Everybody’s mother

A few days ago, I shared a post about my mother and what she meant (means) to me. But she wasn’t just my mother, she was everybody’s mother. So, for Mother’s Day, my first without my mother, I wanted to share about her amazing ability to be a mother to everyone who needed one.

Growing up, it was quite common for my friends to call my parents “Mom” and “Dad”. And although I didn’t call my friends’ parents Mom or Dad, I accepted that my friends considered my parents their parents. This was especially true for my friends who had less than “present” parents (and, in some cases, absent and/or abusive parents).

And to be honest, I’ve lost count of the number of my friends who still refer to my parents as their parents – especially my mother. And she loved it so much because she was always ready to be a mother to anyone who needed her.

I think it’s one of the things I love about my mother: She had so much love to give to her six biological daughters, but she still had plenty of additional love to give to our friends – especially those friends who didn’t always get adequate levels of maternal love elsewhere in their lives.

Indeed, when my mother died, I received several notes and comments from my school friends who shared with me how important my parents (especially my mother) were to their own lives. They remembered being fed and cared for; being taught how to cook or do arts and crafts; and just being welcomed. One friend commented on how much she loved “getting in trouble” when we broke the rules because it made her feel like she was part of the family and that her safety and wellbeing were just important to my parents as their “real” daughters.

Mum and me at Loch Lomond, Scotland (2012)

In the days and weeks after Mum died, people shared stories of love and compassion – and in one case of Mum working for hours and hours to make wedding favours for a young woman she didn’t even know because she was friends with one of Mum’s daughters and she had a need. And my mother, being everybody’s mother, did what Mums do: She gave of herself to help this “extra daughter”.

And now, with Mother’s Day upon us, I am hearing stories from friends once again about my mother’s mothering of them. Because she truly was everybody’s mother.

It’s just another example of the kind of mother my Mum was; the kind of person she was. She gave everything she had for all her children: The ones she gave birth to; the ones she helped to raise; the ones she cared for; the ones she only met once or twice. My mother was everybody’s mother. And we were all blessed to have her.

Happy Mother’s Day to my loving, giving, caring Mother. You will never be forgotten, and you will be loved forever.

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