A Remarkable Woman & What I Learned

Patty Toews

Patty Toews

She’s courageously traveled the world while raising a family.

She is from a small farming community in Canada and lived on a farm. Her childhood consisted of school, farm yard chores, family and friends.

When she went to Bible school, her big brown eyes stole the heart of my Dad. They fell in love, were married and my Dad took up farming in a small community. She thought she had married a farmer.

Then everything changed. They decided to become missionaries. The traveling began. A few years later, I arrived and was followed by my brother and two sisters.

We lived aboard missionary ships sailing around the world. My Mom navigated cultures, weekly discovering new places for us to play and to shop. The changes were constant as the ship sailed to a new port every few weeks and as people left and joined the ship every few months.

She created a stable and consistent home for us. No small feat on a floating vessel filled with over a hundred other people. She listened to her children and her heart broke as we struggled to regain our footing after each move. Her big brown eyes held compassion, wisdom and strength.

She taught me to be kind to myself. At night when my mind would spin, she would firmly tell me, “Dee Dee, that’s enough thinking for tonight. Go take a shower and go to bed. Everything will look better in the morning.”

She was right. I still hear her voice at night when my mind begins to spin & wander into dark corners.

She taught me to be kind to others, gently encouraging me to see the other side and to listen well. I remember her friends who deeply valued her gentle quietness and who felt heard and accepted by her. She observed and listened well.

Today my Mom lives far away. I’m in California while she and my Dad live in South Carolina. They continue to dedicate their lives and time to missions. I wish they lived closer so we could have coffee and dinner on a regular basis. I miss them.

Dear Mom, 

Happy (early) Mother’s Day.

I love you so much!

I can’t begin to describe the impact you have made on my life and how much I value you, your words, your wisdom & my relationship with you.

Thank you for raising us well. Thank you for creating safety and a home amidst all the changes.

Your Dee Dee 

13 Comments. Leave new

I remember being in a little girl in the toews household thinking how beautiful your mum is and what an amazing breakfast she would make!! It’s still vivid in my mind, what a role model mum!


That’s awesome :) Thank you Kylie! You made my Mom & me smile :0)

Ricky Feliciano
10 May 2013 2:08 pm

I was one of those young people that served on board when you was a little girl. Remembered as well as you that precious time serving the Lord together with your family. Your mom and dad were a example to us. Thanks for sharing these toughts. Bless you.


Thank you Ricky!


A good woman, weaving purple and stories with pictures, nest for the winged. Home. Beautiful.


I love how you weave words Aunt Ellen!!

Mother said: Writers share their Mothers best advice
12 May 2013 2:31 am

[...] She taught me to be kind to myself. At night when my mind would spin, she would firmly tell me, “Dee Dee, that’s enough thinking for tonight. Go take a shower and go to bed. Everything will look better in the morning. Deanne Michelle Welsh- eclecticwaters.com [...]

Alfhild Dukat
12 May 2013 10:05 am

Hello Deanne and Hello Deannes Mom ;-)
I remember a lot of visits in your kitchen in Mosbach, when we drank tea and talk together about the things of our life. Yes, your mum is a special person. She had an ear and a heart of warmness, help and prayer and I learned a lot from her. Our kids played together,… so also thanks to you, for sharing your mum. I’m sure you too will be such a special mum, if the Lord blesses you with children. You will give what you learned from her, to your own kids and so the word of the Lord is true, the blessing goes on from generation to generation.
Be blessed and be sure, you are a blessing. Alfhild from germany =)


Thank you for your kind words & encouragement Alfhild! I remember your hospitality and visiting your home as well :0) Much love to you and your family!


This was a great tribute to your mom. I loved her gentle and overwhelmingly kind heart. Learned much from her that I still cling to today … you have those same qualities. I can hear them and feel them in your writing.


I should have written “I love her gentle and kind heart.” She’s still alive!


Tina – your kind words brought happy tears to my eyes. Thank you.


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