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Local women remember mom's advice

May 12, 2007|By PEPPER BALLARD

Kristen Shriver waited until she had her mother alone at Sheetz before approaching her with wedding thoughts.

Shriver, who is Suzann Grimm's only child and best friend, said she was nervous about asking her mother whether she should marry her best male friend. From her daughter's actions, Grimm said she was worried Shriver was going to tell her she got a tattoo.

A marriage, three children and no tattoos later, Shriver said she has gained a better understanding of the work, worries and hopes that go into holding the title of mom.

"I find myself now saying things she said to me and understanding why she said them," said Shriver, 32, who was feeding her 8-week-old daughter, Delainey, at Grimm's home in Falling Waters, W.Va. Shriver's red-headed daughters, 4-year-old Olivia and 6-year-old Aeris, were playing nearby.

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Shriver talks to Grimm every day, and Grimm talks to her mother, Dot Foster, every day. The family said their values, which are cemented in God and family, have kept them close-knit and headache-free.

"Patience and love - that does it all," said Foster, 84, who raised four children, including Grimm, who also has a stepson.

"She still gives me a lot of advice, but I've got a lot of patience," Suzann Grimm said with a laugh. Foster smiled.

Best advice

"It doesn't really matter what your problem is, mom's advice always seems best," said Sara Pushkal, who said she hasn't given much advice yet to her own child, 3 1/2-year-old Tyler. "I just hope I can do the same for my kids when they get older."

Her mom, Sherri Paxon, lives in North Dakota, but Pushkal talks to her just about every other day - her son is potty training and she needs a regular dose of her mother's guidance. Paxon also gives Pushkal good advice on her career.

"She's just always seemed to be the smartest person I knew," said Pushkal, 28, who was taking a lunch break with Tyler at City Park on a recent afternoon. "I don't know how one person's mom could be the smartest person they know because my mom always seemed like the smartest person."

Health expert

As a dietitian at Reeders Memorial Home, Joan Starliper has to dish out her share of health admonitions, but when Starliper is ready for advice, she takes it from her 100-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Mullan, who is a resident at the home.

"Granny was full of advice. She's still the boss," Starliper said of her father's mother.

Although Starliper credits her parents, Ray and Pat Bartley, for developing her disposition, she credits her grandmother for influencing her career.

"She probably inspired me to be a dietitian - eat everything in moderation, keep your weight the same ..." Starliper said, quoting her grandmother's advice. She said her grandmother could have written dietary guidelines.

Her grandmother even carried her healthy habits over to her cat, Hunter, whom she fed green beans and cottage cheese for a shiny coat. Hunter is 11 years old and is living with Starliper.

Staying close

Laura "Kate" Gossard said she had no problems raising her three daughters, one of whom has moved closer to her in the past few years.

Gossard, 96, and her daughter, Janice Gray, 76, both live independently at Homewood at Williamsport.

"Did I give you any advice?" Gossard asked Gray while the two sat together in Gossard's apartment.

"When we were getting married, you said you made your bed and now you gotta stay in it," Gray recalled.

"I don't think I said that," Gossard said.

Gray recalled sledding, roller skating and riding bikes with her sisters and mother growing up in Halfway. Now, the pair cleans together on Thursdays and occasionally goes shopping together, sometimes with Gossard's other daughters.

"We try to do so much for her, and she just wants to be independent," Gray said.

"There will be a day when they'll have to help me, I guess," Gossard said.

Helping mom

Hillary Price raised her three children while her family lived above the former Washington County jail on Jonathan Street.

During that time, her late husband, Charles Price, was Washington County sheriff. Hillary Price acted as matron to the juveniles and women housed at the jail while taking care of her children, who stayed inside the apartment most of the time. She taught them to "always tell the truth" and "be nice to people," Price said.

In 1974, after her children were all grown and out of the apartment and Charles Price was up for re-election, he killed himself.

Hillary Price, 79, said her children, who are in their 50s now, all came home and supported her.

"They really helped me," she said. "My husband and I were close. I never went anyplace without him."

Let them make mistakes

As Gaby Schultz pushed her 3 1/2-year-old daughter on a swing at City Park, her mother, Sarah Hauver, looked on from a nearby bench swing - keeping her distance, but smiling as she watched the pair chat.

Schultz, 38, said her mother would step back and let her make her own mistakes while she was growing up, and she tries to let her daughter, Anala, do some exploring on her own, too.

Her mother, Schultz said, "definitely validated my point of view and my thoughts and made me feel important."

Hauver, 63, said her main advice to her children was, "Just general consideration of other people. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay safe and remember your family is the most important thing you've got."

Schultz said she has applied all of those values while raising Anala. She understands and appreciates them more as a mom.

Hauver said that when she was young, she didn't have the influence of her grandparents, who all had died. Her father died when she was young and her mother died when she was 25.

"You have to teach your children to learn to rely on something else," Hauver said, adding that you never know when times will change.

"Everything I taught my children that they felt was worthwhile, I think they will probably pass along," Hauver said.

When Anala was asked what advice her mother has given her, she said, "I have to listen."

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