Happy Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day can be bittersweet. Most people see Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate being a mom, which is great, but it is a little sad for those who want to be mothers and aren’t or can’t. I think Mother’s Day should be thought of more as a day for the children. A day set aside to remind children (young and old) to appreciate and celebrate the mother figures they’ve had in their lives. I have been lucky and have had several extraordinary women play a motherly role in my life.

I’ve always gotten along really well with my mom, even during those pesky teenage years. She and I are good friends, but she is still my mom, the first person I go to for advice or that comfort only a mother can give. She taught me that it was good to be smart and classy, that it was important to give your best, not to be the best. Mom has always been really understanding with my mental health issues too. She just seems to know when to encourage me and when to let me off the hook. She is also really good at listening. I’m sure some of the things I say or do really upset her, but she stays very even tempered, she doesn’t freak out and make it about her or make me feel bad about it. She just listens. I appreciate that so much, I know it’s not an easy thing to deal with.

I was very close with my Gran (my mom’s mother) when I was growing up. She basically lived around the corner. She showed me what strength was and taught me to value learning. A lot of who I am and what I’m about comes from her. To make a long story short, she’s my inspiration. Telling you about her makes my heart swell and brings tears to my eyes. I’ll explain some day. Gran has been gone for a decade now, but her memory continues to motivate me.

My aunt and Godmother is a big part of my life too. She is my mother’s sister and like my mom, she’s smart and classy. I’d say she’s been the mother to my creative side. She has played a role in all my hobbies and has encouraged me to draw, to create and to try new things. I had my first sleepover at her place, she taught me how to ride a bike and to appreciate animals and nature. She took me to Japan when I graduated from university. I will treasure the memories from that trip forever!

The most recent motherly figure to come into my life has been my supervisor. She refers to me as her academic offspring, lol. She is a social butterfly and is a great career role model. She welcomed me into the lab with open arms and has given me tremendous opportunities since I joined the field almost three years ago. She challenges me and frustrates me, but I always learn and she makes sure I know I’m appreciated. Last weekend she sent me a huge bouquet of flowers to celebrate the fellowship I was awarded. Her note said “You have worked hard and deserve the rewards. Don’t forget to celebrate!” It made my day!

Today is like Thanksgiving if you’ve ever been child. Take the time to celebrate the mother figures you’ve had in your life, whether they are here or have been gone for a while, whether they birthed you or not, make sure they know you appreciate them and what they’ve done for you.

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