Things I Learned From my Mother: Mother’s Day Stories from 3 Daughters

Although once a year is hardly celebration enough, Mother’s Day is the full 24 hours we can spend thanking our mothers and the mothers of the world for all they do. The mother-daughter bond is extremely special.

These three stories come from three young women (one the daughter of our own CEO Donna Letier) as they reminisce about the things they’ve learned from their mothers.

Donna and Madison Letier

From a young age, I knew my family had a different dynamic than most. My Mom worked full time, and I had a nanny who would take care of my sister and me until my Mom returned every night. I can see many of you now shaking your heads and saying something like, “Oh this poor girl. She never had time with her Mother blah blah blah…” But I am here to tell you that having a working Mother was one the defining elements of my life that made me who I am today.

My Mom, Donna, is truly an inspiration. She has a heart of gold, a sassy disposition, and a brilliant knack for business. She also happens to be my best friend in the entire world. I spent my 4 years at college calling her at least 3 times a day, filling her in on gossip, detailing what hot guys were on the quad, and avoiding the subject of my accounting test grade. I always knew she would answer my calls (except when she was in an important meeting), and she would always help me through the ups-and-downs of daily life.

The one day every year that I could celebrate my badass mother was Mother’s Day. Now, I celebrate for everything my Mom did to raise two girls on her own, start multiple businesses, and still come home and cook dinner for us every night. In my experience, having a working mom makes Mother’s Day even more special because her family can take one day to praise her, thank her, and love her as much as she does us all year.

So, on this Mothers Day, let’s raise a toast to not only stay at home Mothers but also to working Mothers! They inspire us, guide us, and can always be counted on to remind us to always say thank you, please, and to call when you get there.  I love you Mama!

-Madison, daughter of Donna Letier

Corinne and Marcee Lohner

When you’re young, summer means pool days, late night movies, and endless reading hours. It means freedom from assignments and exchanging fluorescent lights for the sun. At the Lohner home, summer also meant 1 hour of yard work every day in the merciless Texas heat. No exceptions. When I turned 8 and my mom tacked on an additional hour of daily weeding; I yearned for No. 2 pencils and math worksheets.

Our backyard was always lush and green, pockets of flower beds every which way. We had a small garden — or rather, my mom did. As we weeded, she offered us soft lamb’s ear and ripe cherry tomatoes. Every year, I tried one of our freshly harvested tomatoes and every year, I spat it out (it wasn’t until college that I developed a taste for them). One summer, as we were weeding, my mom and I found a watermelon vine in our garden and we had no idea how it got there. In the end, it was rather sour and tasteless, but I still remember the jolt of excitement at finding my favorite fruit in our yard.

I remember my mom cutting hydrangeas every spring from enormous bushes in our front yard and carefully arranging them to decorate our home. I remember how delicately she’d nurture our rose bushes, and I remember a big tree in our backyard that attracted butterflies. I have memory snapshots of my little sister’s and my toddler selves surrounded by their fluttering wings. I remember marveling at the shape of a  tulip bulb.

My mom is the type of person that accidentally sneezes and creates elegance. While we were outside, she taught me to recognize and love strong, beautiful things — we smelled them, tasted them, and cared for them. Most importantly, she taught me that work is required to make something beautiful. From her, I’ve learned that beauty is not a pursuit with an end goal. It takes a lifetime of work, of care, and of love to make something beautiful. The real joy is in the experience of creating it.

I’m so grateful to have been in the sphere of my mother’s existence — to have watched and benefitted from her habitual beauty-making. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

-Corinne, daughter of Marcee Lohner

Meghan and Kathleen Peoples

My mother is a force of nature. She is strong and kind and wise.
I feel lucky every day to know her.

I remember when I fell in love with plants. I was in high school flipping through a book on equine herbalism and I knew. Out of nowhere — just like that — I knew it was what I wanted to do.

The next day she took me to Half-Price Books.
(When you are the middle child in a family of five teenagers, individual attention is rare luxury!) We searched around for the green bookshelf and when we finally found it, I stood there, opened mouthed, in awe of the possibilities.
I asked her hesitantly, “How many can I get?” and I will never forget her reply.
“As many as you want.”

In that one moment of kindness, tiny in comparison to a lifetime of events, she gave me the greatest gift of all — permission to chase my dreams.

I walked out of that store with more than a stack of gardening books. I walked out of it with a passion. With a purpose that I still pursue today.

My mother grew me and now I grow others.
She is the source of all of my strength.
She shaped my words, my mind, my heart.

Because she had courage, so do I.
Because she showed love, so do I.
Because she chased her dreams, so do I.

I am forever grateful for that, and so much more.

-Meghan, daughter of Kathleen Peoples

Send us your stories about you and your mothers. Remember to thank your mother for all she’s taught you, and you mothers out there — Happy Mother’s Day!