My Mother Taught Me


Thinking of my mother while I am writing this mid-quarantine, and all the emotions of yesteryear come flooding in my mind. Memories of my mother make me smile and make me miss her more.

I can’t wait to give her and my father big hugs as soon as it is safe. For now, we talk.

And I remember.

My mom always worked outside our home. She also prepared a homemade meal for us at dinnertime. She sewed and made my clothes, and she gardened.

I don’t know how she did it all? And so well. Where did she get the energy?

One answer–she had my father. He also worked outside of our home and worked at home as hard as she did. He helped her clean and take care of us, four children. We were loved and taken care of, and while we never had the best of anything, we had what we needed.

I think we all need to get back to this mentality. Including me.

I don’t share sewing, knitting, or crocheting with my mother, and I don’t remember ever sitting in the yard and pulling weeds, but I cook, and I love plants as she does.

I remember going to nurseries and buying plants with my mom. I remember the way all the plants looked and smelled. And while I didn’t particularly love it then, (it meant hard work was in my future), I do love it now.

Every spring, I head to our local nurseries and buy plants and flowers and dirt. I am a happy girl among the greenery. I love buying flowers for potting and adding more to my front flowerbeds. It truly brings me joy.

I take pictures, and I smile. I imagine where the new plants will look the prettiest, and I can’t wait to get home and get started. And then I take pictures when it’s all planted.

Here’s the funny thing—I can’t stand to get my hands dirty. I always wash my hands–way before the COVID-19 scare.

When I am working with dirt, I have a hose nearby, and I wash my hands frequently. Water is all I need, and I am back to work planting.

A few years ago, I discovered my mother has this same fascination with clean hands. I was shocked. I thought back to her gardening, pulling weeds, or kneading dough for homemade biscuits. I never knew she had an aversion for dirty hands as I do. Never in a million years would I imagine.

The reason–because my mother doesn’t complain. She doesn’t fuss; she does what is needed to get the job done. She did what she had to do. Simple.

I have learned a lot from my parents, and every so often, I realize I am who I am because of them. I am not as selfless or driven to do things myself as they are, but what work ethic I do have, I have because of them.

They taught me by doing. I witnessed them working hard my entire life. My father retired for the third time at age 80.

Mom and I were talking last week about a rejection I received from a publisher. I told her of my disappointment. While she was sympathetic and supportive, she went right to telling me I need to keep going. Keep trying to fulfill my dream.

“You can’t quit. You weren’t raised like that.”

Wise words.

I am thankful and blessed to have my parents today, even if I can’t see them right now. I have their love and support. I have the knowledge that they are proud of me.

I have all they taught me, and it is useful knowledge.

Yes, my love of plants comes from my mother, and she got hers from her mother. My grandmother could grow anything.

Good genes are like strong roots, aren’t they?

I am pleased to know my three children inherited my love of plants, too. I hope I have taught them other valuable life lessons and love.

We have good, strong roots.



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Hi, I'm Dedra!! I am a late-in-life writer trying to fulfill a lifelong dream and emerge into the kidlit world. I am writing, editing, and querying while learning patience and failing forward. I hope to be a published children's book author with my picture books and YA novel. I graduated with a degree in Journalism from the UTA in 1988, but because of raising three beautiful children and life in general, I started writing professionally in 2014. My husband of 34 years and I raised our children in China Spring, right outside of Waco. Even though my children are all in their late twenties, all out of college, and all have careers (yay!!!), I am still a mother in their daily life—mothering, loving, worrying, and praying never stop—no matter how old they are. I am proud to be a late-in-life writer--journalist, freelancer, blogger, and magazine contributor. My work includes online and print magazines, including Modern Texas Living, Unread Magazine, Culture Trip, Everything Home Magazine, The Groove, The Outfitter, Victoria Lee Magazine, Holl and Lane Magazine, and Taylor Magazine. My (other) absolute favorite thing to write about is our ever-growing and evolving, small-urban town, Waco. I am thrilled to be part of Waco Moms and write about motherhood and Waco! I also write about life around me to enlighten, entertain, and make people think. If I make them smile, that's a bonus! You can read my blog at