I’ve been blessed with many moms over the years. One was my biological mom but others have mothered by supporting and guiding my growth. I want to thank all the moms out there, be they biological, psychological, spiritual or whatever.

My biological mother was a sensitive, intelligent, and artistic woman who stayed at home raising children in the 1950’s and 1960’s instead of pursuing her career in special education of the deaf. She helped with our homework, led the Girl Scout troop, and often told my brother and me what she had given up for us. After I was in high school, she began taking painting classes at the local art center and enjoyed them greatly. Health problems, exacerbated by alcoholism, led to her death at the age of seventy-five, leaving much traveling and painting undone. She turned her grief at having a blind child into pushing for me to have access to public education at a time when this wasn’t common and for me to succeed at the A-plus level. She was a Tiger Mom before the term was invented! If I had a snapshot of her to show you, it would be of her lying on the living room couch with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other, reading aloud to me.

A psychological mom I was blessed with was an internship supervisor who always took time to turn a work-related question into a “How are you really?” visit. She taught me fine points about dressing, acting, and being professional. I watched her apply her philosophy of “honey attracts more flies than vinegar” enough times to see how well it worked. Sometimes when I don’t use that approach and it doesn’t work out so well, I can hear her warm southern voice saying “Maybe next time…”.

A woman who gave me spiritual direction when I lived in Iowa comes to mind as a spiritual mom. When I’d voice disappointment and anger with God, she’d validate the feelings and quote St. Teresa of Avila’s challenge to God of “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few”.

Thanks moms of all kinds! We need and appreciate you so much. Reach around and pat yourself on the back and/or grab a cup, glass, or bottle of your favorite beverage.