Welcome to a special Sunday edition of The Weekly Reader, which is dedicated to the most lovely and wonderful of all creatures: mom. This Mother’s Day I would like to offer my love and thanks to so many women close to me who, on a daily basis, touch their children and their families with their warmth. It is, of course, impossible to individually recognize all of the mothers I know; but you’re all out there, and you all know who you are.
My own family contains many of the same mothers you surely have within your family. There are the “Old Aunts” (not my term, we have Jake to thank for that one!) who have always been like mothers to me, and whose motherly love now extends into a grandmotherly love for the newest generation of our children. Then there is the group whom I suppose could be considered the “Young Aunts” (I should now be getting some wicked cool Christmas gifts from them this year!) whose friendship I cherish as much as the motherly qualities they provide to both my son and me. There are cousins my age, young mothers celebrating today with young children, who have adapted to motherhood so naturally that it’s hard to remember them as youngsters themselves. There is my adopted sister Shannon who has fought tirelessly for the opportunity to become a mom; and my sister Mary Beth who gracefully provides love and support as a step-mom, but for what must seem like a fraction of the recognition. There are the mothers like my Grandma Issy who have been taking care of us and spoiling us for as long as we can remember; and those like my Grandma Holbrook whom we’d give the world to be able to hug and kiss and thank just one more time. And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my son’s mother Bridget, who has given me the very best part of my life. She and the mothers within her family have my endless gratitude for all they have done to shape Spencer into the remarkable young man he is.
Then there is the one woman for whom there is positively no substitute: my very own mother, Joyce Reader.
There are not enough superlatives to use when expressing my love and my gratitude to my mom. Nobody I know better exemplifies the selflessness, compassion, and tenderness of a mother. Thanks to her, not one minute of my life has passed when I wasn’t loved and appreciated, through good times and bad. Mom is always there to listen, to give me guidance through her wisdom, and to accept me for who I am without ever passing judgement. In fact, the open discussions of our different perspectives are just as integral in bonding us together as the embracing of our many similarities. My mom has fought with the courage of a warrior through a disease that would’ve already consumed most people, all the while smiling and seeking ways to be of service to others. Mom is modest with her assessment that her children make her job look easy; but all who know her know that we have her to thank for everything we are.
So Mom, if you’re reading this – and as my lifelong number one fan, I know you are – then please accept this open declaration of my love and my thanks as my gift to you, for today and the other 364 days of the year in which I am grateful to have you as my mother.
I hope all of you have had a wonderful day celebrating with the moms who are closest to you. Now fellas, get busy finishing the dishes, the laundry, and the other chores you’re doing for the mothers today, because at 8:00pm it will be time to root again for Detroit’s exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs…