Pizza in a Slow Cooker . . . Melting pot of thoughts, ideas, and stories of family, love and throwing everything in but the kitchen sink.

MOM is more than a three letter word...

     I thought it would be interesting to read about all our Mothers.  As in, we, as a blended family.  So I am writing about my mother as the author of the blog, and my husband is contributing about his mother (that I never got to meet), his daughter is writing about his late wife, her mother.  And I have recruited my Greatest Uncle to contribute his words about my Grandma, his mom. And thank you for including my Aunt Cathy's mother, Winnie, so sorry not to have met either. And my son, Frank, has also agreed to scratch something down about me. Thank you all for your loving thoughts and your time to contribute; a hard yet good deed.  

My Mother, Joanne

     She wasn't in the armed forces, she didn't start a charity to help those in need, she didn't invent any thing - but she did raise three children on her own,  sometimes working 2 and 3 jobs.  She wasn't college educated; she borrowed money from her step-father to attend a trade school.  I don't know all the jobs she held to support us, or how she spoiled us with so little.                                                                                                                  

     My mom wasn't materialistic.  She was always smart about her money; a roof over your head, food on the table and bills paid (rob Peter to pay Paul, if need be) all came first. She taught me how important credit was (your word) and not to abuse it.  Which taught me a great many things and so much more and these only touch the tip of the iceberg;  respect, loyalty, independence, freedom of opinion, strength and resilience.
     I lost my mom in an instant - a morning I will never forget.  Cold on my living room floor.  I am so glad we made a pact never to go sleep mad at each other.  A lesson well learned.  Above all those other 'things' she taught me - unconditional love - given and received, and passed on. " I miss you, Mom." 

My Husband

     "A Boy's First Love Is His Mom"

     She nurtures that love because she knows he will grow up to be a man. 

      I  know that every man out there is going to say that his mom is/was the best Mom in the world.  But, mine really was.  I have so many memories of my mom, I could write a book about one awesome lady.

"Thank you, Mom.  You made me a good man and father.
 I miss you so much !!"

You really did have unconditional love. 

April and her Mom, Gerry
      The sweet smell of flowers, the cards that held the words I hardly ever spoke, the days I wish I could have embraced more tenderly. All those days that I gave my mother a hug half-hearted. The holidays that your father picked out something and you just signed your name. The knowing smile and warm hugs received, yeah, those are the memories that stand clear in my mind. 
     Then as the years progressed, well, the presents became more real, as did the thought. I remember buying my mother an ankle bracelet, those seemed to be a thing that really brought a smile to her face. On Mother’s Day, there always seemed to be an air of something…different. They appeared to be lighter and full of music, if that makes any sense. It was a rare moment in time when everyone wasn’t fighting, no arguing; there was just a calm peace that settled over everything. 
      I can’t really say that as a teenager, that I didn’t take those moments for granted, of course I did. Now that I’m an adult, I think back to those moments…I relive them with a sense of…fondness. I never had to think about growing up and seeing my mother wilt away.
Younger days

      At a young age I left, my mother and I didn’t speak very much until I was a mother myself. It occurred to me then;  you never fully understand and realize the bond that is created between a mother and a child, until you experience it yourself. Mother’s Day is a national holiday  for a reason.
     I hold no regrets nor no ill will. At sixteen, I thought I hated my mother, of course, isn’t that how all teens feel? Now I can relate to the things she went through, and it makes me respect her more than I ever did growing up. 
     As the years went by, before the end, my mother and I grew close to one another. We talked all the time on the phone, and as I had problems with my children, she was there to help me in my time of need. 
     Advice and encouragement, she was my voice of reason when I doubted myself, the one person in the world that I knew would be there for me when ever I needed her. I truly believe that she was what got me through the long days, hearing her voice; though she was states away. It gave me a new insight on all the things she went through, with my brothers and sisters when we were growing up. As I grew, so did my love for the woman that borne me.
     There shall never be enough words in the human language to describe her, even if there were, I could never put them to use. My mother was a creature of boldness, one that captivated your interest, then made you smirk in humor. She was a woman that had many talents, and was always there for those that needed her, even when I had no understanding of why she did what she did. I simply went on with life. I loved my mother then and I still love her now.

     I want to dedicate for my mother, whom though I might have resented during childhood, I grew to love, respect, and treasure as I grew up and became a mother myself.                                             

Mother’s Day Tributes

From my Greatest Uncle John

Family Collage

     Mother’s Day!  We have all been raised on how to celebrate this very special holiday by doing things for and with our moms in recognition of the sacrifices and efforts they made for us during our growing years so that we could pay it forward to our children. But, sadly, for those of us who have lost our mothers there are no guidelines on how we can continue to honor them on this special day.
     However, I was recently informed by my wonderful niece, Lora, that she was preparing a tribute to moms on her blog and asked if we would like to contribute some photos and memories. I think this is a great idea and my sincere hope is that it will catch on in the social medias and encourage more people to continue honoring their moms.

We would like to pay tribute to 3 moms no longer with us. First is my sister Joanne (Lora’s mom), 2nd is my mother-in-law Winnifred (Nana), my wife’s mom, and 3rd is Marie, my mom.

Lora and Joanne, and my Uncle will pay for this.

     My sister grew up with 3 brothers and had to get tough early on in life. Little did she know at the time, it provided the strength and tenacity she would need to draw from for the rest of her life. It seemed that her life was filled with one struggle after another. There were several failed relationships. She worked but always had trouble making ends meet. She tried very hard to provide for her children. As I look back on her life I am glad that she had at least 2 happy times, one was her marriage to Lora’s father and the other was the relationship she shared with Lora. Throughout all her trials she always managed to remain my tough big sister that I grew up with and loved. I always felt and know in my heart that she deserved a better life with more happiness. So Sis, know that you are missed and still loved on this and every Mother’s Day.


      Next is my mother-in-law, Winnie (Nana). If you were to look up the word “sweetheart” in the dictionary, I am sure one of the definitions would be “Winnie”. After being around her for several years and learning about her life, all I can say is “what an amazing woman”. She was plagued with severe anxiety her whole life. She also had a long stretch of severe migraines, but still managed to force herself to do things for and with her daughters. She made the girls dresses and did things her daughters asked of her even though they were way outside of her comfort zone. I spent quite a bit of time with her during her last 8-10 years and never heard her say a bad word about anyone or complain about her personal problems. She seemed so content with what life had dealt her. During her last few years, she cherished the time she got to spend with her great grandchildren. Winnie always went above and beyond for others and this trait is reflected in my wife, Cathy. Winnie, we hope you are content and happy on this Mother’s Day and we thank you everyday for the blessings you gave us. You will remain in our hearts forever.

Mom & Dad

    The last tribute is to my mom, Marie. She was a strong, fair, and loving woman with old school values when it came to raising children. I am the last of 4 children and was the last to learn just how strong she had to be. Shortly after I turned 2 she lost her soul mate to a car accident and though she never got over it she hid it very well and began the difficult task of raising us.

     She took care of us while teaching us the responsibilities of what it means to be a family and help out around the house. Through the years our family suffered many strained relationships, but she always tried her best to hold us together. She always stood her ground and not only demanded respect but got is as well. She continually encouraged us in whatever we tried to do and I remember to this day how I wanted to please her and make her proud.

     So on this Mother’s Day and for each that follows I want to thank you for your hard work, your love and support, and instilling your values onto me that have served me well. If there were such a thing as a do over, I wish I could have spent more time with you during your later years. I hope you have joined with Dad and have the happiness you so richly deserve.

     Happy Mother’s Day to each of these very special moms and for those of you still fortunate enough to have your mothers living?  Don’t wait to cherish them when they are gone – do it now – you’ll be glad you did!

And my son, Frank...
My boy and me.
     A while ago my mom asked me to write something about her, so I figured this would make as good a Mother's Day present as anything else I could think of.  I've never been one that has an easy time writing, and no amount of words could describe all the things she's done for me throughout my life but I'll give it a shot. No matter what it is in life that I've wanted to do she's always supported it and helped me any way she could, even when I wanted to have a LAN party tournament for my birthday parties. She set it up and made sure everything went smoothly, I don't know how she does it but she never disappoints. There's a million more examples of her going out of her way to help me but I don't want to take up too much space and time with this. There's no way I could ever repay her for everything she's done (and continues to do) for me, but at least I can let her know how much I appreciate all of it with this. The biggest reason I can't wait to start my career isn't so I can have my own place, it isn't so I can have a bunch of money for myself, it's so I can start saving up to make sure my mom's taken care of for all the years she's taken care of me. Happy Mother's Day to the greatest mom I could ask for.

  a Mother
     Pride and joy at the mere thought of him.  And not because of what I may have done raising him - but because of the choices and decisions he has made and will continue to make as the man he is still becoming.  Love you, kiddo.  

National Women's Health Week   May 13 - 19, 2012

Read about Mother's Day History



  1. you made cry !!!!!! Lora that was beautiful,you did nice job

    1. Thanks babe -- it was all good tears shed in making it !! Love ya Big D XOXOXOXO

  2. lora, this was great ,i loved reading about everyones mothers. you did such a great job putting this together. and i loved seeing all the pic. thanks for asking me to be a part of this . and thank you for putting all the time that you did for this. love you april

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate you being a part of it. Thank you so much !! Love you XOXO

  3. I loved it, hehe this was amazing (wink wink) :) You were awesome Lora! I loved seeing everyone's posts. There was a lot of thought put into this and I enjoyed every bit of it. I hope that you also had a great Mother's Day! - Love Alesha!

    1. Thank you girl !! It felt good to bring it all together and share great moms with the world. And I had a great day, thanks !! Love ya XOXO