I will always be their mom, she will always be mine

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My mother is an amazing woman. As a single mother, she raised three children providing my older brother, younger sister and me with everything we needed to become decent adults, able to contribute something worthwhile to society. She taught us basic goodness and compassion. She pulled herself out of the depths of domestic violence early in her life to become a woman of courage and strength that we know as mom. She taught us that violence is never the answer and gave us permission to speak up, without the fear of retribution, anytime we felt the need.

She took on the role of mother for my eldest daughter when I was deployed. She had just retired from her career and now was “working” (as a mom) again.

She was a long-time caregiver to her husband of 40 years before his passing on Thanksgiving Day in 2013. They were a very active couple—going to dinner, dancing, camping, cruising and getting together with friends to play chair volleyball. For the last five years of his life, she cared for him and slowly gave up traveling, camping and going out with friends. She still took him everywhere she went. He could no longer walk well on his own but she could not leave him alone for fear that he may try to come find her and either fall or get lost. It was as if she had become his mother, taking on that nurturing role once again.

Having been a mother myself for 35 years, and about to be an empty-nester for the first time, I understand the patience it takes to be a mom. I know that being a mom can be so tough sometimes that you just want to throw in the towel, but I also know the overwhelming feeling of love that fills a mom’s heart the first time she holds her newborn. When my first was born, I vowed to follow my mom’s example to always love my kids, even on those occasions when I didn’t like them very much. I’ve held true to that vow and I thank mom for instilling that in me. No matter what, I’ll always be their mom and she will always be mine. I love you, mom!

I wish you all (moms and others who ‘act’ as moms) a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day!