Lessons My Mom and My Grandma Taught Me

Just last week, as I was writing on a couple of Mother’s Day cards for my mom and grandma, I was also reminiscing about all the things they’ve passed on to me. I’m not talking about the tangible stuff like some fancy jewelry or a precious painting, but wisdom they’ve imparted over the years.

I don’t see them as often as I want to, having moved away over 7,000 miles away almost 20 years ago. My grandma will be turning 94 in a couple of weeks. She’s healthier than my mom (her daughter) who has not fully recovered from a stroke 13 years ago. I miss them both and their constant mothering and practicality dearly as I am writing this and I hope to visit them both soon.

My grandma is an excellent cook and baker. She’ll feed the entire town if we let her. When I was newly-married, she mailed me some typewritten and handwritten recipes of dishes I love. I still have those recipes to this day, tucked away in a nifty binder that has moved with me at least five times since then.

My mom may not be as talented in the kitchen as grandma is, but she was a gifted pianist, crocheter and sewer. She could fix anything involving a needle and thread. I may not have a lot of it sometimes, but I learned patience and persistence from her and her needlework pursuits.

Not in any order but here are 10 lessons both these strong women in my family have taught me:

  1. Don’t be dependent on anyone for money.
  2. Don’t ever stop working, even when you have kids.
  3. Invest in jewelry, not clothes. 
  4. Put on lipstick and always look your best. You never know who you’re going to run into at the grocery store.
  5. Learn how to cook. I heard that loud and clear.
  6. Lower your expectations of people or you’ll always be disappointed.
  7. Find joy in the little things.
  8. Walk everywhere, for good health. My grandma must be on to something here. She’s almost 94, after all.
  9. Don’t be wasteful. Side note: Both of them never threw away anything. Before I moved away, I chanced upon tons of empty Gerber baby food jars in my mom’s kitchen. My daughter and I both love reusing jars of all shapes and sizes. Cheers to four generations of jar collectors! It does run in some families apparently.
  10. Pamper yourself, and not only on Mother’s Day. Enough said.

Hats off to all the hard-working, strong and resilient mothers out there. Have a blessed Mother’s Day y’all!

Mira Reverente

Mira Reverente is a journalist, editor and blogger based in Southern California. She is always on the look-out for uplifting and local stories to tell from personal finance to fitness to family events. She currently writes and edits for a few regional publications. More

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