Shamokin PA

Pearls of wisdom: On Mother’s Day, readers share the best advice passed down to them



It can go in one ear and out the other, but there is much value in what sticks.

Advice passed down through generations many times holds basic life lessons relevant in any era. It can be sentimental, quippy or savage in tone, but applied to life experiences in a number of ways.

In a time when technology is nearly impossible to keep up with, many find themselves helping the older generation with smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like. 

Frustration at their lack of ability to keep up should be humbled, especially when it comes to mothers; remember, she’s the one who taught you how to eat with a spoon. 

But mothers have taught us so much more. 

The world doesn’t listen as much as it used to, but sage advice still exists in the hearts of those who came before us.

This Mother’s Day, we asked readers and fellow News-Item employees for the best advice the matriarchs of their families ever gave them.

Mothers know best

Lydia Sacavage: My mom always told me beauty must suffer. She told me this for the first time when I couldn’t fit in my first communion shoes from France. Ha! She also said I don’t need a man, I need technical support.

Chelsie Rae: My grandmother taught me family first and never say sorry for who you are. Also many other things like my fashion sense, love of makeup and hair, how to cook, bake. She also showed me what it was like to be a loyal, dedicated wife.

Anne Spieles Bartol: My mom always said be fiscally and socially independent and never need a man. She also always said don’t worry about money…you’re smart you’ll figure it out…worrying is a waste of time and happiness.

Carol Delorso Tressler: My mother always told me you can tell what type of a housekeeper the woman is by how the curtains look on the windows and her wash on the line. Old school I guess.

Jess Gavin: My grandmother’s sage advice: “Life is too short to cook or clean for yourself.” She’d also say, “If you like it, buy it. Better to have it and not use it then to not get it and regret it.” As you might be able to tell, Gram didn’t struggle with money problems. She was one of those Depression-era children who left poverty behind and went to the opposite extreme rather than being frugal.

Tara Venna: My Mother always told me, “Keep smiling and don’t allow someone’s opinion of you to change who you really are.” My Grandmother would say, “ Never go to bed feeling angry and things will always feel better in the morning.”

Mark Gilger (News-Item staff reporter)Here’s the sage advice my mom gave me: “Listen to your parents, teachers and coaches, and respect everyone, especially your elders. Try to be friendly with everyone. Go to church every week and make God and your parish important parts of your life. Stay out of trouble and away from drugs and be as generous as you can.”

Nick Merena: My mom used to say, that her grandmother used to say, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you what you are”

Jane Graham: My mother told me never get a checking account with a boyfriend, that bodybuilding is unattractive and you want a daughter that’s smart, not beautiful 

Jolene Retallack: My mom always told me that happiness was an inside job; don’t rely on others for your own happiness.

• Ann Jones (News-Item advertising): The best mom advice I ever received was actually from my sister. She told me, “Pick your battles, the small ones are not worth the fight.”

MaryAnn Fisher Wasakoski: My gram always said, “It’s better to wear out than rust out!”

Derek Bro: “Never play cards with a man named after a city.”

Kelly Ozlanski: My grandmother tried to teach me how to drink like a true Irishman. It didn’t work out. My first St. Patty’s Day being 21 her and my aunt took me out to a bar in Philly. My gram bought me shot for shot beer for beer. Well, let’s just say I am not made for whiskey and beer like she was. So I got drunk and she left me there. But she did tell me to drink bitters for a hangover.

Peggy Feese Adams: Vote the person, not the party.

Jenna Wasakoski (News-Item assistant editor): My mom always said that the key to a lasting relationship is to keep each other laughing (currently signing up for My grandmother taught me gratitude for the little things, but my favorite thing she told me was, “You can eat whatever you want on Sundays; that’s God’s day and calories don’t count.”

Ashley May: My mam would always say, “See ya, Tuesday,” no matter what day it was. My mom would always tell me to be myself, embrace change, set goals, achieve your goals and never, ever settle for anything less than the best! Boy, do I miss hearing their advice. Laughter and Mother’s Day is not the same when you lose your mom and grandmothers. Cherish your mothers not only on Mother’s Day, but every day!

Charlene Wallace: Don’t marry that bum.

Mandy Brzostowski Fantini: To always be yourself and don’t let anyone change you to what they want. Love yourself and all your flaws … embrace them.

• Glenn “Omar” Knarr Sr. (News-Item circulation): My Momma and Gram told me daze da devils! But really! To get respect you have to earn respect. You receive what you give; always help someone. Someday you may need some help, too. Kindness is free and does not cost anything to give, but can be worth more than money while starting a new life to the person you have just given it to.

Karen E. Schwartz: Never argue with me or your mother.

Amy Miller: My mother always told me to, “Never, ever, lie, cheat or steal.”

Joe Humes (News-Item assistant editor): The best piece of advice … hmm … let me see: “Pay the troops well and they will follow you.” Oh, wait, that wasn’t my parents, that was the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Actually, my mother tried to instill in me the importance of money. I was stupid; I didn’t listen. I could tell you what my dad said, but it wouldn’t look good in the paper.

Joe Leschinskie: My mother and grandmother were very hard workers in their lifetimes. They instilled in me as a youth that everything in life is earned, not given. The harder you work, the more successful you will be in life.

Lisa K. Barger: My grandmother always said, “As women, we will need to forgive the men in our lives.” She said that we’re just stronger emotionally and sometimes men do stupid things.

Andy Heintzelman (News-Item editor): My mom always said, “remember to stop and smell the roses.” My dad was the primary target of this advice relative to his fast pace during decades of hiking, but it stuck with me as well. My mom is gone eight-plus years now, but here’s to all of us stopping to smell the roses today — especially if you can still do so with your mother.

Natalie Tamkus: My mom and grandmother’s famous words were, “They’re just jealous.” That may or may not be true, but it taught me to be myself no matter what, and to recognize that chances are the real problem is with the person giving me trouble and not me. I never got to meet my paternal grandmother, for whom I’m named, but my dad told me when he was little, he was scared to have his tonsils out and she said, “A coward dies a thousand deaths.” Now he shares those words with my son when he is nervous about something ❤

Colleen Castetter Feaster: My mom always said, NEVER point the finger at someone else because there ares always three fingers more pointing back at you! Also, don’t worry until there is something to worry about, and, I don’t care who or what you are, everyone has some good in them. Treat everyone with respect and kindness; you have no idea what someone else is going through.

Marilee Klock: My mother, Lorraine Shingara Marcheski, taught me to always find the silver lining in everything. Even on the darkest days, there is always something or someone to be thankful for. Positivity breeds positivity! She is the best mom ever, and as an adult, the best friend too! ❤Mary Hilbush Hollingshead: My mom always said to never make a promise you couldn’t keep, especially to your children. Another biggie was you have to crawl before you can walk.

Lori Kozar Mostik: When my mom was putting curlers in my hair, she would tell me, “Sometimes you have to suffer to be beautiful.” She also told me when I got married to never go to bed mad.

Tina Edmondson Katalinas: My mom taught me that, in life, your friends come and go but it’s your siblings who you will have for life. Stay close and keep in touch.

Diane Baskin Krebs: My mother taught me to always be myself no matter what other people are doing. I have learned to listen to the beat of my own drum.

Sandy Delorso: My Mom said always look up to people, never down. Mom will be gone 45 years this month and I will always remember that.

Andrea Martz: My grandmother told me to eat dessert first. Anytime she took us kids out to eat she ordered her dessert first. She said when you get to be her age, why wait for the best last when you can enjoy your dessert now? After all, life is too short, now have some fun. She was a very feisty lady and it always stuck with me.

Megan de Manincor: My grandmother told me to, “Always march to the beat of your own drum and don’t be like everyone else.” My mom always taught us to be kind to everyone, that you never know what others are going through, and to “try everything.”

These are pearls of wisdom will be cherished for generations. Happy Mother’s Day to all.