.

    Still, kids will be kids. My mom and her friends would go to town, sneak up behind Gestapo officers and whistle the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth in their ears, then run.

    Three dots and a dash. Morse Code for “V,” for Victory.


  9. - Where are the May Flowers? - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    While getting yard signs out of my car, I locked my keys in the trunk. My mom drove 45 minutes to bring me my spare keys. Unconditional love right there.


  10. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    My mother has never met a stranger. She is so outgoing that if she ever saw a celebrity or anyone else she wanted to meet, she would walk up and say hello to them. As a college student on vacation, she was at a club and spotted Gene Autry; she walked up to him and asked him to dance and he said yes.

    When she lived in Chicago in 1952 going to the Katherine Gibbs secretarial school, she made friends with the doorman at the Ambassador East hotel, who would call up her and the girls to alert them when any celebrity stopped in town on their train ride from New York to Hollywood. She never forgets meeting Tony Curtis, who was so friendly and told them about how he had taken a typing class.

    I was a shy child but followed my mother’s example and now can met and talk to everyone–thanks, Mom!


  11. - Downstate - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    My grandparents only had eight grades of education. My mother received both an undergraduate and graduate degree in medicine.

    She turned down four different marriage proposals before meeting my father. Mom gave up her career to raise eight kids. In her “spare” time she penned four biographies about family members.

    Remarkable woman. Remarkable life.


  12. - Jon Zahm - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    My mom was 19 and at home, while my dad was on a Navy ship outside of Vietnam. They made the decision to choose adoption over abortion and gave my older sister to a Skokie, IL adoption agency. My sister was adopted by a wonderful Jewish family who eventually moved to California. Now Cindy Marten has become the successful and innovative Supt. of Schools in San Diego, CA, the 8th largest school district in the country.


  13. - Give Me A Break - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    My mom should be sainted, she raised two PKs (preacher’s kids) and did so without losing her marbles or killing one of us.


  14. - Norseman - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Word,

    If you every write a story about her and any other family experience, I’d love to read it. My peeps came over in the 1880s.


  15. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    When my Mom told her unnamed politician boss that my sister and I had both finished law school, and the politician (feel the irony) responded: “You had such nice children. What happened?”


  16. - RonOglesby - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    My mother was born in the mountains of Kentucky. one of 10 kids of a coal miner. Her favorite thing to say about it was that she didn’t know that some people had indoor bathrooms (in their house) until she was about 10!

    When she came north with family in the 60’s and had me at 17 she worked every day, of every week until I was about 12 years old… Never saw her take a day off. Just to earn to put hot dogs and beans on mine and my sisters plate.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    “When she was a girl, my mother lived under Nazi occupation for more than give years in Norway.”

    My mom was also under Nazi occupation, in Greece. She tells me war stories of my grandfather, who went to Albania to fight the Italians.

    I asked my dad if his dad took him out for ice cream. He said are you kidding me? We were under Nazi occupation and in war. The Italians and Germans invaded, and immediately after that there was a nasty civil war.

    One of the most touching stories, and sad ones, told by my mom was that my grandfather held his dying best friend in his arms, when he was mortally wounded in the war. My grandfather bought his friend’s grave and is now buried in it. I guess in the old days, they used to take out people’s bones and put them in ossuaries. I remember bone boxes with people’s initials on them in the church as a kid, visiting the village.

    I have so many nice stories about my mom, so it’s hard to pick one. One of my favorites has a political twist. I’ve told it before, but I like it and find it relevant.

    Last year I was injured and needed my legal birth certificate to get disability pay. My birth name is slightly different than my current name, which I’ve had for a long time. When the clerk rejected my attempt to get the birth certificate because my name was not legally changed (I thought it was), I had to get my mom to come and sign an affidavit to attest to who I was. Luckily she was in the neighborhood and came right over.

    This is one of the perils of voter ID laws. If people can’t get a voter ID because they don’t have access to their birth certificates, they get needlessly disenfranchised, because they can’t vote even though they are correctly registered to vote and are who they say they are.

    Tonight my mom will cook some very nice food for the family. That’s what makes her very happy. It’s on.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all, and Happy Mutha’s Day to all the bad mutha’s out there.


  18. - LisleMike - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    While I was student at U of I in Champaign, with a sister on campus as well as a brother, my mom came to visit. I was student managing a campus bar when she surprised me. I set her down with some friends while I tended bar. Some of my friends decided to get her drunk. I told them “Watch out, this will not end well for you!”
    They didn’t. I had to call their roommates to get them home and my mom drove back to Springfield that night. (Not correct by any standards but she made it!) Really a special mom!


  19. - Anonymous - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    About 10 years ago, my father died. My mom decided her life was over and sat around waiting to join him. After a while, this passed and she got on with her life. Now she is close to ninety and thriving. And, yes, she has a boyfriend. God bless her!


  20. - dupage dan - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    We spent summer vacations on a small sailboat. The galley could not operate with my swing bunk in place so I was always the first of the 4 kids to get up. I would go up into the cockpit with my sleeping bag and watch my mother cook a full breakfast on a one burner alcohol stove. She had a great system and was quite clever. Not a problem for a farm girl who grew up destitute on the edge of the dust bowl in the 30s. I learned a great deal about stuff just watching her cook.


  21. - Responsa - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    My mom was super conscious about passing on stories of artifacts and “pieces” of family members– many of whom were gone well before I was born. “This was my Aunt Grace’s special cream pie recipe for the threshers”, she’d say when she served it years later (in Aunt Grace’s pie dish of course). Then we’d talk about her Aunt Grace and her Uncle Ebb, and what their personalities were like, and what threshers were, and why the farm ladies baked so many pies and cooked night and day at harvest time, and how they spread the meal out on a long table in the yard when she was a child.

    We’d go through a similar drill with Great-Great grandma’s glass compote that she’d brought on the boat from Scotland, and talk about her three sons who were union soldiers.

    And we looked at my great grampa George’s fancy hand- carved cane (along with discussing why he needed it–he was thrown from a horse) and his prized veterinary book (he specialized in dogs and horses). I have both those items in our home now.

    When I was in grade school Mom loved digging out their school pictures of people I only knew around town as wizened wrinkled old folks, so I could see how young and beautiful or handsome and vital they were when they were my age.

    I miss my mom and was lucky to have her as long as I did.


  22. - Just a citizen - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    My mom was a farm wife when that meant difficulty making end meet. She grew a large garden and preserved a lot of it for the winter. She raised chickens and sold the eggs to give her kids the little extras….a prom dress, a high school ring, school clothes. We didn’t have much money but we had lots of love. She had an 8th grade education as did her husband, but 3 of her daughters graduated from college and that made her happier than any amount of wealth. I still miss her even though she has been gone for 35 years. Thanks Mom for everything you did for us!


  23. - Bring Back Boone's - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    The time my grandfather called my mom in college and asked her how she was doing on finding a husband and my mom told him that she was there to earn a degree and receive an education. She’s now a big wig executive and she’s been both a great mom and battleaxe at the office!


  24. - Jacob S - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    GOM

    This is not about voter ID laws. They should have them but this is not the forum to debate about why they are needed.


  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    My mother always stressed personal responsibility. It was no surprise that two years ago she decided on her own to not renew her driver’s license, and to check herself into an assisted living facility. She did all the research and made all the plans, then broke the stunning news to me and my two brothers. “I don’t want to hear any arguments from any of you.”

    Arguments? We were all relieved.

    Since I’m at that age when other “kids” are dealing with a parent(s) of her age who behave differently and endanger themselves (and others), I always count my blessings.

    Must be her Greek Spartan bloodline!


  26. - Kerfuffle - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    My mother had a wicked sense of humor that embarrassed me beyond belief when I was young. Jr. High was tough enough on a young man’s psyche. My mom made it tougher one Monday morning during the Christmas holiday season. For the sake of the coaches and everyone around us, boys were required to take their gym clothes home every Friday to be washed. When I reached into my gym bag on Monday morning to retrieve my freshly laundered gym shorts, socks, t-shirt and jock strap I was surprised by a jingling sound. I looked down to discover that my dear sweet mother had sewn the likeness of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (with accompanying pipe cleaner antlers and a set of bells) to my cup. Of course the sound of the bells brought unwanted attention from my fellow classmates. I had never been so mortified in my life. While it wasn’t funny to me at the time, the memory brings a chuckle and smile to my face today. She was one of a kind and is sorely missed.


  27. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Of course there are many good ones. But one that comes to mind is when I was in 3rd Grade and was blamed by the Teacher for something I didn’t do. As she walked down the Aisle where I was sitting, she picked up my fairly thick, hard-cover Textbook and popped me pretty hard right over the top of my head with it. It hurt and I became teary-eyed and kept repeating that I hadn’t done what she wrongfully accused me of.

    Well, when Mom found out, she went through the ROOF! First, she called the Principal to report the B.S. that the teacher had perpetrated to stick up for me (and no doubt, to get her in some hot water for it, as she already HAD a reputation for being nasty to kids at times). But then, she didn’t stop there–Mom drove right over to the School, went right into that Classroom after hours, and let that woman know in no uncertain terms (voice raised) how wrong and unacceptable what she did to me WAS, and that at a Catholic Grade School how there was no place for such misconduct toward a 7 or 8 year old child, and that it’d better not happen ever again. Remarkably, the woman, my Mother explained, DID in fact apologize and gave Mom said assurance–all that just to stick up for me because someone wronged her son who should have known better.

    I’ll never forget that, and the lesson she taught me about love–and the sacrifices necessary to prove it sometimes–loyalty, and righteousness…!

    And Happy Mother’s Day to all Loving Moms out there!!!


  28. - Tom B. - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    I remember a Fourth of July pool party that my mom planned and threw for the family that involved our neighbors down the street. We lived in Palos at the time and “down the street” was a good 7 minute walk because the houses were so far apart.

    I think I was 8 or 9 and it was a grand party. There must have been five trunk loads of illegal fireworks that night. People were driving the ATV four wheelers throughout the back woods, swimming, blowing off fireworks, having a good ole time.

    I remember someone — might have been my uncle or could have been my father — throwing my mom in the pool and breaking her beeper and how she was yelling at them. My mom was quite a feisty one.


  29. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    My Dad was a big kahuna in the GOP back in the day. We had quite a few politicos come by the house over the years. One time, a guy showed up with a companion my Mom didn’t like at all and she told him.

    “If you don’t stop going around with that dog, no one is going to take you seriously.”

    And that was how I met my future boss, Governor Thompson.


  30. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    In the 4th grade I had an assignment to interview my parents and write a report and then read it to the class. Having asked my folks the usual biographical stuff, I began reading my report to the class.

    “My dad is 48 years old. My mom is 29 years old.” At this point, my teacher had burst out laughing because she knew my parents quite well. My mom was 29 years old until the day she died.

    She was also a Chicagoan who felt exiled in Kankakee. “Don’t make any friends here,” she told me in kindergarten. “As soon as we can, we’re moving back to Chicago.”

    That wouldn’t happen until I was out of high school.


  31. - RNUG - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    Mom volunteered at Sangamon Auditorium for quite a few years. One time at her house I was looking over the upcoming events and happened to mention I wouldn’t mind seeing George Carlin. She said she would check on tickets the next time she worked, which was almost every week. She got us some great seats and mentioned that she had arranged to work the show also.

    At this point I should mention she didn’t have a clue who George Carlin was … and I had to explain to her that the show MIGHT be a lot more risque than she was used to!


  32. - Steve Downstate - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    During World War II, my mom and one of her best friends (a former classmate at her Catholic high school) were working in a local government requisition office–part of the War Department. They both thought their boss was a mean-spirited, petty jerk. So, as rather innocent but fun-loving young women of nineteen or twenty, they mailed their boss a one or two sentence letter–something along the lines of “I am fully aware of what you’ve done. Keep that in mind.”–and signed it Lt. Gen. John K. Smith (or whatever), a name that they cooked up. The day the letter arrived, their boss looked completely ashen, and the two of them started wondering if the man really DID have a skeleton in his closet. The joke was on my mom and her friend, however, as a couple of FBI agents showed up the next week to ask them whether they knew anything at all about a letter that had been sent to their boss. They denied, denied, denied–and fifty years later, when they were in their seventies, they told this story again and couldn’t stop laughing. My brothers and I have always wondered whether there’s an FBI file tucked away in D.C. with Mom’s name on it. Mom was really a very honest person, full of integrity and empathy, but once upon a time she and her friend couldn’t resist having some fun with the boss from hell. Hearing that story gave me an entirely new type of affection for my mom. I consider myself fortunate to have overheard their conversation and their contagious laughter. Mom had a lot of spunk, and so did her friend Em. Still miss my mom (gone almost two decades now), but there’s a lot of Jean in that story.


  33. - Tequila Mockingbird - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 5:14 pm:

    I was a 14 or 15 year old, almost 6 feet tall and had an attitude. My mother marched me over to the bottom of the stairs that came down into the kitchen and stood on the second step so she could look down on me. She shook her finger in my face and said, “I don’t care how tall you get, I’ll always be bigger than you- because I’m your mother!”


  34. - Johnny Justice - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 7:11 pm:

    My sister won a pink Yamaha 50 cc motorcycle in a pancake eating contest! My mom use to tool around on that thing on the south side of Chicago. She was already up there in years and everyone was surprised (shocked) to see this older lady driving around on a little pink motorcycle, but she didn’t care!


  35. - Brian - Saturday, May 10, 14 @ 6:41 am:

    Could not pat elsewhere. Beach Boys Party is a great LP. I have it. I have all the trading cards that came with it. It was recorded in the studio with “party” overdubs added later . Marilyn Wilson specifically mentions 7up and Ice cubes


  36. - door gunner - Saturday, May 10, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    took the car out at 15 when no one, putting car back in garage when mom comes out the front door, fakes me with a left and hits me a right, never did tha again, and she never told my dad, she is now 100.


  37. - VanillaMan - Sunday, May 11, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Dad worked third shift so mom raised all us kids by herself during the week. While I was taking special course work at high school to skip right into my university, (graduated along with my brother two years older than I), my mom would drive me to classes every night. Then she helped pay for my university life in Europe.

    She really sacrificed for me so I could get ahead and become our family’s first


  38. - Capitol View - Sunday, May 11, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    my father died just before my 16th birthday. That next year was rough for both of us, my mother and I, but we grew even closer by the shared circumstance. One night she anted to go to the movies, and there was one that I wanted to see - Blazing Saddles. I had no idea how gross it could be. So we went and sat together. She was tight lipped until we got to the campfire scene, where she finally cracked up– and we both simply sat back and enjoyed the rest of that ridiculous movie together.


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        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case


        * Collabortive pianist Maertin Katz presents classes, lectures, recital
        * 3 die when train strikes SUV in Vandalia
        * Stadium Drive closed for another day
        * 10-31-14 Penny for Your Thoughts
        * Five things to do this weekend: Run, shop inside and out, drive, change the clocks
        * IYB sneak peek: BK remodel about done
        * Groce's Illini garner votes in preseason poll
        * Shockers ranked 11th in preseason AP poll
        * Central names Sergio McClain coach
        * Senior citizens invited to dress rehearsal


        * District 203 schools celebrate community connections
        * Tribune confirms suburban acquisition, no changes for now
        * Developers interested in Sakura restaurant site in Mt. Prospect
        * Off-duty Chicago police officer beaten, robbed
        * Former Northwestern researcher settles fraud suit

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Final Senate Debate...

        * If Republicans Take Senate, Why It Won’t Last...
        * Why a GOP Senate could be short-lived...

        * Obama Votes In Chicago So His Ballot Will Be Counted 27 Times [video]
        * We Ask America Launches Illinois Turnout Tool
        * SportsMonday: Bye-Bye Bears
        * The College Football Report: Huffing Paint And The HAL 9000
        * Stantis: Quarantined
        * Thorner: The Criminalization of Christianity in "the land of the free"
        * Wallenda's grandma not impressed with his death-defying tightrope walk in Chicago
        * Starkehaus: Ebola as a weapon
        * "Liberty for Illinois" PAC Chad Grimm mailers hit downstate homes
        * Chicago influence casts dark shadow over souther Illinois Supreme Court race


        * Editorial: Governors, raining taxpayer $ on Illinois
        * Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Thank New Safe Passage Workers - Nearly 700 Additional Workers Hired This Year to Serve 133 Schools, 69,000 Students Across the City
        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn




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