Friday, May 8

Thanks, Mom...

Nan Reinhardt


Mother’s Day is always a special day for me, but not actually because I’m a mom. It’s special because about every seven years, Mother’s Day lands on May 13, which is my mother’s birthday. So the day becomes a double celebration. And even though Mom died in 1988, Mother’s Day is still all about her for me. It’s the day I bask in memories of a lady who was completely unique, more than a little eccentric, and who loved me unconditionally. Mom was a reader. I don’t remember a time when books weren’t a huge part of our world. Mom read to us every single day until I was grown up and moved away. She loved to read aloud, everything from Laura Ingalls Wilder to L.M. Montgomery to Gene Stratton-Porter and Charles Dickens.

She took us to the library weekly and we all loaded up on books. When I was about ten years old, she
convinced the librarian at our local branch to let me check out books from the Young Adult section because I’d read nearly every children’s book in the place and I was bored. That’s when I discovered the teen romances by Rosamund du Jardin, Mary Stoltz, Lenora Mattingly Weber, and so many others. Remember Beany Malone and Tobey Heydon and Pam and Penny Howard? Those books paved the way for me as a romance writer and showed me the importance of a really great happily-ever-after.


Mom was my best cheerleader and I think she’d be pleased to see that I’m writing and publishing novels as she always believed I would. When I was a freshman at Purdue, she gave me a journal for my birthday and wrote this on the flyleaf: “To my little Nan, because when you’re a famous author, someone will need to put together your memoirs and this will help. Love, Mom.” A famous author? Well, maybe not famous, Mom, but I’m an author and I hope you’re smiling up there in heaven.

Kristina Knight

It's a hard thing to be a mom. As rewarding as it is to see a baby walk those first steps or write those first words, there are a million times you wonder if you're doing it all wrong. If you're encouraging enough. If you're there enough. My mom was a working mom so she had all those worries and more. She had to choose, sometimes on a weekly basis, whether to attend one more fundraiser for a school activity or one more house showing that might lead to a sale. 

She never complained about making those hard choices - us over work, as often as she could. She didn't complain when she would stay up late finishing a costume or just doing the laundry that we seemed to create by the truckload. As a mom now, I try to remember how she didn't complain about needing just five minutes of quiet or help with one load of laundry...how she showed up when she probably would have benefited more from a half-hour nap. 

And I get to watch her not have those same worries with her grandchildren. How she can enjoy a thirty minute marathon of random LEGO building or a nonsensical phone conversation with bebe, and I think she is still teaching me how to be a mom.

Liz Flaherty

Mom at three
My mother could rock a baby to sleep when no one else could. She taught me to appreciate sunset and books and sitting on the back porch—sometimes all three at the same time. From her, I learned to walk off anger, to cry alone, and that if you don’t like who you see in the mirror, likely no one else will, either.
Other Mom
          Our relationship was complicated. We argued and disappointed each other often. When she died in 1982, there was much unresolved between us. I’m still sorry it was that way. But I told my mother-in-law after Mom’s funeral that I just realized there was no one else left in the world who would love me no matter what. Because I always knew she did. Always.
          My other mom, sitting across her table from me, said, “You still have me.”
          I still do. I drive her as crazy as I did my mother, and sometimes our relationship is complicated, too, but I have learned much from her and been loved by her as much as I have loved her. It has been a gift.


          Thanks, Mom—both of you.

Margie Senechal

My mom has always been a safe harbor. Not just for me and my sisters, but also for our friends.

Mom was the person that we could always talk to and not worry about being judged. Sometimes I wondered if my friends liked me for me or for my mom. I remember one friend coming home on college break and telling my mom--before she told me--about her affair with an alcoholic, married man. Instead of telling her to break it off, Mom gave her very sound advice and told me not to judge her when she told me the news.

When I became the mother of daughters, I made a conscious decision to be that kind of listener for my girls and their friends. I'm sure there are times that I got it wrong--when KB brought home a D in English because she simply didn't turn in her work--but hopefully, I got it right more often than wrong.

Like my mom taught me.

3 comments:

  1. Happy Mother's Day from me, too, to the other Wranglers and to the people who come to visit us. We are so thankful to all of you!

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  2. Having your birthday on Mother's Day (if you're a mom) would be a real treat. Every so often my birthday falls on Easter. :)

    This was a sweet post! Thank you all for sharing.

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