Happy Mother’s Day to All of the Great Mothers in Our Lives

Old school upload for Mother's Day

From left to right: Kathy and my mom, Teresa; my cousins Cody, Haley, and myself in a fresh red shirt.

Next year will mark 10 years since my mom passed away. It’s something I didn’t even think of until a recent conversation I had with my friend Ian. The first couple years after her death, I was bitter whenever the holiday rolled around. Commercials and strangers badgering me not to forget my mom on Mother’s Day, the one day I’d rather have anything top of mind but my mom. But, with loss comes growth and I realized something I’ve never really considered before: Mother’s Day is the day for all the great mothers in your life. I wanted to pay tribute to a few of the great mothers in my life.

My Mom

My mom was one of the best people in my life. She wasn’t perfect by any means, but she sacrificed what little she had for me and always provided one of the things you can never take for granted – love. She was the person who bought me my first videogame console with her tax return: the Nintendo Entertainment System. A console that I have such a love and hate relationship with, I tattooed the controller on my body. She was the one who’d call me almost daily to the point of annoyance just to talk. It was annoying then, but I miss it now. I’ve been asked before about how I turned out as well as I have and I firmly believe it was because my mom always showed me love.

My Aunt Kathy

Throughout my childhood, there were a few times when unfortunate circumstances would occur. My aunt Kathy and uncle Jim were usually there for us, letting us stay in a spare room in their house. I’ve always had a close relationship with my aunt and uncle, but it was after my mother’s death where I realized how great of a relationship it was. Kathy has helped me during some of the toughest moments of my life and has instilled in me a sense of responsibility for my actions. She never forgets a birthday, always calls me just to check in when she hasn’t talked to me in a while, and never forgets to pack me a stocking during the holiday season. I’d easily consider her a second mother.

Kathy, Jesse and Yaicha

Afternoon beverages with Kathy and Yaicha

My Soon To Be Mother-In-Law

I’ve met the parents in all of the relationships I’ve had in my life. Many of the mothers were very nice, some probably just tolerable of our relationship. It wasn’t until I met Yaicha’s parents that I learned something new: When you begin a relationship with someone, you also begin a relationship with his or her family. Yaicha’s mom has been there for us countless times. Whether it’s the big things such as being the subject of one of my photojournalism projects and letting us stay in their spare room to save money for moving to Portland, or the little things such as making me a zombie graveyard birthday cake, Kathy has been there for me and for us. She’s a mother that I appreciate more than words can say.

So, take a moment today and appreciate the mother in your life. Let them know how much they mean to you.