Mom as perseverance…
Mom taught me that when the going gets tough, you do what you have to do to keep going. You can’t give up.
After raising three children, Mom went back to school to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. I know from experience that it’s really hard to go back to school after you’ve been out a significant amount of time. But not only did she get a bachelor’s in education, she went a step further and got her master’s. Never have I been so proud as the two times we watched her walk across that stage to get her diplomas.
Mom as advocate…
In my late twenties, I nearly died from pancreatitis and pulmonary emboli. I was scared, intubated, and unable to speak for myself. Mom stayed by my side throughout the entire month. She rarely left for any reason. She record everything the doctors and nurses did, every drug they put in my body, and every procedure they performed. She let the doctors and nurses know when something seemed wrong. She gave me life. She saved my life.
Mom as patience…
Mom was an excellent seamstress. She made many of my clothes until I got into high school and started doing odd jobs to make money and buy my own clothes.
How I hated going to the fabric store. She would drag me there at the beginning of every school year to pick out fabric and patterns to make me outfits. I acted like it was the end of the world — moping about, picking a few bolts of fabric, and then wandering off to peruse the notions and eventually to the pattern catalogs. I hated the whole ordeal.
I recognize now that Mom was trying to save the family money by making my clothes, and that I was a royal pain in the ass. Sorry about that, Mom.
Mom as comfort…
When I was in fifth grade, we moved from our native Louisiana to a tiny tiny town in northeast South Dakota, where Dad grew up. We stayed only a few years, but while we were there, Mom did everything she could to make us feel at home. She baked marvelous things (birthday cakes and sweet rolls to die for), hosted fabulous birthday parties for us, and did her best to help us feel like we weren’t living in a foreign country.
One time Mom let me go with her and a nun to Watertown, SD, to buy groceries. Why we drove the 42 miles to Watertown (the fifth largest town in South Dakota, with a population of 21,000) and why we went with a nun are still mysteries to me. However, on the way, the nun taught me how to sing Shel Silverstein‘s “Boa Constrictor.” That day turned out to be one of the highlights of my time in South Dakota.
Fueled by coffee…
Because Mom’s early days and late nights have always been fueled by lots and lots of coffee, I thought I would create a coffee-flavored fudge in her honor. I didn’t want a chocolate flavor, just coffee, so I used a lot of espresso powder and white chocolate. It’s a Latte Fudge!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
4 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 package white chocolate chips (12 oz. or so)
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
- Heat sugar, butter, milk, and espresso powder over medium heat to a full, rolling boil in 3 qt. heavy sauce pan, stirring constantly.
- Boil on medium heat until the candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F, stirring constantly.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the chips to the mix.
- Stir in the marshmallow creme.
- Stir until the mixture thickens and starts to look dull, and pour it into the foil-lined or buttered cake pan. Let it cool for a couple of hours, then cut it into bite-sized squares.
- Store the fudge in air-tight containers.