Mother’s Day is one of those days where I spend a lot of time reflecting. As you may recall from previous columns, my mother, Judith (Wellington) McGlothlen, passed away at the age of 39 following a battle with cancer. Being just four years old when she died, my memories of her are few and far between.
In fact, the memories I do have of my mother, I cannot say with any certainty if I truly remember those events or if I just remember the stories I have heard from people and turned those stories into memories.
Either way, I do not recall very much when it comes to my mom. I do know for a fact that she loved to drink Pepsi. So do I!
It isn’t just Mother’s Day when I think about the fact that I have no memory of her voice, laugh or smile. Or that she was not there to see me off to my first day of kindergarten, watch me graduate, walk with me down the aisle at my wedding or enjoy my children, as I imagine she would with great delight.
That bothers me. Even after 33 years, I still feel the loss of the woman who gave me life, yet I really do not remember much at all.
On the flip side, I have been blessed with many mother figures in my lifetime. I am not sure if I looked like I needed that in my life or if people just felt bad for me because I lost my mother at an early age, but in any event, I have been grateful for each and every one of them.
My Grandma Wellington filled the void in my life immediately following my mother’s death. We shared an incredible bond, which I cherish very much.
My step-mother Marcy, to whom I dedicated a column a few years ago, probably knows me better than I know myself at times, has been in my life for well over 25 years. We have had our ups and downs as well as our share of laughs and tears over the years, but at the end of the day we respect each other even if we do not always agree. That is a typical mother/son dynamic.
I have been fortunate to call Barb Stutesman my “mom” for the past 20 years. Back in 1992, Barb and I were both cast in the Three Rivers Community Players production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. She played my mother in the play. Ever since, we have called each other mom and son. But one thing that Barb does, and I am not sure if I ever thank her enough, is that she never forgets to acknowledge my birthday and holidays with a Hallmark greeting card. In fact, my wife received a Mother’s Day card from her this week in the mail. She is one classy lady whom I am grateful to call “mom.”
While they seem to get a bad rap, I have been very lucky with my mother-in-law, Vicki. I have trusted many of my decisions based on her thoughts or advice about different things over the years. I cannot think of a time where I ever regretted going to her for anything. She went from being “Heather’s mom” to my mother-in-law, but in the end, she is a valued and respected part of my life.
I am truly a lucky man.
But there is one woman in my life who has made all things possible for me: my wife Heather. Not only has she always been there for me, encouraging me, acting as my sounding board and yes, my better half, she is a world class mother to our beautiful daughters. I am sure I do not recognize enough what a terrific mother she is, but to put it simply, she blows me away with the love, care and compassion that she gives to our girls. The job of a mother is not an easy one. But Heather makes it look easy. There is nothing in this world that she would rather accomplish than being a good mother, and it shows. She is a great mother. And that is something my girls will always remember and benefit from as they continue on life’s journey.
Happy Mother’s Day!