May has always been my mother’s month.
With her birthday on May 5 and Mother’s Day on the following Sunday, we have had plenty of May celebrations in her honor through the years. Now that my sisters and I are moms, and more recently, my daughter is, too, Mother’s Day is a nice day out for all of us.
But among the mothers in our family, “Mom-Mom” is still the queen.
Growing up as Mary Ann Dubill in Simpson, my mother met and married my father, Charles Kalaha, and they raised their own family of three girls – me and my sisters Lisa and Andrea – in Dickson City. I was her first baby.
When I was a little girl afraid of the mosquito in my bedroom, Mom would play games with me until I got tired and fell back to sleep. She showed up at my grade school with a forgotten lunch or an umbrella for the unexpected rain.
My sister, Lisa, speaks for all of us when she says, “No matter what happened, Mommy always knew exactly what to say to make me feel that everything was going to be alright.”
“My family is my life, my whole world,” Mom says. “They mean everything to me. There are no words to describe how much I love every one of them.”
Like anyone’s, Mom’s life has been filled with victories and hardships. The difficult times include losses of those dearest to her. Mom’s father, my grandfather, died when she was a baby. In later years when Lisa and I were toddlers, she developed Toxemia while pregnant with my twin brothers, gave birth to them prematurely and lost both within three days of their births. We were so thankful to welcome my sister, Andrea, to our family the following year.
Then, in my senior year of high school, my father passed away. This was a time when a family had to grieve, but for us, grief had to be coupled with redoing financial aid forms for college, making house repairs and learning how to drive (both Mom and me at the same time).
Mom grew up in an era where little girls were told they would marry a prince who would take care of them forever. But here she was on her own.
She was scared, but she was brave and determined.
She put us through college, gave us beautiful weddings and christening parties for our kids and grand holiday celebrations. She was Santa’s right hand, too.
We were not wealthy, but Mom always made us feel important – and loved. And to this day, at every special occasion, she says grace and makes a toast reminding us of all we have to be thankful for.
Today, our family not only includes her grateful daughters but her six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Without her, none of us would be here, and without her, “here” wouldn’t have had as much meaning, or have been as much fun.
This Mother’s Day, and every day, we are thankful for you, Mom. We are thankful that you are still here for us, with your sense of humor, your kindness and your love.
And your famous words of wisdom, of course, that we have heard our entire lives. Here are some of our favorites:
“Patience is a virtue.”
“Scars of the tongue are never healed.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“If it was meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there.
Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.