At Major, Lindsey & Africa, we are thankful to have mothers and mother figures that have impacted our lives and careers in so many ways. Here are some of our stories:
My mom taught me everything I know about being a strong and capable woman. She is the most graceful and yet fierce woman I’ve ever met, and I couldn’t ask for a better role model. She always leads with patience and understanding, and has taught me to do the same.
It’s hard to pick the best advice she’s ever given me – but one sticks out for me particularly – the only thing you can control is yourself and how you react. This is in the context of when a negative person/influence is weighing down on you, just remember that the only person who is being hurt is yourself, and only if you allow yourself to continue reacting to them.
There are two very important mother figures in my life – my mom and my stepmom.
I am so proud of my mom, Marguerite, because she earned her Associates, Bachelors, and Masters, and ultimately became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, all while raising me and my two younger brothers. Having had the luxury of attending college in a more “traditional” manner where school was really my only care and priority, I am continually in awe of the sacrifice my mom made – plugging away one night course at a time – to build not only a career that would support herself and her children, but that was truly answering her life calling. She is the most persistent and resilient woman I know. It is from her that I gained my obsession with reading and love of learning. She taught me that the best thing a woman can do for her children, or anyone she loves in her life, is to take care of herself. I love going to work with her because she is so well respected by her colleagues and is constantly being recognized for her outstanding work and devotion to her patients. Imagine if she has been too scared to sign up for that first class…so many lives have been touched and change by that one brave act.
My stepmom, Linda, has been a part of my life for over twenty years. In addition to having a successful career she is a wonderful mother to my brother Brendan and an incredible stepmom to me and my two other brothers. I am indebted to my “steppie” for her candor, sense of humor, and guidance throughout my career – she sugarcoats nothing and it is this honesty which has helped me navigate the working world as a young, successful woman. Like my mom, she reminds me to focus on what really matters in life – family, friends, adventure, love, and a career of purpose and enjoyment. Linda has been a champion of our “modern family” (there is a 20 year age gap between me and my youngest brother!) since day one and her example of standing up for what you know to be true and right is something I carry with me always – professionally and personally.
Unfortunately I will not be with either of my mom’s this Mother’s Day but the way they love so hard and their love of each other and of our blended family is something I celebrate every day. I wish all families that are labeled “broken” in some way could see my family and how well we have navigated those heartaches, in no small part because of these women and my father who loves and supports them both. People often ask what the secret sauce of a “modern family” is and frankly there isn’t one – but what we always say is where there is fierce, fierce love and respect for differences, there is a real family.
My mother is a boundless source of support, encouragement, and friendship. She is always there when I need her—something I appreciate more as I get older and now need for my own family. Watching her grow into the grandmother she's become in the last year has been an amazing experience for me, and I feel especially fortunate to be able to celebrate that on this Mother's Day.
My mother is probably the most important person in influencing my life. She is a scientist, and studied relentlessly while I was growing up to get her PHD in Microbiology & Immunology. She has worked non-stop for more than 50 years, even now continuing to teach others and learn and study at the medical school where she has worked for 30 years. When my father died 3 years ago, scores of current & prior students and co-workers emerged to support my mom in her time of need. That just showed the number of people that my mom has influenced and affected, and how much they care for her. On the personal side, my mom loves spending time with my two little children (ages 4 and 2), and she makes the time to come by every single weekend to play with the kids and give my wife & I a few minutes to run errands, get to the gym, and take a quick breather. Love you, Mom!