Advice our Mothers gave us

Advice our Mothers gave us

Compiled by Judie Holcomb-Pack

When I started working on the May issue, I wanted to write a column about Mother’s Day. As I thought about it, my late mother’s advice keep coming to mind. I was quite the precocious child and even at an early age, I enjoyed to talking to people – friends, neighbors, strangers (to my mother’s alarm). I was once caught passing notes in class and after my mother reprimanded me, she gave me this advice: “Don’t ever put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal.” Other advice that she gave: “Never do anything that will make the neighbors talk.”

Then I thought there must be others whose mothers have offered advice, so we asked our readers to share their mother’s advice for this issue.

Below are Mother’s Words of Wisdom

“Fools’ names and faces are often seen in public places.” Bonnie J. Doerr, daughter of Doris Mitchell Miller, said that her mother would say this every time she saw graffiti on a bathroom wall. She also said, “Be careful what you think and say. Thoughts become words and words become deeds!”

Terry Chance shared this advice from her mother: “Schedule regular visits with senior relatives and friends who have limited mobility. Take children and grandchildren along so they can see how important and special the interactions are. Set a great example and talk about the importance of healthy aging as opportunities present themselves. This way you will instill a perpetual and valuable gift.”

Myra Aargaard-Espersen, a retired school teacher, said her mother Dorothy Callaway always told her, “You don’t have to tell everything you know.”

I love the advice from Judi Wallace, whose mother Doris Lawson Lewis told her: “Always establish credit in your own name as soon as you can. Pay your credit cards off promptly! Shake hands firmly and look the person in the eye. In a large group, look for someone who is alone and introduce yourself.” Good advice for any young professional.

Another mother also gave financial advice. Dinny Forbes said she wasn’t good with money when she was young and her mother advised her to wait a day or two before finalizing a purchase. If she still needed the item, then go ahead and purchase it. Good advice!

Barbara Campbell related this story in an email: My mother was a master at storytelling. As a young child I hung on her every word. She could do no wrong and I believed everything she said as absolute truth. I repeated her stories at times to classmates and teachers, sometimes getting a giggle. “Boys have muscles in their arms and girls have muscles in their heads,” she said. I knew it was true. As a teenager my mother’s mantra became, “Make sure you marry a man smarter than you.” So I did. After almost 50 years of marriage, I think she may have been right.

Eleanor Reid, whose grandmother was from Canada, often said this to admonish her to straighten up her room: “Always make sure everything is in place in case the Queen stops by.”

Ronda Carter shared advice from her grandmother in an email: When I announced plans to move to Florida at the age of 28, my parents were way too worried about me. I walked over to see my grandmother, Margaret Messick, because my parents’ initial distress was making ME upset. When I told my grandmother that my parents were resistant to my move, she was quiet for a long time, then sweetly and quietly said, “All birdies have to leave the nest.” I also received much motherly advice from my special Aunt Helen (Helen Messick Jones). My first job was working with her at the Arcade Fashion Shop on Fourth and Trade streets, back in the 80s. She taught me so much about fashion, not just what to wear, but how to choose clothes and take care of them properly. I can still hear her words of wisdom … “Don’t wear white shoes. They make your feet look big. If you can only afford one pair of shoes, buy taupe colored, the color of your skin. They will make your legs look longer and the color goes with everything, every season. Don’t wear skirts that fall just above the knee. That draws attention to your knees, and knees are ugly. Don’t be too good to your man. All the women I’ve known who were beaten by their husbands, were just too darned nice to them. Love your husband, but not so much that you don’t love yourself.”

Thank you everyone for sharing this wonderful advice! Wishing all the mothers and grandmothers a Happy Mother’s Day!


About: Judie Holcomb-Pack

Judie Holcomb-Pack, APR, has spent most of her career in marketing, advertising and public relations, retiring from a local nonprofit. In 2014 she became the editor for For Seniors Only. A graduate of Forsyth Technical Community College, Judie was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. She enjoys a great cup of coffee and stimulating conversation and is a die-hard Virginia Tech Hokies football fan.

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