Remembered Sayings of a Mother

Remembered Sayings of a Mother

Today I would like to honor my mother with telling about a little of her life with her children.

As Mothers Day nears, we all find our selves thinking back on all the memories that we have had with our mother. That’s what this day is made for right? It’s a great day to honor our mothers and all the things that they have done for us, their children.

I think that I speak for all adult children around the world, that the older I get, the more I am able to look back and appreciate all that my mother did for me when I was a child. I now understand all the sacrifices that my mother made to make my life happier and easier.

My mother passed away in 2012 from breast cancer. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and her beautiful smile. She had a laugh that could light up your world. When me and my siblings were children, we never lost her in a crowd or a grocery store because we could always find her by following her laughter. She never met a stranger. She was kind to everyone she met and made fast friends. And she was the most protective “momma bear” that I have ever known. She would do anything for her family and children, and you better not mess with them or you’d hear it. Mom taught me wonderful morals and life skills, and I am so thankful that she instilled in me faith in my Father in Heaven and knowledge that a family is forever.

 How often as adult children do we hear that little voice of our mother, and relate to what she was saying, but try to make it go away because we don’t want to admit that she was right? Way to many times to count on my end. So in honor of my mother on this upcoming Mothers Day, this is my list of some of the things my mother used to repeatedly say to us children growing up. She is probably rolling in her grave right now with that twinkle in her eye. Happy Mothers Day mom! I sure miss you!

  • Always do your best because you never know who is watching: You’re always an example to somebody out there and they are always looking at the things that you say and do. Make sure that you are always choosing the right.

My mother was Jicarilla Apache. She knew a few words in her own language and used to always say two sayings to us children as we walked out the door. Please don’t quote me on the spelling or meaning. I asked some family members for help with these words and this is the closest to the spelling I could get (I think it’s even the pronunciation, not the spelling).

  • Njhoo-nondah: “Go in a good way”, meaning to behave ourselves. 
  • Njhoo nah eel loo: “Drive with care”


  • Mind your P’s and Q’s: The non native way to say behave ourselves.
  • Remember who you are: You are a child of God and my child. Please make us proud in all that you say and do.
  • Cool Beaners: Ha ha. I loved this one. She was so cute when she said it, and yet sometimes I rolled my eyes because I thought it was so “uncool”. But now I catch myself wanting to say it and missing it.
  • It’s not the action in the wrists, but the action in the hips: Mom made the best tortillas and fry bread ever and was always asked by people to teach  how to make them. This was her favorite saying when making bread. She’d tell the ladies, “especially when a man is around, don’t forget the action in the hips, and she’d wiggle hers from side to side.
  • A little Birdie told me: Somehow she always new what us kids did, but she’d never reveal her sources.
  • Do as I say, not as I do: I think every mother can relate to saying this all the time. “Learn from my mistakes and don’t do them please.”
  • If it were a snake it would have bitten you: Another relatable saying for when our children, or husband, can’t find anything and we as mothers have to find it exactly where we told them it would be.
  • Because I said so that’s why: I realize now that she just didn’t have a good answer. Or in my case in answering my toddlers many”why’s”, she said it to just make us stop talking for a moment.
  • It takes a village to raise a child: My mother always took children in, and kinda “adopted” our friends. Our home was always full of other kids and she was happy to help “raise” each and every one. No one ever left our home hungry or unhappy. She also spent her summers as a child on her reservation where almost everyone is family, so it was almost literally “a village” helping raise a child.
  • Kill em with kindness: When I’d ask for advice on how to deal with other kids that didn’t like me, she said kindness goes a long way, and that the other kids would be upset for us being nice to them, but wouldn’t have a good excuse to be mean.
  • Freckles are angel kisses: I didn’t like my freckles growing up and this always made me feel good.
  • Pick up your feet: I drug my feet all the time and she’d always say this in a long drawn out way. One of my favorite stories is when we were walking on the side walk and I tripped. She said this to me. Then not 10 minutes later she tripped and I got the satisfaction to say it back. She let me have that one without me getting in trouble.
  • Don’t make me come in there: Every mothers saying when her children are rough housing in the other room.
  • I don’t care who started it, I’ll finish it.: Self explanatory.
  • Where is your mother!: This was said in a jokingly way, especially to one of my older brothers, when he was being “a boy” with saying or doing something that may be rude. For example, flicking food across the table at someone for a food fight. My mother would say this then join in on the fun.

And my ultimate favorite:


My mother always made sure that she told us kids every day that she loved us. We felt that love as well. My mother  stayed at home with us children and supported us in all that we did.  There wasn’t a single school activity I was in that I do not remember seeing her at. She taught me love and respect and how to be a good mother myself by her example. My mother also had a wonderful relationship with my father. My siblings and I were very fortunate to witness such love between two people and this example has led to all of us children having wonderful partners in our own lives. Thank you mom and dad!

I love you mom!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all you mothers out there! Love your children, hold them close, and teach them well. Your children will remember the treasured memories you make with them even when you’re not there.





2 thoughts on “Remembered Sayings of a Mother

  1. Very nicely done Melody, your tribute brought back a lot of fond memories of your mother. Somewhere in the back of my mind I still hear her voice or see her inflections. Mostly I hear the extended pause, see the hands on her hips in the brief moment before she would let out a long sigh, followed by an emphatic statement that put matters to rest for all involved. Nothing about her stood out more than the pride you could see on her face for all of you. So many people spend their lives searching for something they never find. Through good times and bad, your Mom never waivered. She had the family she wanted, the life she wanted and a group of adventurers, who had exactly the right Mom. Her spirit lives on in all of you and her exceptionally strong will was powerful enough to last the rest of your lives and on into the lives of her grandchildren. She and I and your Dad travelled many of the same rocky trails in life and I look back with fondness on every moment. Live your life as your mother did and you will do well. Love the life you have, that’s what she did better than any of us.

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