What is Mother’s Day and what does it mean to be a Mother? This day was designated to provide Mothers with due recognition, but in my family, we celebrate every day, the kids celebrate me and I celebrate them.

I have three wonderful children, a daughter who is now 30 and twin boys who are 27. Although I had a career and worked full time for 25 years, I always considered my real job as raising good kids, kids of good moral fiber, integrity and character. Of course, it wasn’t always easy…and anyone that tells you otherwise is outright lying!

My true gift as a mother, is reaping the rewards of the blood, sweat and tears from the early years. I am proud of my children since they treat everyone with respect and dignity, as I taught them. All the coupons I clipped and “value of money” lessons have come to fruition. My son was so proud of himself the other day. After a bad customer experience, he talked to the manager and received compensation. As I repeatedly told him in his youth, advocate for yourself “God gave you a mouth to use it”.

One of my greatest moments was after I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Each child came with me to chemo and held my hand, as I had held theirs when they were little…. although at that point my husband needed more hand holding than I did, he was crumbling with fear in front of my eyes.  My daughter accompanied me to support classes for a year, she yearned to learn and understand. Being a graduate of cancer, with the support of my family, has made me stronger. I now smell the coffee versus merely drinking it.

My kids helped me survive the journey.  Often I would wear a ball cap when I went out with them and commented that no one could tell I was bald. They replied “oh mom, it is so obvious you don’t have hair under that cap….but that’s ok, we are proud of you, with or without hair.

My mother, on the other hand,  was ashamed of my “disease”, always reminding me to wear my wig when I visited, in case the neighbours were looking, after all “what would they think?” She didn’t tell any of her friends, it was too embarrassing. Many in the previous generation didn’t understand what cancer was and how people got it, so best not to air the “dirty laundry”.

Mother’s day is not a “Hallmark” day of materialism for me, but a day where I continue to be part of my adult children’s lives. The lovely spouses they have chosen welcome me into their lives…and bonus…one of them is hosting Mother’s Day brunch so no cooking and no dishes! I am so extremely wealthy, not with material gifts, but gifts of the heart and soul. Cheers, not just to Mothers today, but also to the families that make them great.

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