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The Feast of Saint James the Great
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The greatest gift my mom ever gave me

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Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/10/20

And it might be the same for you, too.

Dear Mom,

Over the last few years you’ve been apologizing for not being in a position to leave behind a huge inheritance for your kids when you do eventually get some well-earned eternal rest. You know it annoys us — not because you’re talking about dying (we know how you like to be prepared for everything), but because we would never in a million years want you to feel that you haven’t given us enough. Yet, we understand; we know you just want to leave us in a secure place.

The great news is that when you do finally leave us — not for a very long time if your kids and grandkids have anthill to say about it — we’ll be secure. Not because of any financial boost, but because you’ve left us with one of the greatest gifts any parent could give a child — loving siblings.

By having nine kids, you certainly increased our chances of having at least one brother or sister to feel close to. But the truth is, through your devotion, determination, exemplary ways, and love, each and every one my brothers and sisters is a true God-send. We’re each other’s loudest advocates (sometimes a little too noisy), best friends, and we give each other the confidence to face anything as we know we have each other’s backs. Mom, this is the greatest gift any person could receive: a magnitude of unconditional love that is sometimes so overwhelming it brings tears.

I recognize as I get older, and parent my own kids, the extreme lengths you went to for us to feel this love.

While we occasionally refer to you as a “bossy boot” for interfering in our relationships, I think we would all say we’re so glad you did, and continue to do so. You never let us develop grudges or jealousies. You never let us feel we aren’t equally loved and special. You encouraged us to bond through humor, sit down meals, and even chores. While we still bicker on occasion, any bad feeling quickly dissipates when we think of our joint love for you and our desire to make you happy. It must have been, and undoubtedly still is, exhausting.

We know that even as adults you still worry sick about us — in fact you often say how the worries are greater but there’s a certain acceptance in knowing you can’t solve each problem we have. What we all want is for you to relax and enjoy life — and perhaps occasionally make us cake. That’s it. You’ve given us the world in giving us each other and that is more than we could ask for.

So on this Mother’s Day, we hope you realize that your love for us and our family, is what has made us the men and women we are today. Thank you mom, and see you on the other side of quarantine for a little cake!


Your favorite daughter (well, one of them anyway)


Read more:
10 Ways to celebrate your mother when you can’t be with her


Read more:
7 Classic flowers for Mother’s Day and what they symbolize

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