What I Learned from My Mother

What I Learned from My Mother

Joan Cecilian and Kathy Pickus

Mother's Day 1979

My mom, Joan Cecilian, passed away in December 2005 from colon cancer.  She had been diagnosed just a short five months prior to her death, leaving us all shocked at the turn of events.  I miss her each and every day as does the rest of her children, grandchildren and my dad.  The first few Mother’s Day celebrations after her death were tough, but enough years have passed that I am now able to celebrate what she gave me, instead of how she died.

In honor of my mom and of all the wonderful women who are moms – biological or not – I thought today would be a good day to pass on lessons learned from my mom.

1.  Always buy your towels from Costco.  I’ve tested this lesson and it’s a good one, Costco towels are reasonably priced, of good quality and last a long time.

2.  When using a glass baking dish reduce the oven temperature 25 degrees from the recipe instructions.  Glass is a better conductor of heat than other pans.

3.  Never put wooden spoons in the dishwasher, or any wooden handled kitchen utensil or knife.  The handle will wear out faster.  My mom kept her wooden spoons for years, so she was right on this one.

4.  Fresh food is always the best.  Dad planted the vegetable garden and Mom did all the picking and cooking.  She would regularly make homemade applesauce and spaghetti sauce.  I never understood why she went through all the trouble until I went away to college and had to eat the store varieties.

5.  Know the family finances.  My mom handled the bookkeeping for my Dad’s dental practice.  If anything ever happened to him, she would know exactly where she stood in regards to money.

6.  Only one person can change at a time in a marriage.  Meaning there has to be some consistency to keep it going.  Since her four daughters are all still in their first marriages, this advice must have sunk in.

7.  And lastly, family is the most important thing, however, be sure to also have your own interests.  One of my mom’s favorites sayings was ‘If Mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’. I think most moms would agree, have something for yourself to balance out all that you give to others.

I would love to hear your favorite mom advice.  Leave it in the comments below and Happy Mother’s Day!


4 thoughts on “What I Learned from My Mother

  1. Terri Goodwin

    I love this Kathy, thanks for writing it. Here’s a couple more things I learned from Mom: If your floors are clean, your house looks clean…I always clean the floors but I only dust once in a while. On marriage: Its worth it to stay together…it took me until about year 18 in my own marriage to understand that one but now it has really sunk in.
    I miss you mom!

  2. Mary

    Thanks for shareing Kathy, your mom was a very special woman. I think of her often and of all good times we had growing up. Your mom was very proud of her girls.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Hi Mary, Thank you for your kind words. I’ve been going through Mom’s scrapbooks and it’s wonderful to look at all the pictures from when Mom was growing up. We are all lucky with the family we have.

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