Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Been There Voices: Becky Ripley - One thing my mother said to me

Here’s  Mom, me, and my sister—prepping for a family holiday meal.

The one thing my mother said most often was, “Here, you must be hungry.” The older she got, the more she wanted to feed us from the moment we walked in the door until we left a week later. Before dementia, Mom was an exceptional cook and baker. Food was her language of love. Lots of love.  

A few years ago, I was on an early morning coaching call in my parents’ home office. Mom tiptoed in with a plate of fruit and banana bread and a cup of tea, stage whispering, “I thought you might be hungry.” So dear, albeit so distracting.


I shared the following food story during the eulogy I delivered at my mother’s funeral. “I happened to be home for a visit when iconic basketball coach Bobby Knight arrived, hoping to recruit my much younger brother Rod to play for Indiana. Knight got to the house about 8 in the morning as scheduled — just as Mom was pulling a pan of homemade sweet rolls out of the oven. I think Bobby fell a little in love with Mom that day; her warm welcome and delicious baked goods made such an impression that he sent her Indiana sports attire long after Rod declined his offer to be a Hoosier.”


All of my friends and family would agree that I didn’t fall far from the feeding tree. I, too, speak the language of love via bodily sustenance. No one has ever left our house hungry.


I regularly express gratitude to my dear mother for my culinary talents, my efficiency, her unconditional love, and so much more. Rest in peace, Mom, and thank you.

** Becky RipleyColumbia, MD, lover of life and card making

Click here for more about Becky and other Been There Voices  


Been There Voices is about us, our lives, our successes and failures, our joys and sorrows, our lessons and our gradual, hard-won wisdom. We have survived and thrived throughout whatever has come our way.

The reasons are arbitrary and not intended to dismiss half of our population, however, this project focuses on the stories of women, and begins with fourteen women, well-polished grains of sand on the beach of life, tumbled by the waves of time until their light shines through, offering their stories, joys and sorrows, to the ocean of wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. The description of your mother tiptoeing in with a plate of nourishment as you worked brought tears to my eyes. Food for the nourishment of the body and the soul. She did both. Beautiful. Susan Larson