A Few Good Moms

There are more amazing moms out there than you can shake a stick at (but don’t run with that stick or you’ll poke an eye out!) With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to introduce just a few of the incredible military moms and spouses that have touched my life. Also, I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted your help surprising my mom.

Surprise

A few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a project about moms. You had to make a self-recorded video talking about a mom who inspired you and one attribute from a list. I chose my mom and “strength.” She doesn’t know I did this. Or that it was shown at an event. Or that I’m sharing it here. Regular readers of this blog know that I don’t usually focus on me. And that I’m a little camera-shy. So this is sure to be a surprise.

Military Moms

About 1% of the country is active duty and if you add all vets, that number gets up to around 6%. With such a small population, you may not know a military mom or spouse. So allow me to introduce some of the incredible women I’ve met:

Mrs. K– Her first child was born after her husband deployed and she handled that whole first year solo. Now she has two kids and soon must prepare them for his upcoming deployment. When I first met her is when I realized that families serve too. I wrote a post about her.

Dee– Her husband was a Marine that served in Vietnam and 3 of her 3 sons have served in the military: Marines, Navy, Air Force, and one is still serving. She never sleeps soundly when they’re gone. She prays daily for all in harm’s way, not just her own.

Ginger– Both of her daughters wound up marrying soldiers. She didn’t raise her hand to serve but you can bet she’s done her share of worrying and making care packages. Oh, and flying to wherever in the world she had to in order to meet new grandchildren.

Jenn– Her huband has PTSD. He told me that after a rough period, he begged her to leave him, just take the kids and go have a better life without him. She said no. That she loved him and couldn’t imagine being without him. He also said, “no offense to anyone else…lol, but I think I have the most wonderful wife in the world.”

Other Jenn–  I was delayed at the airport for hours along with Jenn and her daughter. We started as strangers and left as friends. Jenn has a lightness about her and an awesome sense of humor. I think her ability to laugh at what is absurd or even herself is helpful in all kinds of stressful situations, such as her husband’s many deployments.

“Mrs. Noba”– Like a few people on this list, we’ve never met in person. She’s a fellow blogger that writes about many topics including having a child with autism and, at times, her life as a military spouse. What I love is her fearless spirit, sometimes dark humor and honesty.

Abigail– Combat Medic and mother of 3, she is one of thousands of moms who serve in the military. When I was missing my daughter for a few days, I got a “perspective check” when I received her letter. She would not see her children for a year.

Denise– An Air Force Mom who volunteers at the USO and cares for all troops the way she hopes someone would treat her own son…counting on the sisterhood of motherhood. I wrote a post about her.

Gold Star Moms– I met one at the USO when I was with Denise. The name refers to a mom who has lost a child in service to our country. I’m not sure what the right words are when a mom’s worst fear has come true. I remember one year at a Veterans parade when the Gold Star Moms went by, one of them said back to the crowd, “No, thank YOU for not forgetting.” My way of not forgetting this Mother’s Day was to donate to their organization.

Snowball express– This charity helps “create hope and new memories for children of our fallen military heroes.” They do special things for these kids and their surviving parent. So I sent them something too. Giving to charity is not part of my normal Mother’s Day “shopping,” but maybe it should be.

Sandra Beck and Robin Boyd– two moms and hosts of Military Mom Talk Radio. They devote their time to finding programs and sharing ideas that help military families. I met them when they interviewed me. I love how they support anyone who has a good idea that can help. If you know of something that makes a difference, please reach out to them.

Thanks Moms

To all the women who can make another human being feel loved and give them the certainty that they are worthy of being loved…and all our military moms and spouses who do this during difficult times and long seperations, I give you my heartfelt thanks. On Mother’s Day and every day.

flower's for Mother's Day

Photo courtesy of Tinyspitcracker

© Gina left the mall, 2013

23 thoughts on “A Few Good Moms

  1. Hi Gina,
    This is the most beautiful card I ever received. I wish I could find the words to explain how happy you made me feel when I read your article. Tears of happiness was fogging my eyes.

    I am so thankful that you and Vinnie both appreciated how I did things and never complained. I was so lucky to have two beautiful children that also never realized that never complaing helped our lives be easier. Thank You SO Much! I am the luckiest mom to have children like the two of you. I LOVE YOU BOTH VERY MUCH! YOUR MOM

  2. My son called while I was readingyou today. He said I would cry and he was so right. Your Mom must be so excited and happy!!! I know you made me feel really special by including me as one of your moms. Please tell (your) Mom that (this) Mom says thanks for raising such a wonderful daughter!

  3. Wonderful post! from a fellow blogger who just happens to be a vet, mil spouse, and a mom too… I’m still making up for that deployment time away from my baby. I honestly don’t know when that guilty feeling will ever leave.

    • Thank you Melody. And thank you for your service. It must’ve been incredibly difficult to be gone so long. And while it’s easy to say, “don’t feel guilty” it’s harder to do. But maybe…look at your happy, thriving baby and don’t let how you feel about the past diminish one joyous moment in the present. That said, I am guilty of that guilty feeling too at times with my daughter. So I’ll try to take my own advice 🙂 And I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  4. Hello Gina,
    I read your posts faithfully and I love them all (especially the one “Deploying Puppy Power”). I never reply because you know I’m shy. You already know that I think you are an awesome person and I am so proud of you! This post made me cry and it really touched me because I was there. Looking back I realize how strong your mom was. What’s more amazing is that she never did complain. Not once did I hear her complain. This is a lesson for me. Aunt Lalin you are great mom and an inspiration!!

    • Laura,
      Thank you for this beautiful note! And I certainly DO know how shy you are…so this comment is the second family surprise in this post 🙂 I don’t think I fully understood how strong my mom was/is until I became a mom. I hope I can be even a little bit like her. And, if I’m lucky, pass that along to Sofia.

  5. Gina, what a beautiful Mother’s Day card to your very special Mom and all the other special Moms highlighted in your post. I know what my own Mom went through all those years my brother was deployed in Korea, the fear and the hope and the uncertainty and the love. Still, she was the rock that held our family together through that difficult time, and because of her example I never lose sight of the value of courage and the beauty of life.

    • NP,
      I love that you were able to see and cherish the gifts of her example. They are beautiful. Your mom, like so many of the other military moms I’ve met are truly “the rock” to their loved ones…giving them emotional solid ground in uncertain times. Their families thrive because of them. And nothing makes a mom happier than that.

  6. Gina, i am speechless, overwhelmed by emotion that i was crying while watching your video Mother’s Day greetings. You are a wonderful daughter and an excellent narrator too!

    Your Mom is soooo proud of you and very happy too to get the “reward” and “award” from her own girl! We are all so proud of you and your talent. Gina, we had seen you grow up; knew of your Mother’s sacrifices just to make life comfortable for you and Vinnie. So lucky to have your Mom all the time. She is really a hero; also MY hero. She is my sister-in-law but without the “in-law” cause we treat each other like we are twin sisters. That explains why I was also in tears.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, my favorite niece!

    Love you!
    Auntie Pic

    • Auntie Pic,
      Thank you so much for this. It means a great deal to me. My mom deserves much more award/reward but I’m glad it made you both happy. Although… you may be in trouble with my cousins in Guam for naming me your favorite 🙂

      As I said in my opening, there are many amazing moms out there. I am blessed to have one and honored to know so many. Both in my family and “in the ranks” of those that serve. Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Gina

  7. Gina, this was a powerful testament to your mom’s strength, and to all the military moms who’ve provided stability to their families during their husbands’ deployments. If you are camera-shy, you certainly compensated well for it here; you came across cool as a cucumber! I think you’ve definitely inherited your mom’s strength and compassion.

    • Thank you so much for these kind words. It makes me both happy and humbled to have such an “inheritance.” I think it’s also why I amso touched and impressed by the incredible strength of the military moms and spouses.

      And yes, I am camera-shy. But I think when the subject mattes so much to me, it helps. That’s the only way I got through doing the Vets documentary 🙂

  8. HI Gina, thanks for a lovely tribute to Mother’s, families and the challenges of war. Maybe one day we won’t have wars and all the horrible consequences. And thanks for visiting my blog. Brad

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