Follow your heart
My mom is my inspiration, my confidence when I lack my own, and my best friend. She has been there to pick me up at my lowest points and celebrate me at my highest. My heart fills with gratitude as I think of all the ways she has shaped my life as well as her friends, patients and colleagues.
My mom has always encouraged me to follow my heart and my passions, no matter the opinions of others. She reminds me that people are always going to criticize and judge, but the worst thing that I can do is let that derail me from my happiness. I will continue to hold my head high as I pursue my goals knowing that I will always have my mom to support and encourage me.
Sydney Khosla, Centerville, from her mother, Kim Khosla
Love is not wasted
My mother was an avid Cincinnati Reds follower, a good golfer, a British car owner and a cancer survivor. She taught swimming to Naval Cadets during WWII and loved to travel.
Her advice? “No act of love, however small, is ever wasted.”
Betsy Whitney of Kettering, from her mother Frances K. Baldwin
Growing up there was always one phrase that wasn’t only spoken but also shown through actions time and time again: “I love you unconditionally.”
My mom definitely wasn’t loved unconditionally throughout her childhood with many scars to prove it, but she has always shown fierce, unconditional love even when I didn’t deserve it. In her eyes, no one is too far out of reach for love. She taught me that love isn’t necessarily forgetting, but choosing to see every person as someone who is capable to give and receive love – no matter what.
I moved my mom and dad in with us last year. It’s been lovely!
Allison Messer, Centerville, from her mother, Debbie Moore
‘Don’t let anyone discourage you’
One thing that always rings in my ear is my mother would say “Don’t let anyone discourage you from what you want to do or achieve. There will always be those that don’t want to see you succeed” This is so true.
After my father passed and my mother became president, I became responsible for the day-to- day operations of the Bob Ross Auto Group as Dealer Principal. I would hear how most people didn’t think I would be able to maintain or move our organization forward.
Moral to the story: Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t when you can!
On the 12-year anniversary of my mother’s passing we had the mobile mammography unit at Bob Ross Auto Group for anyone in need of a mammogram. We also honored her legacy with acts of kindness–donating PPE supplies to local breast and cancer treatment centers, surprised employees with donuts, sent care packages to women going through treatment and more.
Jenell R. Ross, Centerville, from her mother Norma Ross
Change comes from within
My mom always told me that you can’t change a man. If you can’t accept and live with his worst faults, then you’ll be miserable, because he’s not going to change for you. Change has to come from within.
She was lucky enough to find the love of her life -and so did I. She and my dad married young and were so well-matched that we always said they were “two sides of a coin.” Their deep love, mutual respect and close relationship was a model for all. Not that they didn’t bicker, they did! That showed us that marriage is hard work, but it’s worth it. Only death could separate them. Dad died 26 years ago and not a moment goes by that she doesn’t mourn him.
Another life lesson that Mom taught me is to give back. When you see an opportunity to help a neighbor or friend who is struggling, lend a hand, paint a wall, make a meal, do whatever is needed, and don’t expect anything in return. But... the rewards are great in the long haul. I strive to live that lesson every day, and my children have seen that in action. I pray that they will carry on that tradition of kindness.
Lucy Baker, Oakwood, from her mother Patty Yanko
Five little words
“There are 5 little words I would have you to know
They are pardon me, thank you, and please
Oh, use them quite often wherever you go
There are few words more useful than these.”
My mother didn’t tend to sermonize, or give unasked for advice. She was a busy mom as I was growing up, helping my father in his business, maintaining a home, and engaging in community volunteer activities. As an only child we had a close relationship and she was my go-to parent when I had questions or concerns. This poem is one I remember from when I was quite small and I don’t recall what prompted her to keep quoting it to me so that it sticks in my mind to this day.
I do remember once doing something that caused her to tell me that I had to apologize and say I was sorry. She went on to carefully explain that saying one is sorry is not enough; you had to be sure not to repeat the offense because otherwise you cannot be truly sorry for what you did and expect forgiveness.
Connie Blum, Kettering, from her mother, Ruth Brizman
Keep your head up
My grandmother and I have always been close. As I was going through middle school and the early parts of high school, she would constantly give bits of advice that I would think about. One piece of advice still holds a place in my heart: If your circumstances aren’t going your way, keep your head up. If you’re feeling stressed, let your hair down. If you feel like life is getting too hard or too stressful, come to grandma, and we will get through it together.
This advice made my first two years of high school so much easier because it gave me a blueprint for the perspective I should have. This advice has stayed with me throughout my junior year, and I know it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
AnnaBelle Hacker, Waynesville, from her grandmother Jane Coatney
Recognize those who do the little things
I am very fortunate to have many great female role models in my life including my mother, grandmothers, aunts, and teachers. But the woman who has influenced me most would have to be my Nana, Alice Suttman. Unfortunately, she died this past October, and her death has been difficult for me and my family. She was such a wonderful woman and I have learned so much from her.
When I think of my Nana, I think of the unconditional love that she had for me and the rest of the people in her life. By incorporating this lesson in my life, I have been aware of those people who mean a lot to me and have tried to appreciate them in a new light. I am also aware of those who do the little things.
Caroline Doorley, Centerville, from her grandmother, Alice Suttman
Follow the Golden Rule
My mother, and father, taught us (four siblings and myself) to follow the Golden Rule. This meant treating all people the way that we would want to be treated. They showed kindness with various acts, such as providing transportation, or sharing food, with family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Principles of being humble, giving respect, forgiving and seeking forgiveness, and loving unconditionally, were very important to them.
After my father’s death, in 1989, my mother continued to support and guide us, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She advised us to never give up, and to make the best of a situation. As was her practice, Momma reminded us to trust in God, and to praise and worship Him, praying at all times. Until her passing, in 2013, she served the Lord, and others, with gladness. Those bonds of love have not been forgotten. I humbly strive to follow my mother’s motto, like the words of a favorite song, “If I can help somebody, as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain”.
Charlean Rucker, Dayton, from her mother Pearllean Patton
Money, love and Dove soap
- A stitch in time saves nine. Take care of little problems as quickly as possible or they might turn into bigger problems that are harder to solve.
- If your date is more than 15 minutes late in picking you up, don’t be there if he does show up. He won’t be late again!
- Put away a little money for yourself that nobody knows about. It gives you a sense of satisfaction, security and freedom.
- Always wear clean underwear with no holes in case you get in an accident.
- If you don’t have anything nice to say about somebody, don’t say anything at all.
- Say your prayers at night, and use Dove Rose scented bar soap. You’ll always be clean and smell good, and your skin will be soft.
- Don’t always be the first person to speak. Listen to others.
Andrea Cummings of Kettering, from her mother, Mary Louise Walker, on behalf of her sister and their daughters
Some additional advice Walker’s granddaughters have learned from their mothers Andrea Cummings and Yvette Walter Dalton.
- Your body, your choice. And make sure that the man in your life makes you laugh because laughter will last longer than physical attraction.
- By watching my mother I learned artistic passion, maternal compassion, and human resilience. Great attributes to have when you become a mother and grandmother.
- Think before you speak to someone; about how your words will make them feel, provide encouragement, or help them to think.
- Learn how to do something to support yourself while you pursue your musical career.
- Marry your friend. Passion may come and go, but you’ll always remember that you were friends first.
Nicole Dalton Uhler, Danielle Dalton Kelley, Rebecca Cummings Scales, Tamara Craver and Lauren Cummings
Thoughtful and impactful
My mother, Mary Lou Kramer, raised six children while running her commercial art business out of our basement. My mother taught us what was right and what was wrong but avoided unsolicited advice. I remember considering running for president of my junior class at Meadowdale High School in 1972. I mentioned my hesitancy to take that kind of risk (as females didn’t run for class president at that time). My mom was thoughtful and didn’t give a definitive answer. She simply said, “No bird flies too high if it flies with its own wings.”
Mother was a talented watercolor artist in her own right, particularly given the small amount of spare time she had. She painted a lovely scene of a bird soaring for me, inscribed with her maxim, “No bird flies too high if it flies with its own wings.”
I have thought of my Mother’s maxim often through my life, interpreting it differently through the years.
Karen Kramer of Loveland , from her mother Mary Lou Kramer
Lucky for influence of mom, mother-in-law
Mom was cute, funny, warm, witty, gentle, and forgiving…all the things you want in a best friend AND mom. Anyone who knew Mom became a member of her fan club instantly. On top of raising seven kids and performing all the thankless unseen tasks that go with that, Mom had the uncanny ability to make every day feel like Christmas. It wasn’t so much the gifts as it was the giddiness and sheer joy in just being with her. She was the gift. She made you feel like the most important person on the planet.
My mother-in-law, Carolyn Gerspacher mirrors the same warmth, humor and grace that Mom possessed. Who knew my mother-in-law would become my close friend and confidant! To this day, Carolyn continues to be the heart and soul of her entire family and has the uncanny ability to make it feel like Christmas every day…just like Mom.
Julie Gerspacher of Caesar’s Creek, about her mother and mother-in-law , Mary Lou Blommel and Carolyn Gerspacher