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Thanks, Mom!

Readers share the countless reasons they appreciate their mothers

You would have been an amazing grandma

My mother passed away in 1979 when I was 28. She was only 56 years old — much too young to leave this world, her husband and five children. She raised us alone, since my father traveled a great deal and was gone a lot; she must have been lonely at times. I remember how she wanted to drive, but my dad didn't see the sense of it since we had so much within walking distance. One summer day, she piled us all into the car and drove us to my aunt's house, bouncing from curb to curb — luckily without hitting any cars. From then on, we had a new freedom.

She was funny, intelligent, compassionate, determined and wise. And as I grew up, she became a wonderful friend, someone I could confide in when life got overwhelming. When she died, my world crumbled. I know I was lucky to have her as long as I did, but I am so sorry my two children never knew her — she would have been an amazing grandma, too. So thanks, mom. I love and miss you.
—Jean Zahn, Defiance, Mo.

Thank you for making me believe in myself

Thank you so much for teaching me some tough life lessons, with love. I learned from you to accept myself for who I am — warts and all. To be proud of my heritage, to be self-reliant, independent and unaffected by peer pressure, and to set high standards for myself. At the same time you taught me the value of being a loving parent, and showed me by example how to be a lifelong friend to a spouse. … I learned a lot about careful reasoning and deep thinking from you, and about not getting fooled by platitudes. Thank you for having high expectations of me and for making me believe in myself. I repeat your mantra for me, "Yes, you can" whenever I doubt myself. And thank you for your goofy sense of humor that helped lighten the toughest situations and for your zest for life. I love you! —Medha

You taught me to never give up

Thank you, mom, for being my hero. You're a survivor and you never give up. In March of 2005 you suffered a stroke that left you paralyzed on your left side. Just four weeks later, you graduated from community college with two degrees. Then, in December 2012, you graduated from a university with honors. You are the busiest retired person I know: volunteering at a medical center and running your health and wellness nonprofit. Happy Mother's Day and thank you, mom, for raising me to always show love, give back and never give up. I love you. —rb8438

My special note to you: "GBY"

At this time of life, I care for you and watch over you as you always cared for and protected me. Remember putting cozy socks on my feet on a cold winter's morn before I set out to school? Remember preparing my packing before I left for Europe? I was no longer a child, but everything was crisply pressed. To my surprise, I found special notes in each pocket of my clothing. They simply read, "GBY, Love Mom." Friends looked quizzically at these torn little pieces of paper with scribbling on them, but I never explained what the letters meant. Now I say it to you, mom: "GBY — God Bless You!" from a grateful and loving daughter. —en4469

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