Happy Mother’s Day
Written by former CEO & President, Kate Carr.
Mother’s Day is here and it’s a perfect time to pay tribute to all the moms who have done so much to help us grow into the people we are today.
My mom, who just turned 80, has been on my mind recently. I have so many wonderful memories. And of course, like most of us, even some not-so-good memories during my teenage years. Sorry mom, I wasn’t always charming and easy.
My mom dedicated her life to the one thing that meant the world to her – her family. She had eight kids, and her job was to take care of us – not an easy job. Through it all, she had a wonderful sense of humor, something I now appreciate more than ever. My kids think my mom has the best sense of humor and I love to listen to them laugh together. These days, I try to make my mom laugh every time I speak with her just to hear her laughter.
My mom taught me many things. To be strong, to care for people, to give back, to love music, to dance and so much more. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a garden and not think of my mom, because she loves flowers. That’s why I have them all over my home and office.
Thank you mom and thanks to all the moms out there.
In our newsletter, An Ounce of Prevention, we asked our friends to pay tribute to their moms by sending us a picture and a favorite childhood memory.
Here are a few of your responses:
I would like to pay tribute to my mother, Madeleine Shindel, on the Safe Kids Worldwide website for Mother's Day. There are so many wonderful things about my mother. She is kind, loving, and generous to a fault. Many of what I would consider my redeeming qualities I learned from her example, including how to be a good mother. She is an excellent friend and has this amazing ability to befriend anyone and everyone she meets. She treats everyone with respect, which is one of the things I have carried over into my professional career as a registered nurse.
Both she and my father have sacrificed a tremendous amount of time, energy, and finances to get me where I am today. One of my favorite memories of my mother was dancing and singing in the rain with umbrellas when I was a kid. My parents worked opposite schedules – mom days, dad nights – so we did a lot of things outdoors with my mom to keep quiet so my dad could sleep.
My mom is a fighter and has never refused to give up on my brother and me. My brother was a very sick baby and spent the majority of the first two years of his life in the hospital. Despite the doctors telling my parents to give up on my brother and just put him in a "home" because he would never be "normal," my mom never refused to give up. She stayed at his bedside to love and care for him. I am happy to say that other than some scar tissue in his lungs, my brother is completely healed, which I attribute to the care and love my mom gave him.
My mom is the proud mother of two children and eight grandchildren. To put it mildly, my mom is simply the best and I hope you will recognize her on this Mother's Day.
I grew up on a farm in northern North Dakota. It was the story book farm, with all the animals: chickens, cows, sheep, horses, dogs and cats. We also grew grain such as wheat and barley, and the oats and alfalfa to feed to the animals in the winter. My dad and brothers were always up early and out doing chores before we left for school.
We never had alarm clocks to wake us to get ready to go to school. My memory of my mom was waking up to her singing in the mornings as she cooked breakfast and set the table for our morning meal. She was always singing, and it was always a variety of music depending on the day. Some days she was singing Dean Martin songs, to old songs from her childhood, to the hymns that we sang at church on Sundays.
It is a wonderful memory, especially when I hear that alarm clock these days, telling me I have to get started. I wish I could go back and hear my mom singing in the mornings again.
One special memory was picking blueberries with my mom for her special blueberry muffins. My mom was an excellent cook and to this day, at age 92, she loves her kitchen! Love you, Mom!
My mom is 72 years old. She too, has devoted her whole life to her children, and now her grandchildren. The picture I attached is one of my favorites. We were attending my son’s game and look so happy together. I do not get to spend too much time with her nowadays, but I always keep her in my heart. She is also a devoted wife. She and my dad have been married for 49 years, 50 years on Feb. 20, 2015.
My two sons and daughter just adore her. She has instilled the same morals and values in them that she instilled in me when I was young. My mom has never worked a day in her life. So, she has always been there for me. My favorite memory was when I was 13 years old. My mom went to the hospital to give birth to a new baby. I stayed home to watch my younger brothers. I received a phone call from my dad saying that my mom just had the baby. I asked him what it is, a boy or a girl. He said I have a baby sister.
I was so very excited that I started jumping up and down. In all the excitement, I fell and thought I broke my ankle. My dad had to rush from the hospital to come get me and take me to the same hospital where my mom and sister were. Luckily, it was only sprained. My dad took me to see my mom and my new sister. I was so happy. I had some much love for my mom for giving me a sister. Just being there with her was one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.
I love my mom so very much and I appreciate all the love, support, guidance, pride and help that she has always provided to me and continue to do so with her grandchildren.
I am very lucky to have you, Mom. Love, your daughter.
My mom, Jenny, died recently at age 93. I am an advanced-aged child and my most recent memory is of her beautiful outlook on life at the end of hers, without fear.
Her death was more a continuum of her life than the end of her life.
She is with me every day.
Picture attached of Jenny (and brother) ca. 1924, Arkansas.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.
Lieutenant Dan J.
I truly appreciate what you are doing with this article.
Let me start out with a little history about my mom. She was born into a poor family, her mother passed from a battle with cancer when she was still a toddler. She grew up helping hold her family together and feeding her siblings. She married young and had three boys from that marriage. My father was a family friend who was always there for her and her boys in times of need, which seemed to be a lot. They fell in love and soon married. They tried having children but lost three before I was born. This made me the last and only child they could have together.
Now to the real reason I wrote to you. My mother was on her third fight with cancer. Her first had cost her a hysterectomy and the mouth of her womb; The second was a breast and lymph nodes. Now she was losing the second breast. I was in visiting her in the hospital ward when the doctor came in to explain how the surgery had went and if they got it all this time. Keep in mind I was around 8 or 9 years old so these things were not understood. The doctor asked if I should leave the conversation and my mother and father said no, he should hear this. He told her that they think they got most of it but could not guarantee anything. He followed up with, “If they missed anything or if it had spread she had no other options but to give in, unless she was willing to agree to an experiment. There is a drug that has not been approved for human use yet, and if you would be willing to let us try it on you it may just save your life. At the least it will give us the knowledge to use on others.”
Mom didn’t understand what he was talking about or if it was something she should do, so he gave my parents a little time to digest what he had said. My parents talked it over briefly and quickly came to a decision. When the doctor returned he explained a little more about how there would be 15 people in the world to receive this medication as a trial use on humans, and if it worked it would be the groundwork for a life-changing movement in medicine. These 15 people would not know each other nor would they have any contact. This would ensure that there was no communication between them to cloud the tests. They did not know how humans would react to it or if it would even work. He couldn’t even tell us what the medication was being called.
Mom went in for the first treatment and she said it felt like her head was on fire. She got extremely sick to her stomach, and was weakened severely. It was her second or third treatment that they tried an icepack on her head to help with the pain. She continued the treatments for two years, lost all her hair and was weakened, sickened and just knocked down, but never said enough is enough. The treatments became known as chemotherapy once approved.
This woman was on the ground floor of what has become mainstream in the battle against cancer, and did not even realize it until a couple years ago when I wrote about it on one of the social media sites and she read my/her story. Since that time she has found out that she has genealogical breast cancer and had passed that gene on to my oldest brother, which he had in turn passed to two of his daughters who also had both breasts removed and received chemo as their treatment.
My mother is now 78 years young and other than a couple spots of skin cancer she has been cancer free for nearly 40 years. I love telling people her story and bragging about her. We spend as much time together as we can, taking trips and enjoying life. I hope that our time together brings her at least a little of the joy and memories that I have had in growing up with hands-down one of the strongest, bravest, and honorable women that ever lived. The next time you read about or think about someone who is battling or has won against cancer, my mom should come to your mind. Without those brave 15 souls many more would have been lost. They were the pilgrims on familiar soil that braved the unknown and risked all.
I love you, Mom, and I am so very proud of you!