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The Women I Never Called Mom And...Who Still Shaped My Life

As I think of Mother's Day I cannot help but think of those women who I never called mom, but were very instrumental in helping me to become the woman I am today.

I was touched at a very early age by my friend Judy's mom, Martha. She was the epitome of who and what I thought a mom was and is. She was kind, but set limits. She was a stay at home mom, yet was more worldly than many. She saw life as something to be lived and something to be present in. I will always give thanks to her for filling a void I sometimes had. She may never know how much her comforting ways filled my soul for days. While Martha's memory may not be as strong as it once was, I will do my best to carry her around in my heart for as long as I can.

When I married my husband, I gained another mom. Her name was Lorraine. I cannot express how deeply I loved her, though we did not know each other for very long. I was touched by the way she took me in and treated me as if I was another one of own children. She was not a judger. Lorraine saw people and experiences as reasons to celebrate and enjoy. Her endless love filled me with great joy and peace each and every time I was with her. Sadly, she passed way too soon. I see her in the eyes of my husband and children. There are times when I look at my children and see her. I smile hoping somehow she sees me and knows how happy that makes me. She lives on through them.

My grandma Helen was my mom's mom. She was a women who appreciated the finer things in life. She taught me to tie packages in a way that made the boxes look like the presents. She showed me a variety of ways to add accessories and makeup to enhance any outfit. And she showed me how when you don't always get what you want, you can try it a different way. She was a proud woman who never went without nail polish or lipstick. But what stands out most of all for me is when she would sit in her kitchen chair along side her very tiny kitchen table and listen to her orange transistor radio hanging in the window by a plastic loop. She knew I liked

Doritos and Kool-aid. They were always waiting for me any time I came over. We would sit for hours and listen to the 'ballgame' and talk about life. She was always proud of me and made me feel like I could do anything. I can still feel her presence at times. It gives me comfort. She was a woman of many depths. I feel lucky she allowed me to see how deep she could go.

I had a wonderful professor named Anita Makar. The first day I met her she came in carrying several dozen balloons into the classroom. She let us know that she was celebrating her birthday and the best way for her to celebrate was to give balloons to others and to see their smile and joy over something as simple as that. She celebrated her birthday as if it were the biggest thing going on...and as far as I was concerned, it was! She was a strong woman who valued being fair. She taught me to decide how I wanted to be seen, not how I thought others did. She reminded me I can never know what someone really thinks of me, and truthfully, it is none of my business. She was the best role model for me on how to be perfectly content being yourself as long as you were living in your authenticity. I signed up for two more of her classes. Neither one were needed for my educational track! I just loved being her student.

To all of the other wonderful, wild and perfect women I have met along the gave me things I will never be able to personally thank you each for, but what I have received along the way from women in my life is unmeasurable. By your style, your decision, your actions, I have learned to find myself. I have taken pieces of each of you and put together a beautiful mosaic that lives in my heart. And while some of you are mothers and some of you are not, I am reminded recently by a friend that we really do not need to wish people who have helped us along the way a Happy Mother's Day. We can wish each other a very Happy Day! Indeed.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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