Through and through the struggles of the family, she is intent on keeping them together and instilling values - every Sunday she would take her husband and children on a picnic after church. When Gerry went to juvenile hall in 1986, she ritualistically still set a place for him at the table, until her husband was drunk and angry and threw the plate against the wall.
She is well aware of her sons' criminal activities and also believes that her late husband is "in hell". Patrick seemingly dislikes being under his mother's wing at times, but is really loving towards her, and cares about her deeply. At the end of the Revenge storyline, Patrick comforts her after Kate's murder, and mentions to Niko that he is all she has left.