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Memories of Mom

Memories of Mom

Every year, we celebrate and honor our moms on the second Sunday in May. This year, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12. Did you know? Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Each year, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Catching up with mom by phone causes phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent (source).

Whether you spend this year’s Mother Day celebrating your mom, her memory or another great mom in your life, we invite you to enjoy these memories and reflections on just a few of the moms (and mothers-in-law) who live in our community.

Wanda Grosser 

Wanda as a mother:

“Growing up, she was a stay-at-home mom. She was always a real caring, giving, hands-on person. It was just a very good home life growing up. We had a lot of fun. And she kept house like nobody’s business. She was one of those people where if the repair man was going to come work on the washer or dryer, they always looked brand new. She would clean it out and clean behind it so it looked nice and neat for the repairman.” – Lori Rhoden, daughter

Wanda as a mother-in-law:

“Wanda is a gentle, very kind lady. She welcomed my kids and me into the family with open arms and heart! I remember she laughed very easily and had a way of making everyone feel special. She raised a wonderful, loving son who I’m lucky to have been married to for almost 30 years now.” – Susan Grosser, daughter-in-law

Memories of mom:

“She and dad would host bridge club and they’d always have bridge mix (chocolate covered nuts and raisins) all set up on card tables in the living room and everything had to be just so. We’d host Christmas, Thanksgiving or both. Dad liked to cook, so he’d help out in the kitchen too. But mom was the one who picked out all the table decorations and this and that and everything – dad was boss, but she was bossy. She took care of day to day, ruling the roost and kept things afloat.” - Lori

“Mom liked to surprise dad a lot. For his 40th birthday, she made a birthday cake and had me dress up a Barbie doll dressed up like a dancer by gluing tiny beads on it) to jump out of the cake. She was always doing something special.” - Lori

What I love most about mom:

“Probably that she was my biggest fan. I write poetry and she always loved my poetry and thought I was really creative. When my great aunt died, she wanted me to write something for the funeral. And she’s had me write poems for birthdays in the family. For special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays) I’ve written poems for mom and dad. I know that means a lot to them.” - Lori

What I did/didn’t inherit from mom:

“I’m not the housekeeper my mother was. I gave up trying a long time ago. But often, my husband says, ‘That’s your mom. You’re acting like your mom.’ He says that about my dad, too, so I’m 50/50.” - Lori

Jan Miller

Jan as a mother:

“Mom was the family planner and very traditional in her role as mother. Holiday traditions and family get-togethers were extremely important to her. She was a stay-at-home mom, kept our home organized and running smoothly, and always made sure my brother and I knew she loved us. She and my dad have been married for 73 years and still make a very good team!” – Susan Grosser, daughter

Mother’s Day memories:

“When I was little, I remember mom and I always wore a carnation corsage to church on Mother’s Day. I think the tradition was to wear a colored corsage if your mother was still living, and a white one in remembrance of one who had passed.” – Susan 

What I love most about mom:

“My mom has a very strong sense of family and always wants to be sure everyone is happy. Her faith is extremely important to her as well; even though we moved around a lot during my growing up years, finding a church home in a new town was one of the first things she and dad did for our family.” – Susan

What I did/didn’t inherit from mom:

“My mom was an avid bridge player and golfer and played both for many years. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit either of those talents! She tried to teach me to play bridge one time and it didn’t go well.” – Susan

Mom’s life at Presbyterian Manor:

“Having both sets of our parents living in Presbyterian Manor is somewhat unusual I suppose, but the care and attention they all receive in each level of care is reassuring to our family. My mom is in memory care, my dad (John Miller) in assisted living, my father-in-law (Bill Grosser) in independent living, and my mother-in-law (Wanda Grosser) in health care. Thank you to the Presbyterian Manor staff – you are all very important to us!” – Susan

Gladys Chaput

Gladys as a mother:

“My mom was and still is a simple, humble and kind person. Never drawing attention to herself but rather the family she loves. Devoted to my dad for 66 years of marriage and a proud mom to five boys and one daughter (myself). She took on her role as a responsible mom helping my dad raise six children on a budget. An immaculate home, home cooked meals every night and loved us unconditionally. She sacrificed for all of us. This quote by Tenneva Jordan reminds me of my mom: ‘A mother is a person who seeing only four pieces of pie for five people promptly announces she never did care for pie.’ She would rather make you happy than to take it for herself.” – Susie Adams, Gladys’ daughter 

“Gladys has been a good Mother-in-law to all of us. Gladys is a mother to six children (five sons and one daughter), 16 grandchildren and currently 32 great grandchildren. She is kind, compassionate, caring and happy-go-lucky. She is a woman of great faith.” – Kerry (Veltman) Chaput, daughter-in-law 

Mother’s Day memories:

“Mother’s Day was pretty standard with cards, gifts and flowers but as the years evolved and I married and moved out of state, I was not able to be with my mom every Mother’s Day. Our time together was limited. A year ago, dad and mom moved to Presbyterian Manor. Such a welcoming place to spend your aging years. Since I am not able to spend time with my mom, I decided to continue our mother/daughter time with a simple phone call to her at least every day. As a mom myself, I treasure any moment I can talk to my kids. So, the journey began to call her every day and make her still feel special. It’s good to share conversation and let her think she's still the one ‘in charge.’ Ha! Always ending our calls with an ‘I love you.’" - Susie

What mom taught me about motherhood:

“Her example of strong faith and family and all the sacrifices she made for us growing up make me understand what an important job being a mom is. Family came first for my mom. And now I watch as my daughter, Alyson, remains close to her grandma (Gladys) by calling her as often as she can too.” - Susie

What I love most about mom:

“I love that my mom devoted her life to my dad and family. They will be celebrating 67 years of marriage in August 2020. That's impressive in these times. I love that she has been passionate about her Catholic faith. It had to of been a struggle raising six kids so close in age and she worked extremely hard providing for us. And I love that she can still tell me that she loves me, and I can love her back. I get it now Mom … raising kids was most challenging but being a mom is the most rewarding job I've ever had.” - Susie 

What I did/didn’t inherit from mom: “Most importantly, I think I follow in her footsteps that family, faith and friends make life a happy place.” – Susie

Mom’s life at Presbyterian Manor:

“Mom was a stay-at-home mom most of her life. After some time in food service at the Catholic School she chose a job at Salina Presbyterian Manor as a housekeeper. She was commended for 27 years of service as a housekeeper, CNA and house sitter for the elderly at Presbyterian Manor. Now that comes full circle, as she provided for the Manor then and they provide for her now!” - Susie

Jodi Veltman 

Jodi as a mother:

“My mom (Jody) along with Gladys (my mother-in-law) were stay-at-home moms. Mom with one, and Gladys with six. They never questioned the role. They knew they had children to raise, and who else was better qualified then themselves. They were the glue that held down the fort! Mom also had the added duties of taking care of the finances for the family business. It was hard work, and there were days I'm sure they thought that there were better things going on outside their four walls. But I know both of them would not have changed a thing. They were teaching their kids the simple ways of life. Riding our bikes, making clothesline tents, laying in the grass watching the clouds, picnics in the backyard with bologna on white bread and iced tea in quart mayo jars, spending hours ‘trying’ to repair worn out lawn mowers, basketball in the driveway and Red Rover! The list could go on and on. The Chaput kids and I, Kerry Veltman Chaput, are very thankful to our mothers who gave us such great memories. We lived in a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ era. Such a different time than today." – Kerry (Veltman) Chaput, Jodi’s daughter and Gladys’ daughter-in-law

Mother’s Day memories:

“As I recall, Mother’s Day was like a typical Sunday of that time, usually a big Sunday dinner. Mom’s mother was a widow from a young age, so many of our Sundays were spent going to Salina (we lived in Abilene) to spend the day with her. As a child, I'm sure I gifted her with special homemade items made from school. I do remember her all-time favorite Mother’s Day card on which I wrote: ‘If Mothers were flowers - I would pick you.’” – Kerry 

What mom taught me about motherhood:

“If you get in trouble - be honest about it the first time around. Don't Lie! Always make your bed. Always say please and thank you. Don't make fun of anyone.” - Kerry

What I love most about mom:

“She's kind, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, selfless. She is always worried and concerned about the welfare of others. She was a very doting mom. Being an only child allowed her to give me more individual attention. I wasn't necessarily spoiled with material things, but I know I was spoiled with her love and time. One of her biggest accomplishments in life was becoming a Grandma!” – Kerry

What I did/didn’t inherit from mom:

“Most of my genes come from my Dad’s side. My mom is quiet and refined, small in stature. Although I didn't get my physical attributes from her, I probably did get her compassionate, caring side. Mom always thought she would have four boys, but instead she was blessed with me! I always joked that God knew ‘one of me’ would be enough!” – Kerry

Mom’s life at Presbyterian Manor:

“We live just a couple blocks away, so we visit quite often. We jokingly call it our ‘one stop shopping.’ We get to see both sets of parents all under the same roof!” – Kerry

About the Veltmans and Chaputs:

Ken and Jodi Veltman and Dean and Gladys Chaput have been friends for 40 years – ever since their children Kerry Veltman and Mike Chaput married. The Chaputs moved to Presbyterian Manor in February 2018 and the Veltmans moved in six months later in August.


PHOTOS: From the top down, Lori Rhoden with her parents (and residents) Bill and Wanda Grosser; Gladys Chaput with her daughter Susie Adams; four generations with Gladys Chaput with Susie Adams (daughter), Alyson Burkeybile (granddaughter) and Ainsley Burkeybile (great granddaughter); friends for 40 years: Residents Gladys Chaput (left) and Jodi Veltman (right); Kerry (Veltman) Chaput with her mother, Jodi Veltman; Kerry (Veltman) Chaput as an infant sits with her mother, Jodi Veltman.

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