David Bernstein MD with his wife Melissa talking about moms

A Mother’s Legacy: Nature, Nurture, and the Enduring Power of Love

Mother’s Day prompts reflection on the complex interplay between nature and nurture. As I observe my children and grandchildren, I see echoes of myself in them. Yet, where did those traits originate?

In my own life, a determined and competitive streak seems inherited from my father. However, a softer, gentler side revealed itself later, a side that undoubtedly came from my mother. Mom, a constant source of support, often played a quieter role alongside my father. Both lacked formal education beyond high school, yet each imparted invaluable wisdom in their own way.

Mom possessed a unique perspective on the world. When I craved something frivolous, she’d remind me, “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Procrastination drew a sarcastic, “There’s someone in that office waiting for your call!” Now, that voice echoes in my head whenever I delay a phone call.

Mom’s Profound Sayings

One of her most profound sayings was, “As people get older, they become more of what they were.” This rings true countless times. Near the end of her life, despite cognitive decline, Mom remained fiercely independent. In the dining room at her independent living facility, when a subpar meal arrived, she inquired, “What kind of meat is this?” The young server replied, “London Broil.” Mom’s retort, “Excuse me, young man, I know my cuts of meat, and this is not London Broil!” was a powerful lesson. While her memory faltered, her spirit and knowledge remained. These, along with her kindness and sincerity, are woven into the fabric of my being.

The Famous Soup!

My mother inherited her famous chicken soup recipe from her own mother, Grandma Rosie. Rosie, resourceful and skilled, cooked everything from scratch – gefilte fish, split pea soup, and even root beer. Every year, I recreate Rosie’s chicken soup, just as I saw Mom do. The recipe remains unwritten, guided by memory, taste, and a single kitchen mishap (bad onions!). Regardless, it earns endless compliments and recipe requests. This year, Chef Melissa and I collaborated on a blog post featuring Grandma Rosie’s Chicken Matzo Ball Soup recipe.

Whether my mother’s positive traits were instilled through nature (genetics) or nurture (environment) remains a beautiful mystery. Regardless, I’m profoundly grateful for these qualities that reside within my soul.

This Mother’s Day, I invite you to reflect. What positive traits did you acquire from your own mother? Share your thoughts!

Happy Mother’s Day! ❤️

To a Long and Healthy Life,

David Bernstein, MD

My blog content was generated by a human (David Bernstein) with the polishing aid of artificial intelligence.

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