It’s All Maya!

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

May 9th, 2010 · 17 Comments

School Days
(School Days – Mom, middle row, far left.)

My mom is an extraordinary woman who had a difficult life as a young child and some of her earliest memories are those that sound like a Stephen King novel turned into a horror movie.  Painful memories that anyone would want to forget, so I won’t go into details here.

Mom as a young working woman.

My mom will turn 88 this year and although the beginning was rough, to say the least, she went on to accomplish so many things.  When the U.S. entered World War II my mom, 19 years old, went to enlist in the marines.  Thank goodness she wasn’t accepted, but that didn’t stop her from doing her part in the war.  As the male workforce was being drafted into military service it was up to women to keep things running at home.  My mom began working as a welder at the Dravo Corporation in Pittsburgh building battleships.


The Dravo’s shipyard became the leader in manufacturing LST’s (Landing Ship Tanks) for the U.S. Navy.  New techniques were developed at Dravo’s that cut cost and construction time where a new LST could be delivered to the Navy in less than five month’s time!  Because of these women and men back home building battleships faster than the enemy could sink them, it was a major factor in the Allies winning the war.

Mom in the attic playing her keyboard.

My mom and dad raised five children in an atmosphere of love and security, of music and literature, that gave the five of us the ability to dream that we could do whatever we set our minds to do and we did.  We grew up playing music, reading books, and never getting into trouble, much to our parents’ delight!

Mom being recognized for her more than 20 years of service at a luncheon.
(Being awarded for over 20 yrs of service.)

If raising five kids wasn’t enough, my mom became a nurse’s aide working at a children’s hospital taking care of newborns, babies, and young children with mental and physical disabilities.  Later in life she volunteered as a Foster Grandparent and mentor to young children and continued doing so for over twenty years until she suffered a mini stroke four years ago.

Mom banging pots and pans with the grand-kids on New Year’s Eve.
(Banging pots & pans on New Year’s Eve.)

If you think that would stop her, you’re wrong.  After several months of therapy, my mom made a full recovery.  She said, “When the doctor told me I could no longer live on my own and that I would have to depend on my children to take care of me, I told myself, ‘No way, I’m going to recover from this!'”  And she did!  If anything, she is better than ever!  Her mind is sharp and she has to remind me of things I need to do because I’ve become so forgetful!!!

Mom taking a rest from her planting.

At 87 years young, you can find mom in her garden on any given beautiful day, planting, weeding, watering, or just caring for her flowers and plants!  With five children, twelve grand-children and nine great-grand-children, she’s the matriarch of our family and she is what holds us together as a family ever since my father passed away so many years ago.

Mom and I on top of the Pyramid of the Sun.
(Mom and I on top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico.)

She’s not, however, your typical elderly lady putzing around, or sitting on her porch – she has a love for traveling and is ready to go at a drop of a hat.  When she was 56 years old, she and I spent six months traveling all over Europe hopping on and off trains visiting every single country in Western Europe and do we have stories to tell!!!

Mom on her first trip to Hawaii.

In 2007 at 85, she went traveling halfway around the world, from France to Mexico to Hawaii, and if you’ve read some of my earlier posts this year, you know she’s still as spry as ever!

Mom in a rare moment relaxing.

Maya Muses:  I am so proud of my mother and I love her dearly.  She is a wonderful, beautiful person and the best mother in the world!  She has given of herself so freely and has shared her love, not only with us, but with so many other children and we have all been truly blessed. 

Mom getting ready to ride!
(Mom getting ready to ride!)

 Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Photo Credits:  Personal Photos

Tags: Baby Boomer Babbles · Is Anyone Listening? · Special Moments · Travel

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Patrick // May 9, 2010 at 1:35 am

    You’re right Cherie, she’s not only an exceptional woman, but she is also a beautiful soul. Happy Mother’s day, Mum!

  • 2 Bald Man // May 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Lovely tribute for an amazing lady.

  • 3 Kerri // May 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I love that lady. Grandma, I’m so thankful for your sacrifices, and so joyed to be a part of your family. You are an amazing woman, and I’m so grateful for you. Love you!

  • 4 Deena // May 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Your mom sounds awesome, Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

  • 5 Cid // May 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Happy Mom Day! I just want to know, does your mom really ride a motorcycle? Hey, there aren’t too many 88 yr old grandmas riding, but she looks so darn comfortable on it I just had to ask!

  • 6 Lynn // May 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Patrick, so true!!!

    Thanks, Deena…..

    Cid, she does have a great pose, doesn’t she?! That’s all it is, however, mom doesn’t even ride a bike! Lol.

    Kerri and Cory, Grandma sends her love and hopes all of you had a great Mother’s Day! Me too!

  • 7 Folks in El Paso! // May 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Mom, wishing you the best Mother’s Day Ever.
    You have touched so, so many lives in everything you do. You always have a Positive outlook in any of life’s up’s and downs.
    You are a Mentor for everyone and you always leave a mark on anyone who comes in contact with you. No one ever forgets you, even if they have just met you or have known you for years! Love you Forever. You are our Angel, we are all very Blessed that God has given us, YOU as our Loving Dear MOTHER! Thank you for you. —Rose Wood

  • 8 Folks in El Paso! // May 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    absolutely loved the tribute to Grandma Pittsburgh!! Everyone here is crowding around the computer screen trying to catch a glimpse of Grams of her and her Hawaiian vacations!

  • 9 Joe B. // May 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    My Grandmother has been one of the most important people in my life. She has served as a mother while my own mother had to assume the role of a bread winner. I remember my grandmother undertaking the daily responsibility of raising a child ( a difficult child at that). I’m sure it was a difficult experience for a woman who had already raised her own children. Now when I reflect on my childhood I’m grateful for everything my grandmother has done. I am also extremely proud of our heritage and what she had to endure as an immigrant to this country. Gracias abuela por todo .

  • 10 Mom/Grandma // May 10, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I thank God everyday for my kids and grand-kids. I’m proud of you and I’m so happy that everyone is fine and in good health. All of you made me so happy for the things that you said and it was the best Mother’s Day gift all of you could have given me. (Thanks Lynn for a nice blog or whatever you call it.)

    Love to you all,

  • 11 Lynn // May 10, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I’m glad you liked it!!!

  • 12 Rod Bunch // May 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Grandma!! Happy Grandma & Great- Grandma Day!! We tried calling ayer, hope you got our message, we love you grandma and Enlai and Aiko say they love their great grandma!

    Your always have a home in AZ and I love the pictures grandma!! My children want to see more!


    Michael, Lily, Enlai, & Aiko

  • 13 Harriet // May 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I’m a little late, but Happy Mother’s Day to your Mom. She is an amazing person!

    After living the good life for a month in France, I’m busy at home weeding the flower beds! You wouldn’t believe what a beautiful day we had today.

  • 14 Lynn // May 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Rod Bunch – Grandma sends her love! (She loved looking at all the photos on your blog.)

    Thanks Harriet, my mom really is something! I’m sure you and Richard had a great time in France….you must tell us more!

  • 15 Toni Pulley // May 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Happy Grandma Day!!! Mish you and cant wait to see you soon!!! Thank you for everything you do for the family… and my DAD… 😉 Love, Izzy and Toni

  • 16 Mia // May 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

    All My Love To Your Mom!

    Will Go call My Mom Now!

    Hope to See you soon!


  • 17 Lynn // May 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Rod Bunch & Toni and Izzy, I showed Grandma your comments as well and she sends you her love!

    Deena, Cid, Harriet and Mia, my mom thanks you for your comments and sends her love as well!

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