Tribute to Mom this Mother’s Day

As April comes to a close and the calendar moves on to May, my thoughts drift to Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, 2023 and memories of my mom.  

I am pretty sure most people have similar experiences with their moms and easily find the adjectives; nurturing, disciplinarian, friend, and occasionally “the enemy.” Those words may shed light on the role but don’t do justice to the magic of Mom. 

My mom was all these things but above all she was a special person who was creative, intelligent, and gave everything due to unconditional love.  What else can you say about someone who constantly puts the needs of others above their own?  

Moms take the smallest portion at the dinner table because the kids need to eat, mom wears the same shoes for years because the kids’ feet are growing, and mom forgoes that night on the town because she is saving the money for college; your college.  

My mom did all these things, and sadly I never noticed. She also raised four kids as a stay-at-home mom and was always there when you needed her. More often than not, mom was a single parent while dad was at work or out with the boys.

Truth is, mom was always there, and as a child, I never noticed. It was only when my wife and I began our family that I recognized the movie being replayed in my house.  

My mom was elevated to the newly created role of “Big Grandma”.  

In the new role, I was treated to a front-row seat where patience and persistence once again blended perfectly with love and understanding. As Big Grandma delivered for her grandchildren that I had failed to notice.  Once again it appeared effortless but what tipped me off was the knowing glances Big Grandma shared with my wife, they understood the difficulties of the job. 

They knew what appeared effortless was tremendously difficult. Day after day, sick kids, homework, and even dioramas, they both knew how to make it look easy. My wife assumed the role of mom, but this time I noticed, as effortless as moms make it look, doing it is really hard.  

On occasion, I tried to match my wife’s tenacity as a parent without success.  I can only guess, as a friend often says, perhaps it’s part of the dinosaur brain that women share, I know men just don’t get it. 

The bad news is we lost my mom too early in her life and ours as she joined my dad six months to the day after he died. 

Despite being lost too young, Big Grandma left her mark on her grandchildren; she left an indelible mark on everyone she touched.   Her grandchildren knew her as “BIG GRANDMA” an appropriate name since in many ways she was bigger than life.  She taught us everything important about life, how to live and love, to enjoy family and friends, and that there is always room for others at your table.  

In addition to all those wonderful life lessons, my mom eventually found time for her passion and began to paint. She was an artist with exceptional talent and was very supportive of my daughter Lauren’s early art training. Based on the talent Lauren exhibits, I can only assume artistic ability is hereditary but skips one generation. With the support of Big Grandma and her mom Lauren took to art like a duck to water so when Covid forced her out of her corporate job we agreed her passion should be her work, and Cheers N Paint was born.  

The adventure began in June 2020, in the height of Covid and people avoiding crowds, but Cheers N Paint was not going to be denied, and the little shop competing with massive franchises added Zoom rooms, focused on small classes to pay the bills, and developed new revenue streams. Today the competition is still out there, but we have built our niche around family and doing the right thing, always.  

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