A Salute to Women Who Are Not Your Typical Moms…

We’re all about mothers today in the US. Rightfully so.

I do love my mom, but my heart goes out to the unsung heroes of Mother’s Day. These are women everywhere who step up and agree to play a part without biology or legal paperwork to back them. They may be professional mentors to women early in their careers or they may just love an unusual type of person enough to get involved.

Through the magic of changed names to protect the innocent (and righteous), I want to share with you some of the “moms in spirit” I’ve known in no particular order. (Sorry mom, I do love and appreciate you, and we’ll see each other later–I even baked from scratch! 🙂 )

Debbie: I don’t know where Debbie is right now. She was a young woman I met early in my career who was just a few years older and more experienced. I didn’t like her at first. She ran with the “big boys” and talked like them too (not exactly the genteel conversation I’d been raised to engage in and enjoy). Although her professional skills were high-class white collar, she never lost sight of her blue-collar work ethic. It was her stories of the family business that sucked me in and eventually made me see how she was precariously perched between two very different worlds. I did get to work with her off and on, and I was so sorry when she left and my professional position didn’t let me say goodbye. She had strength, and over time, she learned a softness.

Donna Jo: I have watched Donna Jo for over a decade. I first came across her when she ran a club my older two were in. She was always so loving and genuine. After my youngest got beyond Donna Jo’s level in this club, I watched from a distance. Donna Jo was always caring about people in her surroundings; there hasn’t been a month when someone new came to her church simply because she had the faith to ask.

Katy and Georgette: These two women are godmothers in the Catholic tradition. In addition to showing up for sacraments, they volunteer to guide their young charges from birth until however long God gives them. Katy is uber Catholic and a super example of how to be Catholic for her charges. On the other hand, Georgette is a straight-shooter: she doesn’t accept everything and her influence on her charges goes into professional and life realms.

Maria: Maria was a preacher’s wife I knew in my wild child years in college. When I was my most unlovable, she loved me greatly. She was never afraid that the wrong stuff in me would rub off on her kids. She included me at a time when I felt most hopelessly incurable spiritually (and least likely to think I needed cured). She even helped make it okay for me to be intellectual and spiritual at the same time. I don’t know where she is today, but I pray an extra blessing on her.

Martha: This woman had five of her own and then “adopted” friends of her five, and that’s how I know her–I was in the same year as the oldest, and the second oldest was my high school bestie. Mary always had extra pasta and sauce, and their car seemed to include enough gas to get me to my job when my parents had to be out of town. Now a grandparent, she considers mine as much hers as her own, and her time not grandparenting is devoted to knitting and crocheting shawls and blankets for the ill.

Rose: This woman is kind of my new role model. I want to be careful how I write because I know she follows this blog. Let’s just say I have always smelled the aroma of Christ around her and always seen Jesus superimposed over her actions. She shepherds the type of women most men are afraid of–broken, hurting, intelligent, strong-willed–pretty much anyone that doesn’t meet the traditional Christian woman image. Don’t get me wrong; she also shepherds the traditional Christian women. I guess it’s that she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in God’s garden and deal with the non-traditional flowers and gems hiding there. AND she still finds time to be wife and parent and grandparent!

Happy Mother’s Day to All! Be sure to find some time to just relax and bask in the peaceful feelings that come your way today.

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