You knew her as “Mom”

Written by Michael Badnarik

Elaine Margarite Gima was born on March 15th, 1934.
On August 29th, 1953, she married a skinny little soldier and became Elaine Badnarik.
For most of her life, almost everyone knew her as Mom.

It is easy for me to imagine why my father was attracted to her. She was absolutely vivacious. Easily the life of the party. Her smile would light up the room, and she gave each person her individual attention. She loved everyone, especially her children. Especially at Christmas. She loved getting us wound up because “Santa Claus is coming!” We were never bad children, but we were on our best behavior for two months even before we had finished our halloween candy. Birthdays were also important to her, requiring a custom baked cake depicting your favorite hobby, and crowds of aunts and uncles to make you feel special. She would have organized a ticker-tape parade if she had thought of it. She was the “glue” that held our family together.

Growing up, I didn’t know we were poor. Mom needed a new pair of shoes, but by the time Dad’s paycheck was done paying the bills, there was nothing left. He would always promise her that “next month” she could get new shoes. I have no idea how they managed to feed three growing boys. Mom said we ate like locusts. She would cook all morning, but fifteen minutes after we got home from school there was nothing left. I was sixteen before I learned what left-overs were. Mom was an excellent cook! All of our friends from school would hang out in our back yard until the last possible moment, hoping for an invitation to dinner. Whenever I returned to college after a visit home, my friends would trail me back to my dorm like hyenas, knowing that Mom always sent me back with a huge “care package” of goodies.

Her greatest satisfaction in life was being a mom. She made Harriet Nelson, June Cleaver, and Donna Reed look downright negligent by comparison. For several years I acted as caregiver for my parents, and we often went out for dinner. As we walked through the restaurant, small children in highchairs would twist in their seats to stare at my mother, who was typically oblivious of the attention. My father would ask, “What are you DOING to these children?!” She had the most nurturing personality of any woman I’ve ever met.

When my brothers and I left home, she suffered an empty nest syndrome that temporarily immobilized her. We encouraged her to get an office job that she didn’t think she was qualified for. However, being an obvious over-achiever, she was quickly hired as the executive secretary to the manager of a local steel refinery. Finally, Mom and Dad had money to spend, so Mom bought herself a powder-blue car so she could drive to the office in style. She told me more than once that the picture of her along side that car was her absolute favorite.

Her favorite hobby, more like an obsession, was geneology. She spent hours collecting data on our ancestors, and she was very proud of our Slovak heritage. After taking a short vacation to Slovakia, she came home and made a traditional Slovak blouse that she wore when she gave lectures on Slovak customs.

I was lucky enough to have my parents attend the convention in Atlanta when I was nominated for president. Mom was immediately recruited to run for Lieutenant Governor in Indiana, which she did. Based on our research, she and I were the first Mother/Son combination on the same ballot. She was hesitant to debate politics with candidates who had more impressive credentials, but she was always the audience favorite after each presentation. Of course, she had to buy new clothes so she looked good on the campaign trail. A fact that caused my father to give me the “evil eye” until the election was over.

My brothers and I couldn’t have had better parents if we were able to pick them from the world population. Mom and Dad shared what could only be described as a “storybook romance”, literally until death tore them apart. When my brothers and I, and our significant others, joined them for dinner to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, they were flirting so blatantly with each other that I said, “Dad! Get a room!”. I was joking, of course, but rarely do children have such a great example of what a relationship can look like.

My mother passed away on April 29th, 2015, just a few weeks after her 81st birthday.
She was a unique phenomenon that can never be replaced.

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  1. Brent Johnson

    I never knew your mom, but your description of her reminds me a lot of my mom. The photos on your site… she looks lovely and energetic and vivacious (like you wrote). We were both fortunate and blessed to have the parents we had, and neither of us had them long enough.

  2. Dee Ann

    We have been friends for nearly twenty years, I love you and your stories…especially the ones that start with “My Mom…” only a truly good man holds his Mom in such high esteem. I wish I’d known her personally, I will settle for knowing her through your stories! Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Michael’s Mom!!!

    • Richard Forsythe

      I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of your dear mother and I look forward to reading all of your memories about her tomorrow. I’m sure the mother of someone with the quality of your character would have to be amazing and the world is surely a sadder place consequently.

    • Liz Abbott

      Wow what a vivacious, beautiful, intelligent woman and loving, devoted wife and Mom ! Thank you for this lovely tribute to her, Michael ! Oh my goodness … these photos ! And yes especially the one with her car ! I can see what you mean by her smile that lit up the room, & her nurturing Presence ! How lucky you were to have her as your wonderful Mom ! I too, had the best parents I could ever have wished for. They are with me every day still, and I miss them dearly, after they passed on in the early and mid 1990s. Truly The Greatest Generation. How blessed we are!

  3. Kay Bailey

    What a beautiful woman and a wonderful tribute!

  4. Janell Goodwin (TruthBeSpoken)

    This was a joy to find today. I literally had the tears streaming. Michael I found you on Marty Leeds 33 YT Channel a cpl days ago and I’m so glad I did. I am approx. 4 hours into the 6 plus hour video that he presents of your ‘Constitution Complete Class’. It’s just perfect and I am also going to present it on my wee lil’ chann too… If I could send it out to every soul in this country I would!

    He is a great teacher, ( in my heart I know he speaks pure Truth), as are you and he has created a small little booklet titled, “The Unanimous Redeclaration Of We The People ~ Affidavit Of Status”. He sells the booklet version for $7.77 and I have my own copy, but he also put it on his website as a Free digital version that anyone can retrieve and make their own copies to spread around to folks. I have printed that too and have already did
    some mailouts to people around the country. I plan to buy more hard copies to use as gifts also.
    There could not be a better gift to give ESPECIALLY in the wake of this historical scam being pushed on us.
    Thanks for all you do! link here if you want to check him out: ~ wonderful site.
    His YT chann has just about been totally taken down but he has a few videos left,
    here is one I am referencing:
    ENJOY and Good day to you!!

    t be a better gift to give to anyone-ever!

    Maybe this sounds selfish but I’m glad they didn’t get to ruin your life by allowing you to actually win the office you wanted. They aren’t who they claim to be, I know who and what they are, and you would have been torn apart by their evil garbage. We need you and those like you here at ground level for and near “We The People”!
    Tahnk you for making my day and I will be reading through your articles everyday


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