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Today's Family Magazine

MOMMY CHRONICLES: Moms and other heroes

By Stacy Turner

Everyone has a mom, and although moms are important every day, May is the month we specifically set aside to honor them.  Whether you celebrate with flowers or a macaroni necklace, a fancy brunch or a handmade card, as a mom, I agree wholeheartedly with this holiday.  But, I think we need to take this holiday a bit further.  I think we shouldn’t just include the person who physically gave birth to us, or the one who adopted us, or the one who has stepped up to raise us.

I think Mother’s Day should be expanded to encompass any other woman who has taken on the challenge of helping nurture and guide us.  Special ones like moms of older kids who offered sage advice when we were newbies, or the stranger who helped diffuse a toddler’s tantrum in the grocery store.  And the kindly, surrogate grandma who soothed our colicky babies in the church nursery.  Let’s give a shout out to those women who help shoulder our burdens as we try to raise kind, intelligent and, hopefully, productive little human beings without losing grasp on our sanity.

Some may have stepped in for a brief time in order to see us through a crisis or a difficult season, like the neighbor who stepped in during an unexpected health crisis to pick up our children, or visit us in the hospital, or deliver a meal to our family.  Or they may be some of our closest allies –– mom-friends who simply became friends as a result of years spent together sharing laughter and tears, commiserating the pitfalls of carpools, school drama, and dress code violations handily solving problems together in our little corner of the world.  These are the women that have your back, no matter what.

We learn by their example, in the good that they do in the world, like one who delivers Christmas each year to women and kids spending the holiday in a shelter, having fled from abuse.  Or the one who speaks out to raise awareness of stalking, sharing how a former boyfriend took her sister’s life.  Or the one who honors her daughter’s memory with scholarships to help others achieve the dreams her daughter wasn’t able to achieve.

Sometimes we learn by their example what not to do, too, just as they learn from our screwups, be it a blow up with a husband, a parenting fail, or even a bad haircut.  Some may have left us far too soon, but in their absence we feel their presence in the legacy they’ve left behind in our traditions and family celebrations.  In any case, their time helped to shape us, encouraging us to grow, learn, find solutions, and they have enriched our lives.

I recently read a quote that explained how to identify strong women.  “They are the ones you see building each other up instead of tearing each other down.”  My goal is to be that kind of strong woman for those around me.  I hope to reach out to the women who have impacted my life to let them know what they mean to me.  And I challenge you, strong momma, to do the same. Happy Mother’s Day!

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