Just ahead of Mother’s Day, we interviewed two Danbury mothers and their daughters (who are also mothers!). We asked them to look back on their lives together and share fond memories and lessons learned.
Mom: Helen Broady, Mentor
Daughters: Kathy Kovach, Susan Prosek, Laurie Hall
Kathy's earliest fond memories of her mom are made up of “sandwiches and soaps.” When Kathy came home from school for lunch, she would join her mom, Helen, who loved to watch soap operas as a break from cleaning. Kathy, Susan, and Laurie remember their mom loving to clean. She taught her daughters to be accepting of “what is” and to roll with the punches.
For Susan, it was the upstairs porch, a space that Helen had made cozy with carpet and a glider for sitting and swinging—a perfect spot for Susan to play with her dolls. And there were picnic lunches at the lake made up of her mom’s good Hungarian food, like chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, and goulash.
When Helen was an Avon Lady, Laurie, the youngest sister by seven years, loved to help her mom. Laurie had her own Avon bag of samples (which she loved perusing), and on occasions she went door to door with her mom. Helen went grocery shopping on Thursdays and brought home fast food for dinner those days—a big treat at that time.
Helen’s most vivid memories of spending time with her daughters when they were young are the after-school conversations she had with them. The girls were often anxious to tell her about things that had happened. She looked forward to their stories each day.
Today, Helen and her daughters enjoy gathering for dinner and a glass of wine. They often eat in the Danbury dining room, and Helen introduces them to her Danbury “family.” They also cherish the times that Helen can join them in being with their husbands (Helen loves her sons-in-law!), their children, and their grandchildren.
Helen’s daughters agree that their mom modeled much for them: be quick to forgive, laugh at yourself, take good care of your family; and keep your connections with siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Helen says her daughters are great moms and that it’s been wonderful to watch them be moms. “They are the three best daughters any mother could ask for...I feel very blessed.”
Mom: Carol Amen, Massillon
Daughter: Nancy Weller
Nancy grew up with two brothers. Her family lived happily in the country, and their grandparents were their neighbors. She says, “Mom was always there for us. She was a den mother, she took us to all our activities, and she supported us in everything we did.” Mom was around all the time.
Carol says Nancy was an easy child to raise. “I could take her anywhere, and she would behave. And she was a great little mother to her brothers.”
The best advice Carol ever gave to Nancy? “We need to stand together, good times or bad.” Nancy has seen the value of that advice: “We’ve experienced serious heartaches, and we’ve celebrated joyous occasions. Through it all, we’ve stood together and that’s been good."
Carol feels she had wonderful, caring parents. Her mother's commitment to be a stay-at-home mom shaped her future and made her want to give that same kind of upbringing to her own children. She feels blessed that she was able to do that.
The best thing about being Carol’s daughter? Nancy is quick to reply: “Being raised in a home with two parents who loved each other and who loved us.”
Today, Carol and Nancy still spend a lot of time together. They enjoy visiting, whether it’s just the two of them, or whether they are with other family members. Carol says she loves the people her daughter and son married, so she and her husband thoroughly enjoy being with their children’s families, including three grandchildren, and one great grandchild (and another on the way!). Family gatherings are special to both Carol and Nancy. They also enjoy going out to breakfast and playing Bingo together at Danbury. On occasions when they are having a particularly good time, they both are known to say, “This is as good as it gets!”
Nancy is grateful that her mom taught her to treat everyone with respect and compassion, to practice patience, and, most of all, to give love freely. She says her parents are a testament to love, having just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. “My mom...if there was a catalog, she’s the kind of mom you would order.”
Carol’s description of Nancy is short and sweet: “She’s the greatest daughter in the world.”
Do you want some extra TLC for your mom? Is moving to a senior living community the next step for her? Check out Danbury’s resort-style living by scheduling a tour at one of our locations across Ohio.