Celebrating the Moms in My Life

Birth Mom, Joanne Jones
My Step Mom Jerri Solicito
My Grandma Jones

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there reading this, and especially to all the mothers in my life.

My debut romance novel, Ten Bucks and a Wish, is the perfect novel celebrating motherhood. The story deals with the loss of a mom as well as the motherly affection from someone who wants to fill that void. The theme of motherhood is woven throughout the story as little “mom glimpses” are shared. Memories of my now deceased mom, and my grandmother who is still alive and living in Tennessee, are evidenced in Jane McCord, the hero’s (Michael McCord) mother. Well-worn flannel gowns, soft chenille robes, wadded tissues in pockets, the soft scent of ponds cold cream and baby powder. Good home cooked meals. Even the sound, stern advice is something I could hear my mom or grandma offering.

Motherhood. It’s all around us in some form or another. And it’s important to recognize the value and worth of moms everywhere, not just today, but every day.  

From a very young age we are prepped to assume the role of “mother” with our very first baby dolls. By the time we’ve hit adulthood the idea of becoming a mom has crossed our minds at least once. And then usually met by a variety of answers. “Hell, no.” “Maybe in the future.” “I’ll freeze my eggs ‘til I’m ready.”  “My clock is ticking and the alarm is about to go off.”

Eventually, for many of us, it happens. Then suddenly we find ourselves seven or eight months along, looking down out the world globe we’ve somehow accidentally swallowed, and panic. How the hell is this thing going to come out of me?

For others, it’s that first day you’re holding your baby, after years of red tape and applications, and suddenly it has become real. You’ve adopted this thing and now comes the reckoning. “What if I won’t know how to be a mother?”

Regardless of how it happened, more than a few new parents have wondered, “What the hell have I done? What do I do now?”

But then you blink and it’s over.

Next thing you know that “thing,” has graduated college and started a life of its own. And you call it, “my son,” or “my daughter.”

Where does the time go?

Being a mom is hardly ever easy. From the first feeding, to sending them off after a visit with some sort of goodie bag or care package stuffed with leftovers, frozen sauce, bread—you name it—you are their caretaker, their champion, their mentor, their role model and inspiration, and a million other titles wrapped up in one unending hug.

I never knew how much my birth mom taught me until she was gone. I never knew how much an impact she made on my life, my decision-making skills, my philosophies, until she had passed.

I never knew how much I loved being a mom until my kids were grown and living and thriving as adults. Each time they come to visit I hold them close and smell them, just like I did when they were babies, hoping to always remember their scent. They laugh at me when they realize what I am doing. And I remember now that my mom did it with me and my sisters when we were young.

Mother’s Day isn’t too painful even though my mom has passed. I will always love her, and she will always be in my heart, and this day isn’t much different than any other in terms of aching for her. I honor her today as I do every day. I talk to her, I hold her memory close, and I give thanks for the life she gave me.

Another reason why it’s not too painful is because my “other mother” has been in my life for more than 22 years. After my mom and dad split, my step mom eventually came into my life. Recently she and dad moved up from Florida to be nearer to family, and we see one another a lot. We talk on the phone or text or visit nearly every day.

Is it the same as having my birth mom? Not exactly. No one can replace a birth mom. But is it good? Is it filled with love, nurturing, compassion, life talks, advice, and scoldings. You betcha. All the things my birth mom did. After all, my stepmom was a birth mom herself, and as a result I have two stepbrothers. She knows what she’s doing. I am blessed to have her in my life.

There is a third woman I give thanks for today, and that is my Grandma Jones in Tennessee. She taught me how to sew, how to cook, how to believe in true love. She was the woman I kept in my head when writing Mrs. McCord’s character, even though she was a conglomerate of my mom (her daughter) and my sister Jane, who passed in 2007. Together, these three women became the matriarch of Ten Bucks and a Wish.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to give thanks for these three “Moms” who helped me become the woman I am today.

I love you all. Happy Mother’s Day.

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