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Happy Mother’s Day

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April showers have brought the May flowers, and now we’re putting them in bouquets for all the wonderful mothers in our lives. I am very blessed to know one who I’d like to introduce to you: My own mom, Patricia, who raised me and my five siblings and gave us a wonderful childhood.

This loving woman I call “Mom” surely helped set me on my life journey. One of the qualities I admire most is her endless curiosity and love for learning. She is constantly excited about anything that is new to her. She is always reading a book, watching online talks, daily reading the Washington Post cover-to-cover and cutting out articles to share, and has recently taken to listening to podcasts through earbuds while she cooks. She is game for anything that feeds her insatiable desire to learn, which appears to have been a driving force throughout her life. In high school, she received the senior award in history, leadership, and English. In addition to having a great mind, Mom was also a very good athlete and lettered in basketball.

Though we faced many challenges during our childhood, my mom was loving and nurturing through it all. I think one of her secrets to weathering difficult times while raising six kids was exercising her great sense of humor. She always made me laugh. I recall an evening I was seated next to her while we all ate dinner together. One of my siblings was messing around at the opposite end of the table. Mom couldn’t reach them so she swatted me and said “Pass it down!”

Though my mom was a star student, I sometimes struggled with academics as a kid; English class was especially frustrating to me. She really believed in my abilities and never stopped encouraging me. I remember her making me write letters and cards to practice the vocabulary and grammar. Her support made me work hard and want to do better, and I credit her unceasing commitment for my success today.

My parents divorced when I was in college, and in her early 50s, my mom had to apply for her first job. Scared but undeterred, she enrolled in school and got a job teaching. She then, through sheer determination, secured an executive-level position at General Electric and spent years nurturing their employees, in the U.S. and abroad, with their own careers (just like she’d done with us). Eventually, she branched out and started her own business. She’s been successful at everything she’s done from raising six children to building a career for herself later in life.

I have so many great stories about my mom, and I am blessed she lives locally so she can continue to inspire me … and make me laugh.

Mom, thank you for sharing all of your love, support, and dedication with me throughout the years. You amaze me. Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all the great moms out there.