Happy Mother’s Day Weekend. Yes, I said weekend because that’s how long we’re going to celebrate. I think 48 hours for us is a fair trade for the 9 months of gestation followed by the pain of delivery. Anyway, I asked our GEM contributors, who you’ve come to know and love, to answer this question:

  “What’s the most important thing your mother ever said or did for you?”

 Read on to hear the gems they got from their GEMs and then feel free to add your own at the end.


Throughout my life I’ve dealt with bouts of depression and panic attacks. A few years ago my husband lived and worked in Russia while I lived in Arizona with our two small children. During this stressful time my panic attacks seemed to be frequent, and my mother was always there to provide perspective, support, and unconditional love through everything. She stayed with me a few nights too, and helped me realize that a new morning always brings a better and more hopeful outlook. I don’t know how I would have managed during that time without her.


My mother taught me that we are always kids at heart. In true motherly fashion she asked me about my “book” almost every time we had a conversation. And as much as I hemmed and hawed, she knew that was going to happen. Or at least knew I had the potential to make it happen. I’m stubborn and she knew that, too. So when I heard from Rene that I was anywhere near writing, my mom was on the top of the list. I think I told Rene that all she had to pay me was a credit in her book that my mom could see and that would be all I needed. I also learned from what I feel was her untimely death; life is short and you really don’t know how much of a gift it is until you see someone else lose theirs. So you have to go for it…NOW!


The woman who built me was smart and insightful. My mother taught me simple things that have carried me far in life like properly addressing adults on the telephone. You may think this is a “no-brainer” but my mother worked for New England telephone and she could see how operators rarely responded well to someone who sounded uneducated or disrespectful. In this simple lesson of manners she taught me how the tone I take with people is as important as the work that I do. I think of her everyday as I try to greet people with kindness and respect.


She taught me just how important it is to love and serve others, especially those less fortunate. I have been constantly inspired by how much my mother has given of herself over the years – inviting people in who had nowhere to spend the holidays, visiting an older friend in a nursing home every week, doing mission work overseas. There is no end to her desire to love those around her and to give back to those who may have less.  Her kindness is tremendous and her heart for others is so big – I am truly blessed to have had her example in my life.  She inspires me to be better every day.


She took care of me.  When I lost my wife, Andrea, my Mom – Kathy – without any question, guilt or exposition came into my home, lived with me, and got my family settled into a routine.  Without exaggeration, she (and my Dad) showed me how I could survive – that we’re better together than we ever are apart.


My mom… a more amazing woman has yet to be created. Almost thirty years ago, she stepped into a relationship with a man who had two bratty kids and a whole lotta crazy.  Through every test, trial, and torture that kids from a broken home could have thrown her way, she smiled, hugged us, and assured us we were loved.  When the family grew (totaling 7 kids in all), the one thing  I will never forget, is that there were no labels.  From day one, I was introduced as her daughter.  I don’t have step brothers, half sisters, or any such thing…  I was raised in a family.  That one trait has shaped the way I view families – true families.  A picture of strength, grace, confidence, and a steadfast belief that nothing is stronger than family.  I am a living study of nurture versus nature and without a doubt, could not be the person I am today without her love and belief in me.


Anne Syler, wow I have no idea where to start. We could go way back to when I was in the 8th grade and she, disgusted with my lack of housekeeping skills and desire to learn, told me to get a good education so I could earn enough to pay someone to come in and clean. Trivial but true. She’s propped me up for as long as I can remember, but one of the things for which I am most thankful was when I told her I was going to my mastectomy. She sighed, a deep, heavy sigh and said two words: “Oh honey…” Those words, spoken over the phone enveloped me with the love and support I needed at that time. I’ll never forget it. Thanks Mom!

Okay GEMnation.. what about you? Now’s the time to give your mom the props she deserves. What’s the most important thing your mom ever said or did for you? Fire away!

More from GEM:

Perfect Parenting? Perfect Nonsense!

The GEM Debate: Is Abstinence Really Realistic?

Hey Mom! How About You Just.Say.No?