hands My mom has ALWAYS had my back and my best interests at heart, but the day she was my labor coach was the day I looked at her in a whole new light, with added respect and adoration.

It was a rainy summer day in August of 1987, 4 days short of my nineteenth birthday.  My mother was forty-one at the time, and I am sure she was not overly excited about becoming a grandmother at such a young age.

The circumstances around my baby's arrival had caused tension in our family home.  I had decided to raise the baby, rather than give it up for adoption, and as a result of my choice needed to find a place for the two of us to live after his birth.

Once I secured the apartment, my mom helped me every step of the way.  She cleaned, painted, and decorated the tiny space with pictures and curtains.  She gave me her old pots and pans, dishes, and basic kitchenware to begin my life as a mother.

More important, my mom was there to listen when I needed to talk about my fear of giving birth, and what kind of mother I might be.

When I was scared to death about my future, my mom assured me she had faith in my ability.

On that August day, my mom held my hand through the most excruciating pain my teenage mind and body could fathom.  Right after my son came into the world she said to me, "Kim, you did a great job, but if I could have gotten up on that table and done it for you, I would have."

And I know my mom meant every word of that statement.

Because that's what mothers do for their children.  They hurt for them, they cheer for them, they cry for them, they take pride in their children's accomplishments, and if they can, they "walk through fire" to help them out.

God blessed me with a shining example of what motherhood should be about, so I have lived the last 25 years trying to emulate her ways.

To this day my mom continues to support and encourage me on a daily basis.

She assists me in pursuing my dream of helping others with substance abuse issues by taking over the house and kid duties so I can go to work.  She makes meals, drives carpool, tests my kids on their spelling words.  Never complaining, or making me feel like I owe her for all the time and effort she has put into my life.

My mom and I will celebrate this special day by doing one of our favorite things, going to get a pedicure and have lunch.  Not only is my mom a wonderful grandmother, she is also a terrific friend!

In the back of my mind I know there will come a time when my mom needs me more than I need her.  And when that day comes I will be there, to say and do all I can to support her, as she has for so long for me.

Happy Mothers Day to the very best mom a girl could ask for!

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