The bonds and memories that hold our family together define who we are. In our final entry of our Mother’s Day series, we examine the close connection between a mother and her children and how the tools to stay connected over vast spaces and places ensure we never miss a memory. Lirlie, a longtime member of GrandPad, had not one, not two, but all four children eagerly describe their love and affection for her.
One common topic all of Lirlie’s children discussed: Lirlie’s affinity for cooking and her great sense of hospitality in preparing and sharing meals. Mealtime was sacred in their household. The children were “introduced to the great cuisines of the world at a very young age,” remarks Lirlie’s daughter Victoria. Lirlie’s dinners were “served with an eye for beauty,” adds her son Lee.
Whether eating at home or visiting a new restaurant, Lirlie always has had a “great appreciation for new and fun experiences,” comments Lirlie’s daughter Cheryl. Multiple children recount Lirlie’s signature catchphrase: when trying a new restaurant or eating a new dish, Lirlie would exclaim, “I think this is the best restaurant I’ve ever been to,” or, “I really think this is the best tomato I’ve ever eaten!”
It’s clear from her children’s anecdotes and observations that Lirlie is a woman that draws you in and fills a room with her presence. Cheryl notes that Lirlie “has a great appreciation for beauty, and always created a beautiful and interesting environment in our homes with collectibles from [her] world travels.”
What kind of travels, exactly? Cheryl recounts that Lirlie absolutely loved archaeology and biblical artifacts. One night as a child, at 4:30 am, Cheryl walked downstairs to find “my mom gathered around the kitchen table with a small group planning an archaeology expedition to locate Noah's Ark.”
Not every moment with Lirlie was fun and games. She deeply cared about her children’s education, and made sure they absorbed all types of literature and stories. Victoria asserts that some of her most cherished memories were sitting on her mother’s lap at night as Lirlie read Mother Goose rhymes, or Bible stories, or scary Grimm’s fairytales.
Victoria states that Lirlie’s love of reading ensured that Victoria would pass that love onto her sons. When asked what lesson of her mother’s was most important to her, Lirlie’s youngest daughter Wendy responded, “To forgive and to view each other in the best possible light.” Cheryl cites three lessons: the importance of forgiveness, hope, and faith in God.
For her part, Lirlie couldn’t think of enough ways to praise her mother. She emphatically repeated that her mother was “a good woman,” extremely principled while straying away from punishing her children. Lirlie recalls how loving and gentle her mother was, while imparting hard life lessons from her own school of hard knocks.
Lirlie can’t decide what the best part of being a mother was. She contemplates several different answers before confidently replying, “I loved every bit of it. I love my children.” She can’t recall any aspect of motherhood as being particularly hard. “I don’t know,” she admits, “[the kids] were always well behaved!”
Lirlie is exceptionally proud of her children for pursuing higher education and performing well academically. She raves about her family, emphasizing how close-knit and loving they are. The holidays are a wonderful occasion, she says.
When asked if she had any advice for young mothers, Lirlie answered, “Just give them lots of love. Before you know it they’ve grown up.” And Lirlie’s children sure know this to be true – many of them already have children of their own that are nearly adults.
When you’re a mother, time flies, and you won’t know what little moment, exchange, or smile will be the one that sticks with you for a lifetime. At GrandPad we connect seniors to their families far and wide, providing them with the simple solution they need to never miss another memory. From all of us, Happy Mother’s Day. Make this moment one to remember.