AFTER ALL THE WORLD is going through, the idea of a little snow to usher in Mother’s Day Weekend just seems to add another proverbial slap in the face of us spring-starved Granite Staters. But it gives us an opportunity to draw on those lessons of never giving up that our moms taught us.
I know that’s where I get a lot of my inner resolve, as my Irish mother of eight always taught us that we all had two choices: to stay on the couch or to get up. Bobbie Long Eastman (1919-2002) was a career Navy wife who often had to raise us alone while our father was out at sea. As my younger sister Jeanie E. Ryan put it, “Humor ... great advice ... uncanny sense of people ... taught us to always do our best, aim high and have faith.”
On the eve of Mother’s Day, I asked friends via social media what lessons they learned from their mothers. I received 95 replies in less than 24 hours — alas, I cannot fit them all here — but to see them all, go to facebook.com/tom.eastman. Here are a few of the many:
Victoria Noel Blake: My mum led by example and taught me to never let “them” see you squirm.
Alicia Mulkern Hawkes, sister of the Shannon Door’s Tommy Mulkern: I realize now, at 74, what I didn’t at 15 when I lost her — how uniquely cool and loving a woman she was.
Lisa DuFault of Valley Promotions, co-producer with Pat Quinn of video, “Times Like These”: She was our rock, cheerleader, moral compass and IS our standard for being good humans.
Pat Quinn: Love of laughter and music ... and let me bunk on national bunk day. LOL.
Bernadette Donohue (Realtor at Badger Realty): My mom is incredibly resilient! ... You can always count on her to be thinking of others and being there to help.
Scott Hanson (son of former Carroll County RSVP director Benny Jesseman and author of “Restoring Your Old House”): My mother made sure I knew there is a big, beautiful, interesting world outside the Mount Washington Valley.
Bassist Al Hospers: Mom always supported my decision to play music and at times slipped me some extra dollars to help me out. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.
Conway Public Library Children’s Room director Tessa Narducci: When she read to me.
Elizabeth Graves: If I ever doubt myself, I think what would mother do. She is amazing with everything she has done.
Martha Miller: My mom let me know that some day I, too, would lose my reading glasses.
Bobbie Box: My mom was a single mom in the ’50s; she taught me to be self sufficient.
Jeannie Cafarelli: My mom used to mail me handwritten letters (on perfumed stationery) when I was away at college, which was the envy of my suite-mate.
Former U.S. Ski Team member Christina Renee Guptill (who tragically lost her mother Sandy in a house fire a year ago in Glen): She moved mountains to make my dreams come true.
September Edge (daughter of local musician/vocalist Alana MacDonald of Devonsquare): Taught me to never take (crap) from anyone, especially men. Amongst other great life lessons LOL.
Kathy Bennett (local musician and publicist): She made me a reader! We all read so much in my home growing up that we all read books at the dinner table!
Christine Bianchino Thompson: She taught me to be fiercely independent. She also taught me to love words and to never take my education for granted.
Longtime Mountain Ear writer Karen Cummings: My mother had very strong opinions – she wrote letters to the editor (in Pittsburgh) all the time as F.S. Carlson so they’d think she was a man. And they got published!
Local musician Robin Lee: She was a great business woman; taught me to know how to deal with dollars in a man’s world and how to stay in the ring ...
Phil Haynes, son of former Cranmore Ski School director and avid golfer Norma Ashnault Haynes Wassall: She was a woman who was a trendsetter for women. No competition scared her away. She took on men and usually got their support. So go for it.
Ginia Nossiff: My mom had a circle of invisible warmth around her. if you were with her, it didn’t matter what you were doing or what was said, the love she held for us was all things good. I miss her every single day.
Ingrid Carlson- DeWitt: What I loved most about our Mom, Elin, was her unwavering support for us three kids, no matter what we did or said, and her style and class in handling any situation, with grace.
Conway Municipal Budget Committee chair Jim LeFebvre: Mom was the perfect partner for my dad – two adults who never took Bravo Sierra from the village idiots.
Jennifer Kovach of the Snowvillage Inn: The love that she put into her homemade chocolate chip cookies. I had two everyday after school. You could taste the love.
Conway Selectman John Colbath: She gave me my spirit of independence!
Diane Gilmore: She taught me to stand up for justice. Discrimination against others was not tolerated.
Linda Burns, daughter of late Volvo International hospitality coordinator/local music patron Jacquie Jones: She shared her love for music.
Realtor Theresa Bernhardt: I was her fourth child, and nine years younger than my older sibling. She raised me as a single mother and worked in a shoe factory to provide for us. I never knew/felt we were poor. Thank you, Bernie.
Gibson Center for Senior Services’ Jill Reynolds: She so wanted to be a mom, that 60 years ago she cried in church on Mother’s Day, not realizing she was carrying me. She is the one that saw and nurtured my gift in human services and encouraged me to pursue it.
Victoria Morse Hill: Keep trying.
IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute: Cindy Donohue and Nancy Russo (5-10); avid ski volunteer Jim Tuttle (5-11); Nordic Nate Harvey, White Birch Books’ Laura Cummings, pickleballer Lenny Gulino and the Snowflake Inn’s Sue Methot (5-14) and Josh Snell, local witch Kelly Rogers and goalie Steve “the Glove” LaRusso (5-15).
HAPPY MOTHER’S Day to one and all, especially to my moms here in the valley; Carol “Mom2” Westervelt, Tess Mulkern and the two Gails: Paine and Currier. Thanks for all that you and moms everywhere do for us.