Of all my mothers, my mom is my favorite. She carried me for nine months, brought me into the world, and has raised me for eighteen long years. She is funny, witty, strong, dramatic, and gorgeous. I love her with all of my teenage heart. I think she is amazingly insightful. Sometimes I can’t believe how easily she sees through the walls I build around myself. She is simultaneously my biggest inspiration and my best friend. How blessed I am to be her daughter. But, while she is my only mom, she is not my only mother.
Through my eighteen years I have had so many brilliantly strong women make me a better human being. I would just like to take a few paragraphs to describe each to you. They deserve so much of the credit for the person I have become. I am sure you will be able to relate to a lot of these women as well. To the ones that held your hand or dried your tears when your mom was away. Or the ones that got you into trouble for the sake of trouble. The ones that taught you to adventure and to hide. They all created me and I think talking about all my mothers may remind you of all your mothers. It always feels good to remember all the help you had in getting to where you are now.
One of my mothers is my mamaw. My mom’s mom is seriously one of the most hilarious people on the planet. She is embarrassing and I can identify her laugh from a mile away, but she is full of joy. She was my built-in-babysitter as a kid, as so many grandmas are. She let me roll off the couch and put my hands on a hot stove, but she also let me eat ice cream for breakfast and stay up till the early hours of the morning. She coached me in sass and taught me how to be wild. She is so smart and so willing to listen to my every stupid thought. She gives the best advice and the most comforting pep talks. She explains things to me even if my question is crazy. Who would I be without her?
Another is my mom’s best friend, Julie. Julie and my mom met in college and have been practically inseparable since. They are the Lucy and Ethel of my entire life. Julie tags along for all of our weird adventures; she is a great road trip companion. She fostered the killer sarcasm that is my second language. She taught me, and is still teaching me, that teasing can be the same as love. I can call her in a crisis. I can write her down for my emergency contact. I can spend the night at her house watching movies and eating pizza. She may have been my mom’s best friend first, but she is one of my mothers all the same. Who would I be without her?
Then there is the obvious mother. The universal mother. She is mine and yours and theirs. Mary, Jesus’s mom and our mother. I have to admit that, until recently, I didn’t give her much credit for my life. I didn’t think of her as one of my mothers – let alone an obvious mother. Over the past few months, especially while my mom was in the hospital, I have become more and more aware of how much of a mother she really is to me. I always used to find boredom when I prayed the rosary, but lately all I see is beauty when I look at those beads. I am so thankful to have her intercession in my life. I feel her when I am alone and in need of my mom. I think that it is pretty amazing that she can have so much love for so many people in the world. She may be known for being gentle and soft, but she is also strong and fierce. Who would I be without her?
There are many other women that have impacted my life. They have come and taught me lessons nobody else could teach me. The introduced me to thoughts and places that I never dreamed of until them. But there are two women that I feel the need to mention specifically. The first is my Gigi – my great grandma. She is my mamaw’s mom. Before she passed away, she lived with my family for a little over seven months. In those seven months I learned more about patience, sacrifice, and humility than any other time in my life. She taught me so much just by existing in my home. I can’t begin to explain her stubborn character to you, but know that she was hilarious and loving like no other woman. Who would I be without her?
The last woman I want to tell you about is my Aunt Nancy. Technically she is my great aunt, but isn’t that a mouthful? Aunt Nancy has taught me more about kindness than any other human. Every time I see her it is as if she brings a cloud of calmness over me. Her entire being radiates serenity and love. Her hugs go deep into my heart and I don’t know how I ever lived before those were a part of my life. Aunt Nancy inspires me to dive into my faith with my whole heart. She strikes a part of my soul that nobody else can. Her kindness is such a part of her that she can control a room with it without even realizing it. She is practically a superhero. Who would I be without her?
It takes a village to really raise a child. I feel like every single one of the women in my life that have mothered me in some way have created part of who I am. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such incredible women that love me so so deeply.