For the Love of……..Mom.

Mom cartoonMy children have been very blessed.  They have had three matriarch personalities in their lives that I’m sure will have profound impact on their lives.  With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, it can never be overstated the influence and the importance ‘a mom’ plays in so many lives.

My mother-in-law.  Never could a man be lucky enough to have the two in-laws I had.  Now both have gone, I miss them greatly and they defined class. The best way to define my mother-in-law is with this story. When my father in law passed in 1999, it was the week before the walk.  I was the Long Island Director of the then JDF (now JDRF) and we were a key component in the Walk Program during its planning stages for a National Event.  It was a big deal.  In 1999, as fate would have it, the walk would take place on September 26th; Kaitlyn’s Diaversary.  My father-in-law passed on September 19th.

Like it was yesterday, I remember the day after his funeral the phone ringing.  I picked it up and it was my mother-in-law.  “What time are we to be there on the 26th for the walk?”  If it was important to her grandchildren come hell, high-water, or even the death of her husband; it was crucially important to my mother-in-law.  Her value regarding family was enormous.

My mom is a very strong woman.  She has seen her share of things in life, and dealt with things in life, that would have crumbled many other woman.  She has always been a pillar of strength in our house and she is a wonderful listener.  With 23 grandchildren, it is tough to give them all the time they need but at any gathering if my mom is speaking to someone, it’s best that they not be interrupted until the conversation is over because she locks in to whomever she is speaking.  When she asks something SHE WANTS TO KNOW.  There is not a lot of ‘surface’ stuff with my mom, she gets deeper in, she always has and always will.

Growing up she was great in making sure our feet were well planted and that we did not live too pie-in-sky.  Reaching for the stars was fine and even encouraged BUT your feet needed to be firmly planted in both reality and practicality, there is no-nonsense approach in her life….direct and honest….and hit it head on.  Her being so level-headed is a huge force for our kids as they were for us.  To this day she is active as one could possible be and she still is a driving force.

My kids mom, Jill.  There are not enough pages for me to write how lucky my kids are to have a mom such as Jill.  She is the most organized woman I know and she makes it clear to her kids that nothing…..N-O-T-H-I-N-G trumps the family.  In addition to what she has taught them about being with each other and leaning on each other; she has also taught them the power to deal with what life throws at us and that it’s okay to move-on; and to party like there is no tomorrow when the time calls for it.

I have told this story often, with a newborn in a crib, and two others fast asleep; I would come home and find Jill fast asleep on the bed with all sorts of magazines and articles regarding diabetes all around her.  Her thirst for more knowledge was as contagious as it was useful.  I would have to clean off the bed before getting in.  When people tell me ‘they don’t have the time’ and explain why they don’t, I just smile because I know that when you need time, you’ll find the time.  Jill taught all of us that point.  The power of the family that her parents instilled in her is what she brings to the table here.  The people around us know it, our kids know it, and I know it.

Yes, my kids are very lucky indeed.  Mother’s Day is a GREAT day.  Share with us one ting about your mom that her made her so special.  It is great to learn how other people have been impacted by such wonderful women.  Not everyone in life has a spouse, partner, lover, BUT everyone has a mother.  Let her know how special she is, even if she is gone–do something that she would have liked to see you do.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

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