Home » My Thoughts » Week 9b – My Mom

Week 9b – My Mom

Willena May Livingston Cummins Everett – May 13, 1932-Nov. 23, 2014

The 3 Willena's - August 1989

3 Willena’s in August 1989

Willena Rose, Willena Irene, Willena May

My Mom was my best friend long after my teenage friends started complaining that they couldn’t talk to their moms. I knew I could tell her anything, and she would understand. She didn’t say it often, but I knew she loved me and was proud of me.

Mom had an extraordinary love for animals, and I never saw one that didn’t trust her. When we lived in the apartment above Caruso’s Fruit Market, a wild alleycat had a litter of kittens right under our back step, because the only one in the world she trusted was my Mom.

Mom loved children and they loved her. We never knew who would be at our home when we walked in the door. One day I came home for lunch to find 12 of us sitting around the kitchen table eating Lipton soup and soda crackers. And she continued to babysit as many children as the law would allow, until the day she was no longer able to care for them.

She said I always “off in a corner with my nose in a book, especially when there is work to be done!” She told me I would ruin my eyes from reading by the light of the street lamp outside my bedroom window. But she never squelched my love of reading, and often bought me books from Holmes 5-and-dime store downtown.

Mom was the mistress of improvisation. I was 14 before I had my own room — a corner of the basement by the furnace. A bed set up on concrete blocks because the legs were broken… and a bookshelf made from the cabinet of an old TV that had the inner tubes removed. But I loved it, because Mom understood my heart, and had set it up for me.

She bought me a 3-year-old doll for Christmas the year my father died. We couldn’t afford it, but she knew I had my heart set on it. Nor could we afford the Brother portable typewriter she got me when I was 14. But that was Mom. She went out of her way to do anything she could for us kids.

Mom was 28 the day she called me in from the back yard to tell me my daddy had died. 28 years old, heart grieving, with three small children. She raised us alone until the following year, when a handsome young stranger from Plaster Rock NB moved in next door to board with Nita Robinson.

She was the one I called when my first husband lay dying in the hospital when I was 24. She helped me through the first weeks of widowhood, and didn’t try to talk me out of it when I moved 2400 miles away to attend Bible college in Alberta.

My birthday will never be the same again, for a special reason. I was born on Mother’s Day, so I made my mother a mother on Mother’s Day, just three days from her 21st birthday. It was fun every year to call my mom twice — it had to be twice, for she wouldn’t hear of combining the two days — on her birthday and on Mother’s Day — and say, “Hello, may I speak to Willena?” “Yes, this is Willena.” “So is this!” It was our little Willena-to-Willena private joke…

I miss you, Mom!


35 thoughts on “Week 9b – My Mom

  1. Beautiful story Willena. Your mom will ALWAYS be alive inside you. In my book Welcome to the Big Leagues, under the topic of mental wellbeing, I get personal and speak about losing my mother. She was only 54 years old and I cannot read that portion of the book without crying. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carmine,

      I’m sorry you lost your mother… she was too young to die. I was only 7 when I lost my father, but we had our mother for a good, long time. I see your book is on Amazon… congratulations!


  2. Your loving tribute to your mother is the most beautiful reflection of her in the appreciation that you are able to describe so sensitively and deeply! This kind of relationship is precious and probably close to what you have with your daughter…you were taught well! I am grateful that you shared and sorry for your loss!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Willema this is a beautiful and most loving tribute to your wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing this. Thinking of you silently with inclusive loving thoughts. Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Willena,
    what a lovely memory you have of your mother, you are so blessed!

    I think the foster mother I had from 3 1/2 to seven was a bit like your mum and missed her when I lived with my emotionally barren ‘sergant major well meaning birth mother.

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    Love and Light

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A few years ago, after my mom and dad had both passed away, I remember saying to my sister, “It looks like we’re the ‘grown-ups’ now”, and we both hoped that we could be the type of role models to our children that our parents had been to us.
    From your heartfelt words, it appears that you are following your mother’s example.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a sobering thought, and true. We’re the grown ups now… the ones to carry on the traditions and make new ones of our own…


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