Thanks, Mom

Happy_Mothers_Day_wishes_greetings_wallpapers_celebration_love( you had a lovely Mother’s Day. If you’re not from the U.S., here in the States we celebrated mothers everywhere on May 10. I don’t have children of my own. Can’t have any. Nieces, nephews, and other people’s kids have become mine over the years. So when someone tells me, “Happy Mother’s Day,” I say, “Thanks,” and keep on swimming.

I’m grateful that I have a wonderful mother, one who even goes the extra mile by reading my blog posts! I gave Mom a hard time growing up. She wanted the best for me. I didn’t always see it that way—like when she would tell me that the guy I dated was not right for me. Grrr. She was always right. Also, she never stopped pushing me to do my best. I called it nagging; she called it “helping me succeed.”

Apr May 2011 - seed bombs, connor wedding, blue wht wed, mothers 052

Mom has an uncanny sense of knowing when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing. Like in my freshman year of college when I took codeine pills for pain that unfortunately gave me insomnia for three days. Mom called me at 7:30 one morning to ask, “Okay, what did you take?” This is the same woman who once told me she had eyes at the back of her head. When I was a kid, I believed her. But that day, she told me she’d had a dream about me, which prompted her to call.

She has prayed for me every day of my life. Judging by some of the stupid situations that I survived (like running out into the street without looking and getting hit by a car), I needed the help. Remember Natalee Holloway? What a sad story. A friend and I faced a slightly similar situation during a vacation we took in Montego Bay, Jamaica, right after we graduated from college. (Natalee was a high school student who traveled to Aruba.) While at a party, we each met a guy and wound up separated from each other on different sides of the city. That’s a long story that I won’t fully tell here. (Sorry.) Obviously, this story ended differently than Natalee’s. When I heard what happened to Natalee back in 2005, I felt chilled to the bone, knowing that the same thing could have happened to me. (This is not a story any mom likes to hear.)

Mother’s Day reminds me to say thanks to all of the women who were surrogate moms to me—women who cared enough to reprimand me whenever I behaved in an idiotic fashion (which, growing up, happened a lot). In a day when some parents yell at you for reprimanding their kids—“Yeah, he broke that window. But you can’t tell my kid what to do”—I’m grateful that someone cared enough to tell me when I was wrong. Teachers, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers, advisors, and authors through their wonderful books—fabulous surrogates all. It really does take a village to raise a child.


On Mother’s Day, after we ate a meal that my brother and his father-in-law helped prepare, two of my sisters-in-law, their mom, and I sat two teenage nieces down and asked them what they would do if they found themselves in difficult situations. For example, “If you’re at a party and your friend has been drinking and wants to drive, what will you do?” Perhaps our questions might have prompted some eye rolling (like I used to do when I was a teen and my mom, grandmother, and aunts talked to me about life). But maybe, just maybe, we might save them from a bad situation (like some of the ones I went through). That’s all a mom can hope to do.

Thanks, again, Mom. I’m grateful to God for you.

Mother’s Day image from Flowers from Village sign from

39 thoughts on “Thanks, Mom

  1. Beautiful tribute to your mother and all of the mother’s who seem to have eyes in the back of their head. My mother always seemed to know when I was up to no good. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day, L. Marie! xo

    • Thanks, Lyn. It’s funny how something doesn’t hit you until later, when you see the sad results of someone in a similar situation.
      I hope you had a great Mother’s Day.

  2. Excellent post. Some people tend to forget how many ‘parents’ they end up having. Those of friends who end up keeping an eye on you, neighbors, etc. Some days the terms Mother and Father are a lot more inclusive than we realize.

  3. A lovely tribute to your mom and a reminder that we are all role models to young women and young men. “Call if you are in trouble, no questions asked” was a mantra in our girls’ teen years, and their friends often picked up on it. There were several times a call came “Mrs. O, (or Mr. O) can you come get me” and we would. “Are you going to tell my mom?” “No. My job was to get you when you needed help”.

    • Thanks, Penny. That’s what we told the girls too. “Even if you sneak out and run into trouble, please–just call. Someone will come and get you.” I’m hoping the message was received.

  4. Lovely tribute! Yes, it’s a shame about the attitude that adults should steer clear of other people’s children – like you, when I was growing up, everyone in the neighbourhood took a kind of collective responsibility for all the kids.

    • That’s how it was for me too. 🙂 Now we’re all so splintered. A seven-year-old in Sunday school told me, “I don’t have to listen to you” when I told him to stop pestering the other kids. His parents backed him up. I hope for his sake I won’t someday see this kid telling the police or some other authority figure, “I don’t have to listen to you.”

  5. Well-written piece, Linda. And all of those surrogate moms, such as yourself, deserve a Happy Mother’s Day just as much. Kids need moms that aren’t “their moms,” who they may feel they can be more open with.

    • Thanks, Phillip! I had a great Mother’s Day! Hope your wife did too.
      When I ran to the store today, I saw how quickly the Father’s Day cards were going up. ;-D Gotta love retail.

  6. It’s great when “kids” (of any age) remember the good things mom (and dad) did for them while they were growing up.

    Reliable parents are wonderful allies. Love that your mom knew to call and check up on you.

  7. Thanks for your post celebrating all moms, L. Marie. Your mom sounds a lot like mine! When I get annoyed with her “help” (even though I’m in my 50s) I remember someone telling me that nobody will ever love me the way my mother does. So true.

    • And thank you for stopping by. I agree with you. And as my parents have always told me, I will always be a child to them, no matter how old I am. 🙂

  8. First of all. who can forget Natalee Holloway?! So horrible! It sounds like you had a scary situation in Jamaica.

    On a brighter note, we all have “wisdom” and experience to pass down. Even if eyes are rolling, ears are still listening! 🙂

    • It was. I’m truly grateful I lived to tell the story.
      I do hope the girls were listening. And if they were, maybe their friends will listen to them.

  9. It sounds like you had just the right mom for you. I agree with you about all the surrogate mothers most children benefit from–aunts, teachers, neighbors, grandmas …

    • Very true, Nicki. We all need the help of surrogate moms. I like seeing different generations interacting. We need to regain more of a sense of community.

  10. I am sure you are a great mom to all those children you are close to and love! Boy do I have horror stories of risks I took when I was younger, not unlike your and Natalie’s story. Mine occurred in Cancun and how I came out of there alive is truly miraculous! We really do give our moms plenty to worry about. Now that I am one, I can totally understand a mother’s love and concern. 🙂

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