Monday Motivation: My Other Mother


Last week, I shared a story about my sainted mother. This week, I thought I would tell you  about my other mother!



“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed…”

Proverbs 31:26-28a – NIV


I met her for the first time with a cookie in my mouth. I didn’t plan it that way. It just sort of happened.


It was a rainy Friday afternoon. My handsome new boyfriend had picked me up in his mother’s ’72 tan Ford Pinto. The plan was to hang out for awhile before he had to be back at school for pre-game warm-ups for the football game later that evening.. As we cruised down the road near his home, he remembered something he had forgotten and suggested we swing by his house to retrieve it. I didn’t even have time to respond before he was turning left onto his street. I kept silent, but my stomach did a flip-turn. Would this be the day I would meet his mother?


We had only been dating for a month, but I was curious about his family. What was his mother like? I had heard good things about her from one of my friends, but I wanted to meet her and see for myself.   


I didn’t have time to ponder the situation long, for next thing I knew, he was pulling into the driveway. Opening the downstairs door, he ushered me into the house. His first stop was the freezer nestled beside the doorway. Pulling open the freezer door, he pointed to the bags lining the shelves and said, “What kind of cookie do you want?”


I stood there staring in disbelief. The entire lower half of the freezer door was lined with large plastic bags crammed full of cookies. My amazement only grew larger as he rattled off the variety of cookie options available. When I voiced my astonishment, he grinned and explained, “Oh, Mom always has cookies!”


Procuring a chocolate chip cookie from one of the bags, I followed him up the stairs as I took my first mouth-watering bite. I was still savoring the sweetness as I turned the corner into the kitchen and came face-to-face with the baker of these amazing treats. Standing at the kitchen sink, dish towel over her shoulder, a petite woman turned and offered me a smile, a genuine smile that lit up her face and reached her twinkling eyes.


“Mom”, Eric said, turning toward me, “This is Anita.” I extended the hand that did not hold a cookie and smiled back at her. Complementing her on the cookies, the conversation began easily and flowed unhindered. She was clearly surprised to have us just drop by, but equally pleased to meet me. She asked lots of questions about me and my family. Despite all the questions, it did not feel like an interview. She was just interested. She was so easy to talk to, and she made me feel comfortable right off the bat.


I was instantly struck by the expressiveness of her face and the kindness in her eyes. She radiated energy, her zest for life coming through  in the way she spoke, her enthusiasm apparent in her every movement. She couldn’t help but smile as she conversed, her positive outlook shining like the summer sun. There was a palpable joy in this woman, and I liked her instantly.


Eric disappeared down the hall to his room. I think he was a bit surprised at the pace of our conversation and decided to leave us to carry on for a bit.


Eric and I did not stay long, but I left with an invitation to come back for dinner and to be sure and get a cookie on the way out. As we headed out the door with another cookie in our hands, I smiled and said, “I really like your Mom!” Eric opened the car door and grinned, “Everyone likes my Mom.”


That rainy Friday afternoon in September 1977 was the beginning, the beginning of a special kinship that has spanned more than 45 years to date. Neither of us had any idea on that rainy afternoon that I would be eating her delicious meals and sampling her wonderful cookies for years to come. I was simply a 16 year old girl nervous about meeting my new boyfriend’s Mom. She was just an engaged mother checking out her oldest son’s new girlfriend. Even still. I remember thinking that she was special, that there was something about her that felt like coming home.


From the moment of that very first meeting, Liz and I became fast friends. I loved being at her house, and she treated me like family from the outset. Eric and I dated for five years, and she did her best to spoil me whenever she had the chance. All through college, She cooked meals for me, sending leftovers and cookies back to school to ensure I wouldn’t starve  to death. She even did my laundry with Eric’s on our weekend visits.


When the time came for our wedding, she could not have been more thrilled. She welcomed me into her family with open arms. She always says that she helped raise me, and in truth, she did.


Through all the years, no matter the ups and downs, Liz has been there for me. Whatever she could do to help, that’s what she wanted to do. No one was more excited when we told her that a baby was on the way, and oh, what a beloved Grandma she has been! I will never forget the priceless grin on her face when she showed up at the hospital with a yellow dump truck and a baby boy balloon to meet Jonathan for the first time. She could hardly contain her excitement. Over the years, she has been there to help in any way she could, regularly arriving at our back door with an apple pie in hand  just to bring a smile to her grandson’s face. She has loved every minute of being a Grandma, and she and her grandson still have a mutual admiration society in place!


Liz has a soul wired for service. She has spent her life serving her family, her friends, her community. Liz taught me to cultivate a spirit of volunteerism, continually role modeling the importance of giving back to her community. Her kindness and generosity made an impression on me as a young woman, and I began looking for opportunities to give back in my own way.


Many people talk of their faith principles, but Liz lives out her faith. Watch Liz, and you will see the golden rule in action. From shelving books at the school library to feeding the church choir to visiting the sick or homebound, Liz is always finding a way to help others. At 88, she is still baking cookies, not just for the enjoyment of her family, but to share with anyone who needs a little lift. I call it her cookie ministry. Her melt-in-your-mouth cookies are guaranteed to bring a smile!


Liz and I have had loads of adventures together, traveling all over the world on the awesome trips she planned for us. She has been that kind voice on the other end of the phone, the faithful friend ready and willing  to listen, supporting me through all my joys and sorrows. No doubt about it, Liz and I share a special bond. I consider our relationship one of the greatest blessings of my life.


Few women can claim their mother-in-law as one of their very best friends, but I can. For 45 years, I have been “her girl,” and she has been my other mother.



O Heavenly Father, thank you for the incredible blessing of loving mothers and grandmothers. Thank You for all the ways they have taught us, supported us, and inspired us to grow and serve. May we, in turn, follow their good examples and be the shining light of hope, joy, and love for those who cross our paths.

In the Loving Name of Jesus, we give our thanks and praise,






-APS 5/22/2023

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