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Remembering my mother

Recently, my newspaper had a company picnic. It was nice but there was a moment there in which I had to pause. There was watermelon slices there. I haven’t touched watermelon since my mom died in 2010. She loved watermelons. She could eat them morning, noon and night. Whenever I visited her, I always brought her a watermelon. Each summer, it has been hard passing a produce stand and seeing watermelons. Usually I have the urge to stop and buy her one. I like watermelon but not enough to buy a whole one.

So on Sunday, I had a slice in her memory. I miss her. There are so many times I reached for the phone to talk to her about my day or to make a comment about a show or song she would like.
I have simple tribute to my mom that happens five days a week--my  newspaper byline. Professionally, I am known as Jacqueline Hough. Friends call me Jackie.

My mom loved the name Jacqueline. She admired Jacqueline Kennedy for her style and grace. She taught her daughter would have that. I did but long after I became an adult. Growing up, my mom was very stylish. Even in shorts and t-shirt she had style. Any mom who is stylish wants a stylish daughter. I was a tomboy. I could tell it bothered her that I loved cut off shorts.
As a teen, my mom required my hair be done by at a salon every week so I would look “decent.” She tried to teach me about makeup but it didn’t stick.

The teen years weren’t kind. We fought like cats and dogs about tons of stuff. By college, we kept conversation to 30 minute intervals so we wouldn’t fought.
I would come to visit my grandmother and my mother would look at my plaid shirts and combat books with a shake of the head.

But my 30s, I started to love fashion and creating outfits. I embraced dresses, skirts, cute sweaters and heels. I am glad she got to see this along with us becoming closer.

But I digress--back to the byline. She loved the name and so I use it every day. My first byline didn’t have Jacqueline, it had Jackie. She was proud but asked why I didn’t use Jacqueline. My answer was I am Jackie. Her reply was Jacqueline is beautiful and more professional for a reporter. It took a few years but eventually, it was Jacqueline. It made her happy to pick up a newspaper and see the name. Sometimes you gotta keep mom happy.

I can’t imagine JJ becoming a reporter. But if he does, I am cool with whatever he picks. I mean the kid picked his own nickname--JJ. Plus, a byline with James Edward Hough III would drive some poor design editor crazy. But I don’t think I will have to worry about this. What JJ wants to be when he grows up changes every few days. This week, he wants to be an inventor. Last week, it was to be a new and improved Spiderman.
Whatever he wants to be, I will be proud.


1. The Nifty Thrify Booksale at the local library. Found some deals.

2. Waking up well rested!

3. Turkey Chili


  1. Honoring her memory with watermelon is just perfect. It's those little things that keep her memory alive. I don't know how I would handle if if I were your shoes but I can only imagine how difficult it must be.


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