Mom is the Word: Honoring Our Mothers and the Women Who Influenced Us

As mothers, our heart’s desire is to provide a safe place, wisdom, good health and lots of love for our family. We are the influencers of the next generation. As a history buff, when I ponder on Mother’s Day and our roles, I think of strong faithful women of the Bible.

One woman who stands out is Ruth.  She was caring, compassionate, faithful, a servant, overcame great odds, took great risks, and was rewarded by God.

Last week we ran a special post on Life’s Journey with the Women of Our Lives. We are honored to have so many men and women share about the special woman of their lives. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some of the stories shared.

Mary Simmons
Want to thank God for my mom; I would not know how to cook, clean and be a good wife if not for all the years of teaching and training. Thank you for never giving up on me, for homeschooling me all those years and being a great role model.

Sally Franz
I give thanks for three women who have influenced my life, besides my mother and grandmother who adopted me and made me feel so special in this world teaching me unconditional love.

The first was a church worker, who served at the university chapel where I got my first Master's degree in 1970. She taught me so much about the fact that we are all God's children who have gifts to share for the benefit of the world. No one is excluded, no matter their limitations.

The second one is my wonderful mentor and sponsor Patricia, who has accepted me and taught me so much about living that I had no clue. She too has accepted me without limitation and has taught me to reach beyond my boundaries to seek new horizons and reach out to others in all places to share the news of natural health and wholeness. I am grateful to God for these women being in my life.

Jay Carter
My grandmother Leona Delk had many qualities that I admired but her top 3 were her faith in Jesus, she never complained no matter how dire her circumstances, and she was giving and kind to everyone.

I never heard her ever complain. She raised 8 children and some of her grandchildren mostly on her own with very little. In the early years they were so poor the families from the poor side of town would bring them food. Yet even though she had little she would give and share what she had.  

I remember as kids there was this man we all thought was crazy who lived in the woods. My grandmother would walk a couple of miles and bring food to him and make sure he was okay even though everyone told her not too. Years later she was contacted by his family to thank her for looking after him as he had been traumatized in the Vietnam War.  She never went to church but was one of the most faithful, Christ like, people I know.

Ara Karlberg

Want to thank my Grandmother for being such an important influence in my life. She was there when others couldn't be. She instilled in me a strong work ethic (she worked by choice until she was 86), my love of reading and writing (she was a Librarian), my thirst for history and genealogy (she traced our paternal side of the family back to Whales 736AD)! She was powerful, brilliant and fair. Not a day goes by that I don't feel her presence and hear her guiding me!

Mary Ellen Fava
She's my neighbor, my friend, neither of us have our mothers anymore. She's 20 years older than me, but as young and beautiful in looks, thought and ideas. I turn to her for more than I have turned to my mother and she is always there for respect, guidance and love. I am blessed to have such a wonderful woman in my life. Wish it would last forever.

I wish her Happy mothers day more than all. Thank you Gaye, and brightest Blessings to you for eternity. She has bought more in my life than I can ever expect from one person. How lucky am I.

Debbie Twomey 
The older we get the more women have touched our lives. First and foremost is my mother. What she taught me was strength and how to persevere. The most amazing lesson was her growth as a person that mirrored mine; she matured and changed as she learned lessons in life too. 

My best friend Lorraine, who taught me that love can be unconditional and last a lifetime through the ups and downs. 
Ellen, who taught me that a kind and gentle spirit has a special place in this world and I was so lucky to have found this friendship at a time when I needed it most. The laughter we share is priceless. 

And last but never least– Mary. The lessons, the gifts, the honor and respect are immeasurable. She has given me the gift of a new direction and promise in my life and opened my life and my heart to so many possibilities that had never seemed attainable. As a mentor she has gently pushed me forward when I would have been content to stagnate and as a friend she has been a shoulder, a confidant and an equal. 
Thank you to all of these women and the many more I have been lucky enough to have had in my life.

Claudia Looi
My mother taught me servanthood and honor. While my father was dying of cancer, I saw my mother serving him to the very end. In his pain and suffering, she comforted him, fed him, bathed and clothed him. As a little girl, I saw my mother honor my grandmother even when she was humiliated in front of relatives.

Theresa Chalone
Many, my mother, my grandmother, my cousin Franci, my beautiful daughter. But the one person who gave me spiritual influence was my Aunt Yolanda.  These are my thoughts that were taken from her eulogy, at her funeral.  It’s the best way I can explain how I greatly appreciated the deep, long lasting influence she had made in my life.

She was a wonderful, loving, devoted, kind, daughter, sister, mother and grandmother and a fabulous cook.  To me she was all those things, but most importantly, she was my spiritual mentor, the epitome of a Godly and holy woman.

Whenever I would call and ask what she was doing, it was usually saying her rosary or reading her daily prayers, and when there was a crisis, we knew who to call to pray for us.  Her prayers never ceased.  Everything she did she did with love, and that love was the basis for her faithfulness to God.

She suffered great pain and numerous hospitalizations.  But she knew that her suffering was not meaningless.  Suffering doesn’t make people better; sometimes it makes them bitter, but not Aunt Yolanda.  She never questioned her situation.  I never saw her angry or bitter.  She had many defeats at times, but she never dwelled upon her defeats.  Instead she was courageous, faithful, hopeful, never complaining.

She was the one person who I could go to when my life turned upside-down. She had been there too, she knew how my heart ached, and she had felt the same pain.  She taught me that no matter how bad things can get, no matter how much you have lost, that you never let go of your faith in God.  He has a purpose for us all here on earth and you never question why.

In her deepest pain came the strong conviction of the presence and love of God.  IN all her suffering she had joy, and we all know that joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.  The bible tells us that suffering is in order that we might grow in grace…Aunt Yolanda was full of grace…

I have no doubt that God put a certain amount of iron in her soul to help her through all her trials.  Aunt Yolanda desired to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection.  She based her whole being on knowing Christ.

I believe that all the years she has had pain has brought her to a higher level up in heaven.  We use to talk about how suffering so much was people’s gateway to heaven and I always told her that I was sure she would be sitting at God’s right hand, next to all our other departed family members.

Aunt Yolanda was a very special Aunt to me.  She never judged me or anyone else.  NO matter how old I was, or what kind of trouble I would get into, she never cast judgment, she just listened and if I needed a scolding she would give it to me, because she loved me.

I will never forget Aunt Yolanda, your courage, your faithfulness, devotion and kindness.  It has been a privilege and honor to be her niece, to have learned from her, laughed and cried with her.  Every year I would thank God for the birthday and Christmas celebrations we shared together.  I will cherish all my memories of her.
Each Christmas I would give her a little angel to watch over her for the year. This year, I know she is with all those angels celebrating her arrival with them in Heaven.

Ellen Barbagallo  OUR WINNER
The person I hold dearest to my heart is my Gramma & Grampa.  They have been deceased for many years now as I am a grown adult with my own grandchildren and one great grandchild.  My Gramma was always there for me as a child and I could always count on her and she never let me down.  Whether with problems, happy occasions or just being there when I needed a place to live, she was always there to help and comfort me. She always will hold the largest portion of my Heart. 

My Husband and children hold the 2nd portion of my heart and the third and final portion belongs to my Best Friend Forever, Debbie, who is the best friend I have ever had in my 67 years and this is why: 
A friend is a relative you make for yourself
A friend is one who comes In when the whole world has gone Out
There are big ships and small ships, but the best ship of all is Friendship
A True friend is one who thinks you are a Good Egg, when you are Half-Cracked
A true friend is one you can call at 4AM, or they can call you
A true friend is one who gives a compliment and means it
A true friend accepts us as we are, yet helps us to be what we should.

Debbie, you are all of this and more and I truly Love you.

Mother’s Day offers a time of reflection of the women in our lives, our mothers, being a mom and a woman.

Each of us have a story and we will be one of the stories that our children and grandchildren live to tell. Whether we are struggling or enjoying being a mother, we can empower each other to grow and expand our positive influence.

I want to invite you to join me on this journey of motherhood, to celebrate our roles, to act in love and honor and to create total wellness for our family and ourselves. Leave me a comment below.

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  • Dj2me55

    What amazing stories. Mother’s day is a celebration of the love we feel all year round but get to have a special “birthday” that totally recognizes all our mother’s do and give. Theresa, Claudia, Ara, Mary,Jay and Ellen shared some beautiful thoughts and feelings. Thank you for giving us a format to tell our stories.

  • Ebarbagallo

    Mary, as I sat at my computer this morning and read all of these wonderful stories, my heart filled with more feeling and love than I ever ever felt before.  The emotions that ran through me gave me goose-bumps they were so emotionally inviting and I am so happy to have become a part of these wonderful people and their feelings, families and friends.

    Thank you for this Mary and I an so excited to have been able to participate with these other wonderful people and I am so excited to have been a winner in this group!!

    I feel very loved and very lucky:)