There is an African proverb that states “it takes a village to raise a child.” I was fortunate enough to be raised by a village of Moms whom I honor as we approach this year's Mother’s Day celebrations. Each of my Village-Mom’s shared their quirky wisdom, unique gifts, extraordinary talents, witty humor, solid boundaries, high values, and strong ethics with each of the kids in our neighborhood. They wore many hats in overlapping roles as Camp Fire Girl Leader, Costume Designer, Chauffeur, Dream-Indulger, Shopping Buddy, Library Builder, Homework Insister, Gentle Nurturer, and Chief Disciplinarian. Each imbue my memories with indelible lessons that have had a tremendous impact upon my life.
I lost my Mom 11-years ago, and have lost four of my Village-Mom’s since December. Needless to say, the emotions are a bit rocky for me at the moment but the thoughts of them are truly comforting. My Mom-Janice was the BEST MOM in the world for me and my siblings. Kathy's Mom-Higinia was the BEST MOM for her, but as I was embraced by her since I was 14-months-old, she was always a true Mom to me. We lost her in December just one month and one-day shy of her 100th birthday. Jona's Mom-Gwen was the BEST MOM for her but she truly treated me as one of her own daughters since the age of 4 and was integral in my life until her passing yesterday morning. Patti's Mom-Margaret came into my life when I was 13-years-old and was yet another kind, compassionate, lively Mom for me to love.
With warmth and gratitude in my heart I send love to my Mom-Janice, and to my Village-Moms: Higinia, Gwen, Margaret, Jean, Lilian, Bobbie, Treva, Rosemarie, and to my Mag-Mom's Angie, Susie, and Margie. Thank you ALL for teaching me early and consistently that Mom’s are women who are strong leaders with thoughts, strengths, talents, and opinions that not only matter, but make a difference in the world.
To my Nieces and Friends who are raising your own children, I ask that you realize your scope of influence as you also serve as a role-model and influencer for the youngsters in your children’s lives. I encourage you to be the Village that inspires kindness, compassion, self-confidence, happiness, understanding, communication, and acceptance in the generations to come.