Most mothers are a gift from God. There are so many kinds of mothers, ones that are not related in any way, but take on the motherly role: grandma’s and aunts who take over when a biological mother can’t, owners of pets who love their animals like children, women who lost their babies, women who give birth and raise their children and so on. Mother’s Day is a celebration of all mothers who give endlessly and who love a child, an animal, an adult, and a lost one unconditionally.
I never had children of my own. With my mental illness I thought it would be safer for me if I decided not to have children. I don’t handle stress very well and couldn’t risk being off my antidepressants during pregnancy or going through post-partum depression. I didn’t want to put a child through the ups and downs of my illness when I couldn’t handle the responsibilities of motherhood. I don’t regret my decision. I have had four special dogs through the years that I have loved like children and one who is still with me. I also have six nieces, five nephews, and two great nieces I love like my own.
I was and am very lucky to have a very special mother who stood and continues to stand at my side through some very rough times. When I was bullied as a child, it was my mom who held me after school while I cried. When everyone thought I was stupid, it was my mom who told me I was smart and could do anything I put my mind to. When I broke into angry rages as a child, it was my mom who rubbed my back and talked to me until I calmed down. When I first realized I had mental illness, it was my mom who searched long and hard to find me help. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was my mom sitting beside me comforting me until my husband came.
My mother also waited with my husband while I went through a mastectomy and hysterectomy. She isn’t just my mother, but she is also my best friend. I can always turn to her when I need advice or an extra shoulder to lean on. She has dealt with a lot from me and has watched me go through a lot. No matter how impossible I was at times, she never stopped showering me with love. She gave me the confidence and encouragement to keep fighting even during times it seemed like I was battling the impossible fight. She encouraged me to never give up even when I felt like giving up.
I don’t think I would have overcome mental illness, breast cancer, and other health problems without the encouragement, support, and love my mother gave. She never let me give up on myself and instilled in me the belief I could do anything I wanted to as long as I believed in myself. She taught me to see everyone as equal and to never judge anyone.
I have risen above the obstacles in my life because of what my mother has taught me. No matter what lay ahead of me, I accomplished my goals because my mom taught me to put my mind to it and fight to make it happen. I put my mind to overcoming mental illness and I’m in recovery, I put my mind to fighting breast cancer and I am cancer free, I put my mind to proving people I was smart in school and I graduated with honors, and I put my mind to be a writer and I am published. I put my mind to many more things and I have reached them because of what my mother taught me. I am a strong vibrant, determined, and compassionate woman because of the lessons my mom taught me throughout my life.
My husband was raised by his grandmother. She became his mom. She took care of him through his childhood and raised him into the wonderful man he is. She molded him into a strong, hardworking, and compassionate man. When she passed, his Aunt Fay became a motherly figure to him. She always supported him and loved him unconditionally and he could always turn to her when he needed a shoulder to lean on. His biological mother failed him, but his grandma and aunt stepped in.
Do you have a mother or a special woman in your life that has been motherly? Did you celebrate her Sunday? Mothers of all kinds are special and deserve to be celebrated not only on Mother’s Day, but every day. If you haven’t told your mom you love her, tell her today. Even if she’s not blood related, let her know how special she is each day. You don’t need a special day to celebrate mothers.
I am who I am because I have a wonderful mother who molded me as a child and stands beside me as an adult. I tell her I love her each time I talk to her. I could never tell her enough how grateful I am for having her as a mother. My mom is part of the reason I stand in the light of recovery from mental illness and breast cancer.