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A tribute to mothers everywhere

| Saturday, May 10, 2003

Mother's Day has always meant more to me than just another card-giving, flower-buying holiday. However, this year, Mother's Day is very special because it is my first as a mother.

Although I reached that status at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2003, when I gave birth to my son, Tyler, it feels like a lot longer. I guess that's because my love for Tyler began as soon as I learned I was pregnant, which coincidentally was on Mother's Day weekend last year.

The love I have for my son is a different kind of love than I have ever experienced in my life. I have been lucky enough to have a lot of people who loved me and who I have loved. My husband, parents, grandparents, brothers, nieces and nephews, and friends have given me more love and made my life fuller than I can say. I even love my job. Still something was missing and I didn't even notice it until I had Tyler. Now, with the birth of my son, I can say my life is complete.

I met, got to know and fell in love with my husband a long time ago, but never had I felt this way about someone I had yet to meet. I guess my feelings, and my husband's feelings, were so powerful because it took us several years of trying, doctor's visits and tests before I became pregnant.

I had always heard that having a child is a very powerful, gratifying and life-altering experience, but I wasn't prepared for having my heart melt just by the sight of a toothless grin from my son, or having my heart break when he cries in pain and I can't make it go away.

Becoming a mother truly is the most satisfying feeling I have ever felt, but also the scariest. The day after Tyler and I came home from the hospital, I looked into his sleeping face and caught my breath. I thought, "I can't do this. I can't take care of this little baby." I felt overwhelmed, concerned and panicked about having this person depend upon me for everything. I can't even take care of myself. How on earth was I going to take care of him• But then my husband looked at me and said everything was going to be fine and that he knew I would be a good mother.

Ironically enough, as Mother's Day approaches, it is not the thought of having people honor me as a mother that occupies my mind, but my own mother. Although I wasn't the perfect daughter, I can't imagine having a more perfect mother.

She is everything I want to be to Tyler. What I am, I am because of her. When I needed someone to talk to, she listened. When I needed discipline, she was fair, but stern. When I needed a shoulder to cry on, she had two with no waiting. When I needed a friend, I could always count on her. When I need an inspiration, I don't have to look very far.

The appreciation I have for my mother has become so much stronger since I have become a mother and she, a grandmother. This Mother's Day I will tell her I love her as I have each Mother's Day before this one, but somehow it will mean more to me and hopefully more to her.

I would like to wish every mother a very Happy Mother's Day and to one in particular I'd like to say, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you."

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