They say it takes a village to raise a child ... in my case there was my mom and dad, and two other very special women. This is dedicated to the women in my life ...
To Mary Ann, my pseudo stepmom:
She watched me grow up and treated me like I was one of her own. She listened to my problems and gave me incalculable advice over the years; by turns a mother, a therapist and a friend. Mary Ann encouraged me to follow my heart, to listen to my instincts and to always pursue a path that makes me happy. From boys and dating, finding my first apartment, graduating college, and joining the military, marriage, divorce and losing my father and her best friend, her friendship and support has helped me through years of growing up, adventures and difficult decisions.
For the past 18 years, she’s been a willing part of my life. Mary Ann has been a shopping partner, confidante, companion, teacher and friend. She helped my dad be a better father. She’s helped guide and shape me into the person I am today. Thank you Mary Ann for always being there.
To my Aunt Lorraine:
All of my childhood, my Aunt Rainey was synonymous with the best toys, snacks and playtime around. My cousins, brother and I had grand adventures in her house, playing with the great bins of toys she kept stocked, the snacks she kept in the pantry and the little quirks of her house that let us eavesdrop on adult conversations. She was always willing to let my cousin Krista and I spend the night and we’d battle over who got to sleep in the daybed in the guest bedroom. She read to us, took us to see the Little Mermaid (still one of my favorite movies) and had grand summer adventures with us.
Now that I’m older she’s more of a friend, although I appreciate her advice, wisdom and surprisingly sharp wit. Although she has children of her own, my aunt Rainey, just as in my youth, always has space for me in her heart and home. Aunt Lorraine’s house is my home away from home. Thank you for always welcoming me home, no matter how long I’ve been away.
And last, but not least, to my mom:
Our path hasn’t been always been easy one. We fought tooth and nail over clothes, boys, chores, curfews, attitudes, eye-rolling and back-talking. The last three were all me, I’ll admit. There were times when I was so mad her I thought I would never talk to her again, that she didn’t understand me and never would. I know I didn’t, or wouldn’t, understand her. It seems that most of my life, we were on two totally different planets.
But then there were the days we spent in the kitchen, our hands covered in flour as we rolled and cut out dough and decorated cookies by the dozen. There was my prom night when she let me stay out until 5 a.m. trusting that I would be responsible and smart enough to get home safe and sound. And when I did, my bed was turned down and the nightstand lamp was on for me. Or there was the time that my boyfriend and I broke up and I was so devastated, I cried all night and the next morning, she called into work sick for me. Or when I called her about my divorce and instead of playing the blame game or giving me the third degree, she quietly accepted my decision and told me how sorry she was. Her calm support was exactly what I needed at the time. It seems no matter how much we don’t get along or understand each other, when I need her the most, she’s always there. And that’s what I remember most, and am thankful for, on this Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women in my life! Thank you for helping make me who I am today.