The Neon Fish

by Sherry Riter in Family,Mom

neon fish

Today I saw this fish tank. It had quite a few neon fish…not as many as we had, but a lot nonetheless. I was sitting in a restaurant and the tank was right against our table. As I watched them swim around, I was catapulted back to that little apartment with Mom, Audrey and me. We didn’t have much in terms of possessions or money, but we had lots of love. Mom made our apartment sparkle and shine all the time. Mom made sure we never “felt” poor even when we were so poor.

I know as she worked 3 jobs in order to keep a roof over our head and food on our table that she got tired, felt scared, and didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Dad lived high on the hog and made her life difficult at every turn, but she kept on teaching us to love him anyway. She could have done the complete opposite. I also know that by the time he died, Mom had long since forgiven him for everything…so much so that she visited him at his home and on his deathbed. I admire Mom’s heart and the way she forgives people.

Mom had so many things against her and even her own parents didn’t help. I remember when we ran into them at the Sears store which was less than a mile from our apartment. They had no intention of coming to see us. They treated Mom differently and even back then I knew they did. I remember the shock and pain on her face when she realized that they had driven 2 1/2 hours to get to the store and were not even going to bother seeing us. As much as I loved and still love them, I lost something for them that day. Even with the way they treated Mom, when they needed her to help take care of them when they had fallen ill at the end of their life by helping her sister, Barbara, Mom quit her job and for two years devoted her time to helping them. Mom could have turned her back on them they way they did her, but she didn’t. I admire the way Mom honored her parents and loved her sister enough to help.

So with the little neon fish tonight I had a reminder of Mom’s unselfishness and undying love. I want to publicly tell you, Mom, that I admire you. You have been a FANTASTIC mother and a wonderful grandmother to Brittany and Alyssa. Yes, you made mistakes, but who hasn’t? Besides, all the good you have done far out shines any mistake you made.

We may not always show you how much we love you and for that I’m sorry. But today I want to tell you that I love you so very much and I’m so grateful for you. I am thankful for how hard you worked to support me and Audrey because you could have been a much different mother. You gave us ALL you had and the best of you. Thank you Mom for being the best mother. I love you.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 peter petterson May 22, 2016 at 4:40 am

So very sad. But you have obviously overcome your beginnings. I have, decades ago.


2 Joan May 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Your mother is not only physically beautiful on the outside, she is equally as beautiful on the inside where it really counts! She has a giving heart and is a loving mother and grandmother. How else could she have turned out such a phenomenally fantastic daughter as you, (who just happens to be physically beautiful on the outside and equally as beautiful on the inside where it really counts)!

A profoundly moving post, Sherry. In fact, it was so moving that I had to say to myself, “Hey, wait a moment, is today Mother’s Day or Teresa’s birthday?” I had to think for a second to realize it was neither. It was just a loving daughter expressing her love and gratitude for her mother. As my own loving, deceased mother used to say, “Everyday is Mother’s Day as long as I’m alive.” 🙂


3 Katherines Corner July 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

I miss you xoxoxo


4 Peacherino November 13, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Tears welled up while reading your words about your Mom. I pretended that my children were writing
about me with those very words. Alas, that will never happen. I occasionally wish I had told them the truth about their father. I was the bad guy, he was the hero. I did the discipline, while he had his secret life. I kept him out of jail, removed my kids from his perversion, supported them with three jobs while he refused to pay child support or custody with his new wife. He never sent any gifts nor ever contacted us again but we made it through life of 18 years without him. At 86, I am working on forgiving while holding the secrets closeted within my heart. I shall likely take those secrets to the grave with a smile or a smirk on my face…….either one will be fitting.


5 Sherry Riter March 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I’m sorry you were so hurt. {{{hugsss}}}


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