Mother’s Day Celebrations
Today is the day we make an outward show of appreciation to someone who, in many cases, is the heart of our respective families. Whether we are who we are because of or in spite of her, our mothers shape our lives in so many ways.
I’ve searched, through the years and for many different reasons, for quotes or sayings about moms. Here’s one of my favorites:
“Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” ~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul
While this is, in my opinion, very true… I’ve also found that this is just as true:
“Mothers are all slightly insane.” – J.D. Salinger
My mother was often a woman of extremes. She created magically, supported tirelessly, believed whole-heartedly and loved fiercely. If it was worth her time to do, she did it completely. I miss her desperately.
In honor of my mother, and mothers everywhere who inspire, encourage, and strengthen us, I asked some of our favorite authors to share a few thoughts about their moms.
My mother has a checkered health past – polio twice, tumors, heart trouble, cancer, and severe osteoporosis. The woman does not give in or give up. We have a family joke that mom will get hit by a bus; the bus is totaled but mom is fine. Her example of perseverance has taught me determination and persistence, and damn the odds.
My Mom has always been my superhero. She was only 17 when I was born, but she happily gave up her adolescence to face adulthood without any bitterness. When she was 26 her marriage to my Dad ended, and yet, she did her best to be sure my life didn’t change. We got to stay in the same house, same school, etc. At the time, I had no idea how tumultuous her life must’ve been. She kept me shielded from it as much as possible.
When she turned 30, cancer struck. I was only 12 and terrified I might lose the most important person in my life. My Mom assured me she wasn’t going anywhere and fought for her life with more strength and courage than I could ever imagine. After a two-time struggle, she beat cancer for good and showed me how to be a great Mom to my own children.
She taught me to always keep moving forward, and reach for my dreams. I also learned that life is precious and we never know how long we’ve got so make every day count.
I love you Mom!
In honor of Mother’s Day, I reflect upon the gifts my mother gave me as mere seedlings decades ago.
Ours was not a wealthy family. I grew up in the Detroit suburbs when the auto crisis was at its height. We got by, but there was never much discretionary money. When I was sixteen, my father died following an extended illness; this event pitched us into an economic tailspin.
It doesn’t seem like the sort of set-up to discuss gifts, but I know now that I’m stronger for having known adversity and learning from my mother’s adaptations.
I have often described my mom as a can-do individual. She knitted our sweaters, sewed our clothes—including award-winning Halloween costumes—reupholstered the threadbare couch, painted and wallpapered rooms, built boulder-containing rock gardens, and found a way to get us from one paycheck to the next. She was both creative and hardworking.
These scrappy traits have served me well. A store-bought prom dress was not a possibility, but I could sew, and I remember being more than satisfied with my creation. And I’ve stitched together more than one set of slipcovers for my own couch. (This handiwork still covers the basement sofa and my boys are more than happy to have it as part of their lower-level kingdom.) When I wanted a large piece of artwork for my son’s beach-themed room and couldn’t afford one, I painted it—without ever having painted anything in my life. It’s no Picasso, but it covered the wall.
At age forty, after a health scare, I made a determination to become a writer. I know that my mother’s gift of a positive attitude and self-reliance was influential in this decision. Why couldn’t I write a novel?
On this Mother’s Day, I thank my mom, Elaine Peck, for the example she set so many years ago. Following her lead, I’ve always made goals and then put my shoulder to the task. Here’s to all the resourceful and inventive mothers out there who so cleverly weave life skills into their handiwork.
My mom has supported me through every crazy endeavor in my life. When I wanted to be a veterinarian, she was cool with it. (“Just don’t bring those animals in the house.”) When I wanted to be a herpetologist, she was cool with it. (“Look, I know you like those slimy things, but like them somewhere else. As in NOT IN THE HOUSE.”) Okay, when I wanted to be a professional gamer, she drew a line. (“Go OUTSIDE. How do you ever expect to get a boyfriend playing on the computer all day?!”) Thankfully, she loves my writing, and loves to tell everyone she knows about it, and even comes with me when I go to writer conventions! She’s my first and biggest fan, and I love her for that every single day
My mom was actually the reason I started writing. When I was a kid, I ran across a bunch of typed manuscript pages stuffed into her bottom drawer. It was the start of a fantasy novel that she’d worked on when she was first married, and she’d never finished it. I was totally fascinated by the fact that people could write their own stories! And I was so sad that she’d never finished it. I always think of my mom and that novel when I write, and she is the first person I send my books to. My mom is a wonderful inspiration. 🙂
Since I write paranormal romance, I thought I’d share an example of a strange mental connection that my mom and I have sometimes.
When I was in college, I had a realistic dream one night in which my dad came up to school and met me as I walked to class. Stepping from the bushes, he said that he had some bad news. My mom had died. I cried and cried and eventually woke myself up. Although it was only 5am, I was so upset that I had to talk to her, to make sure it really was just a dream. She answered the phone and assured me she was fine. The next time I went home to visit, she shared what had happened at work the night I called–she hadn’t wanted to tell me at the time because she didn’t want to freak me out more. At the nursing home where she worked as a night nurse, an employee’s ex-boyfriend came in demanding the girlfriend’s address. He was angry and scary and Mom knew he’d been abusive to his ex-girlfriend. When my mom refused to give it to him, he threatened her, said he would find where my mom lived and kill her. Terrified, my mom was somehow able to call the police. Fortunately, nothing more became of it. She had just gotten home when I called. We figured I must’ve sensed her distress 150 miles away and it manifested itself in my dream.
Happy (paranormal) Mother’s Day!
My mom has always been the quiet strength in our family, the prayer warrior, the peace keeper, the backbone. I am blessed to have her not only as my mom but as my friend.
I love hearing people’s thoughts about their moms. I hope you all have a lovely day, today. Share love and a smile with your mom if you’re able, remember her with love and a smile if you’re not, and accept love and smiles from those around you if you are a mom. Then remember to do it all over again tomorrow, and the next day… and the next day… (you get the idea.)
Thank you, to all the authors above who shared thoughts and memories of their moms. Here’s a little peek of me an my mom 🙂