Mother’s Day Tributes 2019
We asked our marchers why they loved their mothers. Their replies will move you to tears!
“I love my mom for so many reasons. She taught me how important the gift of life is and what it means to be a true feminist. When I was 5 years old my mother became pregnant with my little brother. She was told by the doctors that my brother would be born with down syndrome and that she should just abort him because he would not live a normal life. She refused, and changed doctors immediately. When she came home that night she sat me and my brother down and told us that God had given us a special baby brother who would fill our lives with so much joy. She said it was our job to protect him because people wouldn’t understand him. When he was born, our mom took such good care of him. She learned how to sign, she set routines, danced and sang with him, went to doctors’ appointments, and loved him like no other. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for our family, and especially for him. I would often hear her say, “Love transcends all obstacles” when she was asked how she did it all. She became sick with Lupus when I turned 15 and sadly passed away a year later. To me, she was the example of the superwoman, and even though she is gone, I love her so much for teaching me how to be a true woman. I know she would be so proud of who my little brother has become and how smart and sweet he is. I am now a mom, and I always hope I’m at least half the woman she was.” – Silvia Gray, Richmond, VA
“Acts 17:26-28 teaches us that God created one human race; and places us in families. We are not color blind, we are not different races. So, it doesn’t matter what color you are, or how old you are, or where you are born. Everyone has a mother; sometimes the relationships are good, sometimes not.
I’ve always thought that my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world. When I was little, I wanted to be just like her. However, God saw fit for me to be born looking like my Daddy; a gift I’ve learned to appreciate.
In 1950, even though my parents were engaged, they weren’t married. Yet they decided to “do things that grown folks do,” so I showed up on their first date they had without a chaperone.
Mama was a freshman at Spelman College, and she wanted to wait to get married. Back then, pregnant women didn’t go to college, married or not. So, Mama got a flyer at school about new “birth control” methods and a procedure called a D&C which were alternatives to unwanted and unplanned pregnancies from the Birth Control League which was changing its name to Planned Parenthood.
Mama’s mother got wind of Mama’s plans and insisted that they get counseling from their pastor, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. Granddaddy said: “Neenie, that’s not a lump of flesh. That’s my granddaughter. I saw her in a dream three years ago. She has bright skin and bright red hair and she is going to bless many people. There will be no abortion. We’re going to have this baby.”
Daddy and Mama got married, and I was born January 22, 1951; the first of their five children. The story of my rescue from abortion was a secret for many years. As a result, I misinterpreted family whispers and family secrets, and sometimes felt rejected and became insecure and rebellious at times. Along the way, I slipped off the golden path and had two abortions, a miscarriage, and three divorces. God is gracious. I repented and am the mother of six living children, and eleven grandchildren so far.
About ten years ago Mother told me the whole story. We cried and repented and rejoiced together. Today, she calls me her “Angel Daughter,” and I call her the Butterfly Queen because of her love for butterflies. Her favorite memory about butterflies is our trip to Callaway Gardens where a magnificent Monarch Butterfly landed on her outstretched finger.
Mama also has granddaughters and great-granddaughters. We spend many fun hours together; cooking, entertaining, shopping, worshipping and praying and just loving each other. I have learned the value of healthy family relationships; how to pray for them and receive them during my years here at BBCC. I thank God that our family relationships are whole and healthy. Amen.” – Evangelist Alveda C. King
“My mom is my rock and my motivation. She is a leader and caretaker at heart. Through the last years my life has been filled with stress and troubles, but she is the foundation of support. She strives every day to put her kids first and herself last. She loves each of us and shows it every day. I love my mom because she’s my best friend and guardian angel, I couldn’t do life without her!” – Lillian Brodeur, Estero, FL
“I love my Mom first and foremost because she chose to give me life. I was one of seven children, #6, with five before me, and one more after me. Back in 1952, I can say with almost certainty, I was NOT a planned pregnancy. I am sure when my Mom and Dad learned I was expected, they were a bit concerned about having one more mouth to feed, on a tight budget. Fast forward almost three years later, my youngest sister is nearly fifteen months old, I am just over three years old, and the older siblings are stair steps apart when my father is killed in a train/truck accident on his way to work.
I could never imagine how my mother felt that day, when she received the news of my father’s death. A stay at home Mom, seven children, and this tragedy to deal with. Any woman in this situation would probably have gone into a deep depression and neglected her children. My Mom, the strong, capable, faith-filled woman she was, drew us near to her and found various ways to get help and go to work, to raise us in her faith, love, and strength. Although she re-married, she kept the memory of my father alive in her stories and pictures, she would share with us.
The year I was to be married, I came down with infectious hepatitis. My Mom had me move back home so she could care for me around the clock, even though she was going through a painful, difficult divorce. She nurtured me back to health and had my wedding and reception in her home, since my doctor advised against the church wedding we had planned, due to the contagiousness.
My Mom raised my brother, myself and my five sisters with determination, with knowing that life will throw many things at us. She taught us we will not always have an easy life, but with our trust in God, knowing He is all loving and caring, we will survive whatever comes our way. I was tested in this faith she taught me to know in 1990, when my mother died of heart failure. I remember the strength she showed us when she lost her mother, I knew the pain she had to go through not having her mother, now that she no longer was here with me. I still hear her voice, I see her smile, I hear her laughter, and most of all, I feel her love and presence with me every day. As I have raised my three children to adulthood, and have been blessed with six grandchildren, I know that my Mom’s love, strength and faith have made me the mother/grandmother I am today. I thank my Mom for not only giving me life, but for giving me my faith that sustains me through life. I love her with all my heart and know she is watching over me from heaven. Thank you, Momma, for loving me, and teaching me what I needed to know, to go on without you. Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven!” – Marie Reinhart, Toledo, Ohio
“My mom got pregnant at 18. She was unwed and working at a local retail store for minimum wage when she found out she was expecting. She chose life despite the odds stacked against her. She attended college shortly after giving birth to me. She worked a few jobs to put me in a Montessori preschool while also attending college herself (we even studied abroad together in Spain). She graduated from college as a single mom with a 5-year-old. She never stopped being the best mom to me. She was at every school function, in the PTA and overall very active in my life. She is a role model to me for the mother I’d like to be to my children. I’m so grateful for the decision she made to be my mother.” – Rachelle Eilers, Madison, Wisconsin
“Mom Maria Altamirano is 104 1/2 years old. She and my dad Enrique who past away 6 1/2 years ago at the age of 99 raised 4 children and took care of practically all her grandchildren and still lives in the home we all were raised. It’s now our turn to take care of her. That we have for the past seven years in the same loving way that she took care of us. Happy Mother’s Day! We all love you so much. God bless you!” – Henry Altamirano
“My mom is the literal super mom. She has had eleven children, no twins, and natural births with no painkillers. She homeschooled all of her children from 1st grade through 12th grade (there are three still in high school), and sent eight of them off to accredited four-year universities. One is a lawyer, one is in federal law enforcement, one is an engineer, one is an accountant, two are nurses, and there are two still in college (one spent a year at WestPoint before transferring). She is the most patient person I know and is the woman I picture when I read Proverbs 31. She has carried our family through illness, including my dad’s cancer and my brother’s MS. She is an artist, a homemaker, an educator, a counselor, and so much more. She is truly the best human being I know.” – Elise Hegarty, Arvada, Colorado
From all of us at the March for Life, Happy Mother’s Day!