Updated: Sep 10
In the heart of Africa, an ancient proverb whispers through the winds, "It takes a village to raise a child." As Mother's Day approaches, I find myself reminiscing about the remarkable women who formed my village of Moms. They were the guiding lights of my childhood, each contributing their unique wisdom, talents, and love to shape the person I am today.
Our neighborhood was an eclectic tapestry of families, and the Moms in our village wore many hats that seemed to seamlessly blend into one another. They were Camp Fire Girl Leaders, Costume Designers, Chauffeurs, Baking Gurus, Dream-Indulgers, Shopping Buddies, Library Builders, Homework Insisters, Gentle Nurturers, and Chief Disciplinarians all rolled into one. They were the pillars of our community, embodying solid boundaries, high values, and unwavering ethics.
As a child, I couldn't have asked for a more diverse set of mothers, each with their unique quirks and charms. They infused our neighborhood with laughter, creativity, and an unshakable sense of togetherness. It wasn't just about raising their own children; it was about nurturing an entire generation.
Today, I look back on those days with immense gratitude and a touch of nostalgia. I've had the privilege of experiencing the profound love and influence of not just one, but many mothers. My own mother, Janice, who passed away in 2011, was undoubtedly the best mom in the world for me and my siblings. She laid the foundation for the person I would become, instilling in me values and virtues that continue to guide me.
But my village extended far beyond my biological family. Kathy's mom, Higinia, became a true mom to me from the tender age of 14 months. She was more than just a friend's mother; she was a steadfast presence throughout my life. We said goodbye to her last December, just a breath away from celebrating her 100th birthday. Her legacy of love lives on in my heart.
Then there was Jona's mom, Gwen, who treated me as her own daughter from the age of 4. She was a gentle soul with a heart full of love, and her passing just yesterday left a void that words struggle to fill. And let's not forget Patti's mom, Margaret, who entered my life when I was 13, offering yet another wise, kind, and compassionate motherly figure to love.
Today, as I reflect on these remarkable women, my heart is filled with warmth and gratitude. I send love not only to my own mother, Janice, but also to my village of Moms: Higinia, Gwen, Margaret, Jean, Lilian, Bobbie, Treva, Rosemarie, and to my Mag-Moms, Angie, Susie, and Margie. Each of you left an indelible mark on my life, teaching me that moms are strong leaders with thoughts, strengths, talents, and opinions that not only matter but also have the power to change the world.
To my nieces and friends who are now raising your own children, I implore you to remember the scope of your influence. You are not just mothers to your own offspring; you are role models and influencers in the lives of the youngsters around you. Be the village that inspires kindness, compassion, self-confidence, happiness, leadership, understanding, communication, and acceptance in the generations to come. The legacy of love you leave behind will be your greatest gift to the world.