Since I was a child, my mom always put me first. She let me have the “good” stuff, while she settled for whatever was leftover. I ate the french fries that were yummy (crispy on the outside and soft on the inside) and she ate the burnt ones. I got the latest toys and cute clothes. She had stuff that was plain and inexpensive. She gave me the first choice of seats whenever we went to a restaurant or theater. Although these were just minor things that came naturally to my mom, they meant a lot to me as a child.
My mom had never taken a vacation in her life, but she made sure that I went on youth trips, summer camps, and beach vacations with my friends. I was a priority over anything that she may have wanted for herself, including a career. She chose to work part-time on a lesser salary so that she could be there when I came home from school each day.
When I went to college, my mom would drive thirty minutes to come visit me almost every week so that we could chat and catch up in person. She would bring homemade meals to my dorm so that I could have something to eat other than the cafeteria food. She would pick up and drop off my laundry so that I wouldn’t have to scrounge for quarters and use the machines on the other side of campus.
After graduation, when I was living on my own, I ordered an elliptical that arrived in the middle of a weekday when I was at work. My mom drove over to my apartment, carried the hundred-something-pound box up the steps, and spent several hours following the instructions to put the machine together so that she could surprise me with it being ready when I arrived home. I was astonished!
My mom also liked to stop by randomly to play with Lucky (who was just a puppy then) and to clean/fix things around my apartment. Early one morning, she drove over before I woke up because she wanted to scrape the ice and snow off of my car. She did these types of things completely on her own, without being asked, simply because she liked to be helpful.
A few years later, when Barry and I were engaged and living together, we decided to go to a JM concert. In the middle of the concert, I looked down and realized that my engagement ring was no longer my finger. I panicked. My first thought was to call my mom, as I always did when I didn't know what else to do. She was already in her pajamas and in bed for the night, but she insisted on going over to our place and searching around for the ring. Around midnight, she called back to reassure me that my ring was sitting on my dresser and that I should relax and enjoy the rest of the concert!
After my mom’s cancer diagnosis, she dedicated the last few years of her life to helping me through pregnancy, caring for a newborn, and supporting me through my own cancer diagnosis and treatment. I can honestly say that we could not have managed these years without her. She stayed over many nights to help out with Ryan and she generously offered to stay up with him during the difficult “shifts” in the middle of the night so that Barry and I could get some sleep. She was there for me the entire time that I was in the hospital, providing positive thoughts, reassurance, and a much needed sense of humor. She could relate to what I was going through, and stood as a strong role model for me as both a mother and as a friend. I believe that I am exactly who I am today 100% because of her. I will always strive to be more like her.
We are spending this Mother’s Day weekend in Florida with Barry’s mom and his family. So far, we have had a wonderful and relaxing time. We even got to visit our beloved wedding venue in Key Biscayne.
I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies who are constantly putting their children's needs before their own each and every day of the year. Your actions do not go unnoticed: one day your children will look back on these days with the fondest memories of you and your generosity and selflessness.
We signed our marriage certificate on this table almost three years ago:
This is the restaurant where we had my bridal brunch the morning of the wedding:
These are the steps where we posed for pictures with our family and friends:
This Mother's Day, I am so thankful for being a mommy to the sweetest and most adorable little boy in the world:
And, of course, we had to take our annual picture at the gazebo where we said our vows at the ceremony: