Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

What We Like About Jo.

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Dear Mom,

Do you remember that one day that I needed cheering up and you were ready for the task?  Fine, it wasn’t one day, it’s basically been everyday that anything has ever bothered me my entire life, even the very trivial things.  You always know what to say.  So here I am today wearing my best “cheer up” face and armed with a few of the best weapons ever – stories and comments from the people who love you most in life, your family. 

Mom, here are just a few of the things we love about you, a tiny dose of our favorite memories with you, and things you do that make us smile.

From Lynn: You’re the only person I know whose dogs have a Sunday School class.

From Dad: The summer after we were married in 1972, we lived in the JcPenney mansion in Westport, Connecticut and later a pre-revolutionary cabin.  Jo’s beauty then is only surpassed by her beauty now.  One night during that summer, Jo made spaghetti, and we had my assistant, Pat Yahner (aka Wizard) over for dinner, who arrived slightly drunk.  He liked the food so much, he licked his plate clean.  This was the beginning of Jo’s progression as a gourmet cook.  That same summer I went to New York City, and Jo and Danny Davis went with me.  Danny, aka Goo-Goo, had been my roommate the year before.  He randomly walked up to people on the street “How are y’all doing?  I’m from Texas.”  People from there thought he was crazy.

From Jave:  I have fond memories of Jo’s ability to catch squirrels in her yard. Also she is an excellent cook and makes great Turkey soup after Thanksgiving.

From Carol: When I was just out of graduate school, Zoomie, Dad, Jo and I took a fabulous trip to Hong Kong and Bangkok.  Jo and I shared a room and I remember we were so jet lagged that we would wake up at three or four in the morning and chat because we couldn’t sleep.  I remember going on the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon, lots of shopping and eating pizza at the Shakeys in Hong Kong THREE times.  I remember being on a hot, crowded, car jammed street in Bangkok while Zoomie was looking a shoes being sold on the sidewalk, when around the corner came a guy riding an elephant trailed by a baby elephant holding onto his mama’s tail!  That trip is one of my favorite experiences that Jo and I have shared.

From me: You’re so creative, mom, and you made my childhood so unique and sparkley.  One of my favorite childhood possessions was the jean jacket and matching jean skirt that you glitter-painted, sequined, and rhinestoned within an inch of its life.  It was glimmer-y perfection.  Do you remember how I wore that jacket, emblazoned with sequined state-of-Texas, cactus, and cowboy paraphernalia decals all over Italy?  I wish I still had that coat.  In many ways, it was like a slice of you – perfectly unique and sparkled like a jewel.

From Erin: I cannot pick one favorite memory of Mom. There is a lifetime of memories integrated into my soul. So if I had to narrow it down, I cannot escape memories of being in bed with her watching television. Enter Dad, who says without fail, “Will you girls ever be too old to get in bed with your Mom?” The answer is clear – we will obviously never be too old to get in bed with Mom! We love you, Mom, and our prayers are with you.

From Tom: Jola sends the best puzzle books! I also like watching television with her. I really like my birthday parties at her house.

From Christi: Jo welcomed me to the family with open arms. She took me out to lunch every week after bible study and made my transition to Amarillo a lot smoother by always being supportive and generous. I admire her ability to make beautiful things and most of all, her dedication to family and faith. We are truly blessed to have her as an aunt.

From me: We all have our happy places.  One of my most soothing childhood memories is laying my head in your lap during church and you would rub my head.  I try to replicate this maneuver with Avery, and she always says “stop messing up my hair, mom.”

From Jerrod: Jamie is a great woman and a great mom to our two precious girls because of Jo. Whether it’s giving Jamie advice or merely setting an example, Jo has helped guide Jamie into the person she is today… loving, confident, intelligent, and fun-loving. When Jamie has had a long or tough day, she is always better after she’s talked to Jo. Their bond is special and unique and irreplaceable.

From Jennifer: I absolutely loved a glass jar that Jo had decorated with beads and gold-leafing.  I inquired as to how she made it, received instructions & attempted to make own.  My project didn’t turn out nearly as artistic as hers.  The next time I was at the Mozola’s, I asked Jo if she had any advice on how to improve my failed project to look more like hers.  She politely opened a cabinet where she had another bejeweled jar stored, and said, “Why don’t you just have this one?”  To this day, I love the beautiful glass jar she gave me, and have never successfully replicated one of my own.  (A note from me, I love this story because it is so very mom.  It seems like she has craft project dripping from her pores.)

From Sloan: My fun memory is several years back just before your mother renovated the PDC place.  Everyone was over for Sunday lunch, and as everyone is eating lunch, we seem to realize that we are not alone and take notice of the baby raccoons that happen to be living in the fireplace of the living room as we dine.  She had so much fun watching the dogs curiously creeping over to the fireplace screen only to retreat again while barking bloody murder.  Jennifer’s mother happened to show up late (in typical Smithee fashion) and almost had a panic attack knowing that there were critters eating among us – but not Zoomie, granddad and the Mozola family – everything proceeded as usual.

From me: Mom, I love it that 99% of the time you have a piece of glitter on your nose.  This won’t make sense to many people, but to those who know you best, it makes perfect sense.

From Avery Jane: My favorite thing to do with Jola is read books with her, and I like it when she takes me to the park.  I love Jola more than anyone.

From Claire: Pa-pa (pat, pat).  Smack (her kissy noise).  Hi-ya.

Mom, these are such happy, light-hearted memories, and I know you need a dose of happy and light-hearted right now.  I was talking to Zoomie recently and reminiscing about all the good memories we have together, and she said “and we have so many more good times ahead of us.”  I think that is the best message of them all.  We love you.


Your Family


Written by tortsandtots

September 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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