Happy Mother's Day

I have three mothers and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. Each one holds a special place in my heart for the roles they play for me. First, my biological mother, Bev, endured the pain of birth and cared for me physically until I could take care of myself. My second mom, Sunday school teacher, Eriz, gave me the unconditional love I craved. Lastly, my dear Aunt Tina has lovingly guided me, even when I find it difficult to hear her frank wisdom.

Mothers are many things to us and important for a variety of reasons. Most significantly, our biological mothers are responsible for giving us life. After birth, other caring women step in to take on different roles. We all want a mother who is kind, loving, nurturing, accepting, understanding, non-judgmental, supportive, and encouraging.

And yet, not everyone is fortunate to have gotten the perfect mother. If we’re lucky enough, perhaps we have found those very special women who are more like mothers than our own biological ones. I call them “surrogate mothers.” They accept us, however we show up in life. They listen, giving advice only when we ask for it. They don’t judge us, they just love us no matter what. Everyone who did not get a loving and understanding mother needs at least one of these.

Perhaps she’s an amazing aunt or older co-worker – smart, wise, fun, stimulating– there to guide us, to pick up where mother left off. She speaks her mind, encouraging us when we need it, and helping us to confront what we most fear. Life just wouldn’t be complete without this kind of female role model in our lives.

No one should be without a loving and accepting mother and I often encourage the women I work with to discover who can be their surrogate mother or special aunt.

I hope you enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day by honoring the special women in your life!

Eilise Ward