Thank You, Mom!

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Each April brings reminders of her. I was preparing for my second Fulbright teaching exchange to the former East Berlin. My mother died April 26, 1994, in Colorado so I flew out for the funeral and to help in close her estate with one of my sisters. My thoughts immediately went to my first Fulbright experience when my father passed in 1990 while I was in Neresheim, Germany.

We were well prepared for death as part of life and had been taught by their example. Both my parents spoke matter-of-factly about dying even though as young people, we did not want to speak about such subjects. So thoughts raced through my mind about preparing for the July departure to Germany with our two children as I sat on the long flight from Upstate New York Colorado.


During the second Fulbright experience in Berlin, I decided the children were older now and in second and fifth grades so we traveled to more cities throughout Europe. On the anniversary of my mother’s death, we were in Rome in St. Peter’s Square for a public audience with the Pope. All the chairs set up outdoors were wet from a rain so I attempted to dry them off for the three of us. Some lovely young students from Ireland offered me their tissues to help dry the chairs. We struck up a conversation. I smiled inwardly as I listened to these Irish ladies speak and thought my mother must have sent them to comfort me and visit for awhile.

My mother was a true Renaissance woman who loved to read, write and play piano. Even when she returned to college later in life, she pursued many subjects including piano, theory, children’s literature and library science. As my mother prepared for a 65th high school reunion trip to Massachusetts, she unfortunately died before making the trip and marking her May 14th birthday.

Mary Mooney Niemczura

Many reminders of my mother still remain. I keep looking for our Lily of the Valley in the garden. My mother grew these and clipped a few for a small vase. Their fragrance and that of lilacs remind me of her. I still have some of the beautiful coats and dresses she sewed for me in her impeccable style. As one of my sisters travels to Europe and visits Ireland, my thoughts turn again to my mother and all the love she gave her family. So, thank you, Mom, for all the fond memories!

M A age 20002


This entry was posted in April memories, Fulbrights to Germany, gratitude, Mother and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Thank You, Mom!

  1. Arno Bode,cologne,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    eine bewundernswert liebevoll geschilderte Erinnerung an Deine geliebte Mutter. Beeindruckend, wie liebevoll Du Deine Beschreibungen zu Deinen Eltern und Deiner Familie zu Papier bringst(bzw im www veröffenlichst).Ich habe große Achtung und Respekt vor Deiner Darstellung.Du kannst glücklich sein ,auf ein solch harmonisches Familienleben zurück blicken zu können.
    Liebe Grüße aus Germany von Deinem Arno


    • Lieber Arno,

      your kind words are truly appreciated. I am aware that I publish very personal memories from the past, but it is my hope that others may follow my example and find solace in knowing what I have experienced. Perhaps future generations can learn how life was lived during my time here on earth. Liebe Grüße aus Upstate New York. Deine Mary Ann ^__^


  2. What a lovely way to honor her memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann, you write with such wonderful warmth and love of your mother – your words bringing her alive to me and I feel as if her presence is always one close to you. How lovely you still have some of the clothes made by her! Precious indeed as are all your memories of her. Hope that you find many Lily of the Valley flowers in your garden…flowers and their scents are almost magical how they can evoke memories, sensations and experiences. Warmest wishes ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother is always nearby to ask her advice and to talk to. Your comment is precious to me. Thank you. As with all growth in Upstate New York, I have to exercise patience before I see results. It is dear of you to take time to write a beautiful comment. Much appreciated. All the best, my friend! ^__^

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photos and precious memories–a lovely tribute to you mother, Mary Ann. My dear mother passed in April of 2006 and there is not a day that goes by that I do not miss her. Hugs to you in remembering your mom. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Same here, Mary Ann! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy May Day! We used to leave flowers on the doorsteps of neighbors, ring their bell and run away as a May day gift in Massachusetts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We did the same in New York when I was in grammar school. We made tiny baskets out of construction paper, filled each with a small flower in soil (pansy etc). It was so much fun… I had almost forgotten about it. Thanks for the memories… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • How nice to know about this project. Perhaps the custom was only in the Northeast of the US. I don’t recall that when we moved to Colorado. It was fun. Probably will have to do a blog on my memory. You have inspired me now. ^__^

        Liked by 1 person

  6. P.S. “HAPPY MAY DAY!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just Google’d MAY DAY and found lots of interesting info and history at I remember learning in school about spring celebrations that included dancing around the Maypole and surprising neighbors with flowers, but I don’t recall learning about its political affiliation celebrated as International Workers’ Day. In any event, it’s beautiful time of year to celebrate it all. Again, Happy May Day! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • In Germany, in the tiny village where we lived for one year, a Maypole was erected in the village square with a fire going outdoors all night and “guarded” by the young men of the village. Traditions from former times. I love those May Poles and posted info on my FB and Twitter re the customs. Dancing around the Maypole is also something I heard of in the US. Lovely customs and traditions to carry on through generations. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. this is such a wonderful remembrance. We love lilies of the valley. It is going to be nice seeing through your eyes and words.

    Liked by 1 person

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