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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 6 - A Tribute to Mothers/Famous Mothers/Mom's Proverbs & Sayings

1 May 2005

Issue 6                                                        By Katherine Kiang                                               May 1, 2005


 A Tribute to Mothers

May 8, 2005 is Mother's Day in N. America.

How often do we think about a mother's "job description"?  Probably not until you have become a mother.  This month’s KaTsZoNe is all about mothers with tidbits about my own mom.

To all your mothers, and to you, who are mothers:  Have a very happy, healthy and amazing Mother's Day!!!

Famous Mothers

Mothers may be biological, adoptive or have stereotypical characteristics of a mother.  We may have learned much from them, or have been amused or inspired by them. 

On Dec. 15, 2000, I was scurrying around still trying to find a nice set of dark clothes to wear to my dad’s funeral the next day.  I was completely frustrated.  Finally, I came upon a clothing store which I had never been to before.  It was literally my last stop – I ran out of other options.  I was approached by a very kind, friendly saleslady, who turned out to be the owner of the store.  She asked if she could help me.  I told her I was looking for a nice black outfit.  She smiled and asked if I was shopping for a party.  No, for my father’s funeral the next day, I replied.  She seemed shocked, and immediately gave me a genuine hug and said, she was sorry.  In about an hour, I was all set, and was happy not only with my selection of clothes, but, with how this lady made me feel.  She was not supposed to be in that store that day – she normally travelled between Montreal and Toronto and was supposed to be preparing to go to Montreal.  I have dropped by that store from time to time over the past four and a half years since then and have never seen her again.  To me, on that December day in 2000, she was my fairy godmother.  I still cannot believe that I was upset about not finding the “right” clothes to wear to my father’s funeral.  I suppose, just one last time, I was hoping my dad would approve and be delighted with my appearance, in his honour.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but, I just know God provided.  And now, I do believe in fairy godmothers!!!


Adam was wandering around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, when he heard a loud voice ask him, "What is wrong with you?"

Adam said he didn't have anyone to talk to, and he was feeling very lonely.

Then the loud voice said he was going to give him a companion and it would be a woman. The voice continued, saying; "this person will cook for you and wash your clothes, she will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you've had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and compassion whenever needed."

Adam thought that sounded great, so he asked, "What would a woman like this cost me??"

The voice answered, "an arm and a leg."

Adam thought about that for a moment. He thought that would be a pretty high price to pay, so he then asked, "What can I get for just a rib???"

The rest is history . . .  

**  In the Judeo-Christian Bible, Eve was the first woman and mother of the human race.  The name “Eve” is Hebrew, meaning living or life-giver (which could be extended to mean “mother”).  In the Book of Genesis, it is written that God created Eve from the rib of Adam (the first man and father of the human race).  The above joke is based on the Biblical account.  

Mother Goose

I love Mother Goose rhymes!  I have several favourites, including “Baa baa black sheep”, “Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?”, “Sing a song of sixpence”, “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold.”  Well, there are so many.  I’m sure you all have your own favourites too!

So, who was Mother Goose? 

The first known mention of “Mother Goose” was in 1660 in Jean Loret’s La Muse Historique: comme un conte de la Mere Oye (“Like a Mother Goose Story”).  Charles Perrault’s French collection of fairy tales written in 1697, Contes de ma mèere l’oye (“My mother the goose”), is the French equivalent of old wives’ tales.  In 1765, John Newbery’s Mother Goose’s Melody switches focus from fairy tales to nursery rhymes.  Not all nursery rhymes credited to “Mother Goose” originated in 15th to 17th centuries – several were added afterwards.

A popular story in the U.S. is that an Elizabeth Foster, who later married Isaac Goose, wrote rhymes to read to her children and grandchildren.  She has been credited for inspiring the Mother Goose image or publishing a collection of rhymes in 1719, however, that supposed collection of rhymes has never been found.  Since the term “Mother Goose” predates the existence of Elizabeth Goose, scholars dismiss credit given to her as the inspiration of Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

Although entertaining for youngsters, as an adult, I think it is even more interesting to discover the historical/social events or statements behind the rhymes.  My friend, Vicky, mentioned a book she recalled seeing at her aunt’s years ago about the history behind those nursery rhymes, and she hopes to find that book one day.




Mother Teresa

She was born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in the town of Uskub, Kosovo (now Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia), of Albanian descent.  I knew of Mother Teresa’s ministry in Calcutta, to those whom she calls, "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."  I became more acquainted with Mother Teresa’s wisdom through reading one of her books several years ago and I ended up giving that book to a few friends.  I do that when I love the writing and I am totally inspired to pieces.  Yes, her book truly moved me.  Her words were simply written and deeply profound. 

On Nov. 15, 1997, I had a dream about a schoolbus full of kids and a nun who resembled Mother Teresa.  I stepped out of the bus and asked the other children to go to the bus because “Mother” was calling them.

Either just before or after seeing the schoolbus, a man mentioned to me that there was a bridge to cross, in order to get to the mainland, but it’s not a long bridge since you can even swim across.  I don’t remember if I saw the bridge in my dream.  I may have been close to crossing it just before I woke up. By the way, Mother Teresa died on
Sept. 5, 1997.

Although I did not hear this particular news, when I told my mom about my dream a couple days later, she told me she recalled hearing about a tragic accident, probably in New Delhi, India, involving mostly children (between age 8 and 14) which occurred at a bridge (mom’s not sure if the bridge collapsed or something else occurred).  Apparently, mom said about half of the passengers in the overloaded bus were killed and the others were injured.  I was not able to find written news to confirm the details.

You may or may not know that I keep a dream diary, which is how I recreated the above details.  I do not write down every dream, just some interesting and memorable ones.  I also include follow-up notes after the dream details, as sometimes, dreams may mean something to me.  I don’t know what the above dream meant, and do not think I am a psychic even though I often have interesting, vivid dreams.  Perhaps, I had been reading about Mother Teresa since she passed away, and had a sense that she was indeed, like a mother, who would care for those in need –  like those near death. 

One of my friends (Tori) suggested that I do a regular piece in KaTsZoNe about my “Subway Visions”.  These “visions” are about as creative as my dreams.  Now THAT would probably freak out you readers and Tori may be the only reader left.  Without going into details about those “Subway Visions” for now, let’s just say that Tori may end up helping me with a movie manuscript, the TTC could earn some money with the publicity from the movie, laser eye surgery may decrease (if readers and others become afraid of eerie “visions”), and I may be headed for…..uh….psychotherapy, at best.  My only dilemma is:  Which gorgeous actress would play me in the movie? 



My Mom’s Version of Proverbs and Sayings…

If at first you don’t succeed…..try, try and try making that cheesecake or casserole again, for the third day in a row.

A penny saved is …a penny to be added to 49 other pennies to be wrapped.

(Also applies to nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies and toonies.  In fact, mom helped me wrap enough coins to get me on a flight to Nashville and back!)

No news ….means the t.v. or radio must be broken.

If you can’t stand the heat….go to the air-conditioned mall!!!

A woman is 25% natural beauty, 75% make-up.
(Grandma came up with this.)

Learn another person’s language, rather than have him/her learn yours. 
(Grandma came up with this too!  She communicated with Malays, Indians, Chinese. Mom can speak 4 Chinese dialects and English.  I speak 2 Chinese dialects, English and have enjoyed singing in several languages including English, French, Italian, Hebrew, Chinese (Mandarin), Tagalog and Gaelic. Ok, Gaelic is not that enjoyable – it’s too tough for me.)

Here’s To Your Health!

A friend’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the good news is, she's doing fine now, after surgery.  I'd like all of us to have good news like that.  My friend wanted me to remind all women to have regular examinations.

I think it's very important to do regular self-examinations, as well as make time for medical examinations.  It is best if we give doctors the best possible description of symptoms and circumstances which might have led to those symptoms.  For example, when I thought I had serious food poisoning, I told my doctor I had sushi the day before – yes, doc, I had sushi.  He smiled, said he loved sushi too, and made me get tested, just in case it could have been something more serious.   It doesn’t mean I was never to have sushi again, but, these days, I sort of stick more to avocado and other vegetarian sushi.  Just have to do what’s best for me.  Please do what’s best for you!

Other thoughts about health.  I used to wear Nikes.  I LOVED my Nikes!  Air Nikes especially.  You know Nike’s slogan.  Well, I think I just did too much.  My feet could not wear Nikes anymore.  So, I had to re-discover something better for me.

I re-discovered “new balance”!  Oh, I LOVE my “new balance” now – not just because I’ve discovered Sportchek and Foot Locker outlet stores at Dixie Outlet Mall where the price of “new balance” shoes are 50% to 90% off!  Yes, I had to throw in some shopping info.  So, health is not just about pushing yourself, doing everything under the sun – it’s about BALANCE.  I’m still learning.

Moms, you do so much for your kids.  You seem to have Nikes on 24/7.  We love you, but, I hope you can also find balance…..finally.  Just want you to have good health for the rest of your lives!

“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”

Hippocrates Regimen in Health
Greek physician (460 BC - 377 BC)

A Special Edition of KaTsZoNe!

How many of you can’t wait till summer???

(My sandals are ready to go!)

I’m going to have a “Pre-summer Special Edition” of KaTsZoNe which will be out by April 15, 2005.  Focus will be on restaurants/food, summer events, and stuff I hope to do and perhaps, you can join me too!