Betty Ago: Mother

I often find my mother’s words coming out of my mouth. I even see her in my mirror. When I was a teenager, I swore that I would never be like my mother! Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyway, below are some of the advice and/or sayings that my husband and I remember from our mothers. Can you guess which is from which?

  1. Brush your teeth for two minutes. This was many years ago well before dentists and hygienists started giving this message. Mom died at the age of 99 with her teeth intact.
  2. If something is hurting you, think about what you’ve been doing before running to the doctor. This was good advice, which I used for her after she had forgotten her own words. Mom had developed a very bad pain on one side of her neck. Her doctor prescribed powerful pain medication, which made her sick. Analysis of the environment around the rocking chair, in which she spent a lot of time, revealed that the air conditioner vent was aimed right at her on the side where the pain was. I moved the vent. The pain went away and did not come back.
  3. Stay in the middle. Don’t be too much to the right or too much to the left.
  4. “Don’t be dumb like I was. Do it now!” Mom shouted these words when we told her we were looking for a CCRC while she was still living alone in her house. (We did try hard to provide her with a safe and comfortable environment in consideration of her absolute refusal to move). Clearly, we did take her advice and are very happy that we did.
  5. Advice not taken: “You should marry what’s-her/his-name.” “Mom, if you like him/her, you marry him/her.” Mom laughed and we’re lucky her advice was not taken.
  6. Be careful, you can die so easy!
  7. Don’t do too many things that I wouldn’t do.
  8. Take good care of yourself. You’re the only one of you there is.

This last quote is my favorite. I say the same thing to my kids. In a few words, it emphasizes our uniqueness and how valuable we each are.

Betty Ago



Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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