At the end, their children remembered them with a lifetime’s worth of love.
“Best Mom Ever.” How many times have you seen those words emblazoned across a picture frame or a T-shirt or a holiday ornament?
It’s such a simple piece of praise—and yet it says so very much. Think about it: Each one of those words is powerful all by itself. “Best”—that means in the whole world, there’s none more impressive. “Mom”—well, every single one of us who walks this earth has a mother who gave us life. “Ever”—that’s the entirety of all history, a timeframe so vast that we can barely even conceive it.
So when someone calls their mother the best mom ever, what they’re saying is: “You know what? There have been 100 billion people born to mothers in the whole span of human existence, and out of all of them, my mom is the greatest example of motherhood who has ever graced the surface of this planet.”
What kind of mom inspires such utter love, devotion and respect in her kids? As it turns out, a mother’s obituary—where her adult children have the final chance to express their perspective on what their mom was like—might just be the best place to answer that question.
A search through Legacy’s historic archive of death notices turned up quite a few obituaries that described their subjects as the “best mom ever.” Here’s a sampling of what those lives looked like.
“She stepped out of the working world to be the best mom ever,” one 2018 obituary from California reads. “She opened the door to all the neighborhood kids and provided a safe place that many called home. Her genuine love for people impacted everyone she met for the better. Mom lived life on her terms—full of love, compassion and service, yet with time for adventure. She fished in Africa, danced in Red Square, watched the Passion Plays in Oberammergau and embraced many new family members in the Philippines… A long-time member of Cupertino de Oro, Mom thoroughly enjoyed sharing a cup of coffee and a laugh with many of ‘her ladies.’”
Then there’s this recent portrait of an Ohio mother: “She was working at the Woolworth Store in downtown Beckley when she met and fell in love with the handsome and charming Darrel. They started their life together in West Virginia, and then moved to Ohio, where Darrel taught school and Arvada stayed at home to raise her five children… Arvada truly loved life and she also loved a good meal, a good book, a good vacation, and a good party. Arvada was not only the best mom ever but also was a devoted grandparent and great-grandparent, always present at ball games, track meets, swim meets, dance recitals, graduations and weddings. She was sweet and funny and kind and feisty and held an opinion on everything from politics to doctoring to fashion to the Reds pitching staff to all matters of child-rearing. She brought a smile and sparkle into the lives of all who knew her and we will miss her forever.”
One New Jersey mom inspired her family with her drive to accomplish good work: “She was a member of the Brookside Fire Company Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Mendham Junior Women’s Club, the Mendham Business Association, the Minutemen Sports Club, and was a Girl Scout leader. To her family, she was ‘The Best Mom Ever.’”
And it’s hard to imagine a more smile-sparking remembrance than this recent one from Washington state: “She was the best mom ever. She worried about us constantly and kept us from killing ourselves and each other. She bragged about us to perfect strangers and encouraged us in everything we did, even into adulthood. She loved to sew and made us school clothes every year. Sometimes she had to sew them twice, like the time Carol climbed the picket fence to visit the next door neighbor and tore the back of the skirt off her beautiful yellow dress right before church on Easter morning.”