My mother, step-mother, maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, step-grandmother, and various aunts have surrounded me and influenced my life in both subtle and overt ways. They are strong women, and not-so-strong women. I have heard and seen the choices they have made in their lives and strive to learn from them. So, I wanted to give these mothers of mine a shout-out and a deeply heartfelt "Thanks!":
Thank you for teaching me to stand by my convictions, but never be afraid of admitting I'm wrong.
Thank you for raising me to be proud of being a woman, and that there is no shame in my gender.
Thank you for instilling a deep sense of justice in me, looking out for those who are less fortunate than I.
Thank you for teaching me (albeit with some difficulty) that no one can impose a sense of self-worth on me. I need to love me- others do not.
Thank you for pounding me with the lesson that I need to be comfortable in my own skin.
Thank you for encouraging my obnoxious habit of saying exactly what is on my mind without apology for expressing myself.
Thank you for encouraging my choice in higher education and future career path (and not freaking out when I applied to colleges for art, after 12 years of insisting on being a paleontologist).
Thank you for showing me that being "the nice girl" can be boring.
Thank you for being my shelter in the storm that has been my life at times.
Now for individual Thanks:
My Mom: Thank you for insisting on being my mom despite the distance. You have always been there when I needed you, no matter how far away you were. I'm glad that despite that distance, we were able to have a stable relationship through all these years.
My Step-Mom: Thank you for being Mom On The Front Lines, dealing with me when things got tough. When you initially found out about my abuse, you took it so gracefully; you didn't push or pry, you just wanted to know who. That was exactly what I needed then, as I wasn't in a place to talk about it then. Your understanding meant the world.
Oma: Thank you for being one of the few that knew how to get through to me, how to handle me, how to reign me in in my rage as a child. Your incredible patience, compassion, and love was sorely needed and missed many times over the years. You always knew exactly the right words to say and things to do to calm me.
NaNa: Thank you for taking me in when my world fell apart. Thank you for trying to be a parent all over again when my dad and I showed up on your doorstep. Despite our conflicts, I know you have always had good intentions.
GaGa: Thank you for adopting me as one of your own when my dad married your daughter. Even though I am not your flesh and blood, you have always treated me as such and done your best to include me in your family. I couldn't have asked for a more welcoming family to be brought into.
These women have had direct hands in shaping my views of the world and my life, and I owe them the world.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY - I LOVE YOU