As part of our celebration of Mother's Day, we asked Desert News readers to share memories and expressions of gratitude for their moms. Here's what they had to say about the influential women in their lives:
What she means to me? Everything. I was adopted at four months. The two amazing people I call Mom and Dad chose me, with all my little issues and problems. My grandma died right before they adopted me, so my mom raised me without her mother's TLC and advice.
My husband and I recently adopted our two precious girls, and I have relied on Mom tremendously. I go to her for advice or just to cry. We've struggled financially, and she bought us groceries and brought us meals. I love my mom and hope she is around for a long time. - Christina Marie
My Mom has a rare neurodegenerative disease that has no real effective treatments, and even now toward the end she is an amazing example of strength, love and faith. She has always been an independent and strong role model, and she is an amazing mother that would do anything that truly helps her kids and grandkids. - Amy
The first Mothers Day that I recall is when I was 8. My mother had given birth to a new little sister that morning. I remember going to church and everyone telling me what a great Mothers Day gift for my mother. I was not sure what kind of a gift that was she was the sixth child in our family.
I have since realized that my mother was always giving me gifts. The gifts were given to me by her example. She taught me the gift of love as she gave birth to 10 children. She gave me the gift of faith and endurance when her husband died and she was left to raise the children on her own. As I sat with her in the hospital, leaving this life, she continued to give bless me with gifts. As the years pass, I continue to see gifts from my mother. - Kim Nelson
Even though it was 40 years go, I can still see her in my mind standing on the street corner. I was 9 years old, and I was walking to school. If I turned around after a block or two to see whether my mom was still there I would not be disappointed. I felt so safe and secure knowing she was there as I walked ahead, making sure nothing happened to me.
It was 1972 and my parents had divorced. We moved into a home behind my Aunt Syliva's house, and Mom went to work as a telephone operator. But I never knew that. I would go to school each day with my mother's eye on me, and I when I came home she was there.
Mom loved my brother and me. We always came first to her. Mom passed away in 2004, but her example of sacrifice and love live on within me. - Brenda Bennion
When I had my first baby in 1989, I was completely overwhelmed with trying to remember all of the instructions of how to take care of my beautiful daughter. I didn't want to do anything wrong!
A sweet lady that helped raise me, Elinor Cheever, told me the greatest advice anyone ever told me and brought everything into perspective in caring for our newborn. She told me to remember four things. It didn't matter how I did them, just that we do them: 1) Keep her loved. 2) Keep her fed. 3) Keep her warm. 4) Keep her clean.
Elinor meant the world to my family. We miss her greatly and are so grateful for her kind, positive and loving influence that have deeply touched our lives. Thank you Cheever family for letting her help us! - Sheron Izatt Drake
When I was small, each week my momma went to the local Ukrops Grocery Store and I tagged along with her.
She gathered a supply of canned beans, veggies, maybe a few pieces of fruit and a little of this and that.
Then checkout time came and I began to fidget, excitement swelling in my heart.
The checkout line was my favorite place no cookies, cakes, gum or toys could turn my head, my heart was with the books. A special rack at the checkout was packed full of Little Golden Books.
Other kids would beg for toys, I begged for books. And each week my momma bought me a book. She spent endless hours reading to me.
I ate porridge with Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, went to the ball with Cinderella and many other adventures, all without leaving home.
Now Im a writer, and of all the things my momma has given me, what I appreciate most is the love for reading she inspired in me. - Becky Robinette Wright
Our mother, Mrs. Lota Wilson, lived a life of righteous beauty. When asked at a banquet honoring her for her sacrifice, she was asked how she raised her family of eight children after our father's death. Her answer was simple and humble answer: "I did it on my knees."
When four of her sons returned safely from WWII, her answer to us at a family gathering to give thanks for their return, "I did it on my knees." - Margaret Wilson Turner
What I loved to do most is pick raspberries with my mother.
Early in the a.m., the sun rising in the east, mother and I tied gallon buckets around our waists with yellow baling twine. Mother showed me how to lift the vines gently with a leather glove on the left hand and pick with the right, each berry gently placed in the bucket. She went down one side of the row; I on the other side. Often, the only sounds were rustling leaves and feet moving down the row.
Then, her voice pieced the air: Darrel, bend a bit lower and pick the big hidden ones, hanging on the lower limbs. I kneeled down, careful not to knock the fruit off and there they were, the succulent ones.
This lesson of not overlooking anything, even the berries best hidden, required a bit of bending, much like prayer. - Darrel Hammon
The young girl was carrying soda bottles on her bike when she hit an uneven portion on the sidewalk and fell over right in front of me. All of her bottles broke, and she ended up cutting herself up pretty bad.
I ran inside to get my mother, and she immediately rushed out to come to her aid. She cleaned the girl up, bandaged her and gently helped her back on her bike.
And then my mother did something I will never forget. She reached in her own pocket and gave the girl money to replace the lost soda. We were so poor at that time we could rarely afford soda for ourselves. It was a luxury. My mother was willing to freely share what she could with that injured girl.
That image of compassion and sacrifice on behalf of someone else has never left me. And it influences me to this day. - Ramona Siddoway
I have a picture in my mind of my mother sitting in our Indiana living room in her sleek, beige country-upholstered wingback chair, feet outstretched, sipping hot chocolate and reading a book. (Just kidding about sleek.)
One of the things I appreciate most about my mom is that she helped me become a reader through example and encouragement. Summer outings to the public library with her five unruly kids, sharing with me her old Nancy Drew mysteries, and these days, presenting her grandkids with a new book for each birthday my moms reading hobby has influenced many.
Something important that I have realized as a mother is that whenever I needed anything, my moms book would go straight to her lap. She never made me feel like I was a bother or an interruption. I can appreciate that now when Im engrossed in a book and my four kids vie for my attention. Thanks, Mom, for loving your family and sharing with us your love of reading. - Megan Gladwell
Devastated and afraid, I called my mom to tell her I had breast cancer. After we talked through the shock, she said, Laurie, I know you. I know youre strong and determined, and that you will beat this. I know you will fight with everything youve got, and youll be OK. She said it with such strength and conviction, it inspired me.
My mother has taught me by her words and example that there's a time to cry and there's a time to wipe away the tears, and march boldly on.
While I was going through chemotherapy treatments, she made an embroidered pillow for me with one of my favorite quotes: Always remember I am the rock in your garden. You are the blossom in mine. It sits on my mantle as a reminder of my mother, my rock and my example of courage, strength, faith and love. - Laurie Snow Turner
The most important lesson my mother taught me was one she's learned along the way. I doubt she knows Ive learned this from her; in fact, I wonder if she even knows she's learning it.
In many ways, my mom is just like other moms but in many more, she isnt at all. Thats why we love her. She's quirky with a bold sense of humor. She speaks her mind, but she loves to laugh. She suffers her share of strife, but she's a fighter and works tirelessly to find and spread joy.
My mother has never apologized for who she is. She's aware of her shortcomings, yet she keeps working to be the best she possibly can. She's taught me through example that the only way to find happiness is to be proud of yourself and its nobodys responsibility but mine to get there. - Lindsay Thacker Maxfield
Moms are supposed to watch over their kids. I learned that when we moved to Hawaii when I was 5 and the first night we were in a pretty rickety old house. Mom was helping me take a bath, and when she turned on the water, a lizard came pouring out of the faucet. I was ready to scream bloody murder, but Mom just got a towel and whisked that lizard away.She calmed me down and told me how much fun Hawaii was going to be with all the new creatures to meet. I only found out later that she was scared to death, too. Moms. They start out as heroes and just keep on going. Thanks so much, Mom! - Gayle Higgins
Each day as I would return home, I would open the door and say, "Mom, I'm home." I would then hear my mom's welcoming response from the laundry room, the living room, or occasionally find a note on the table explaining when she would be home. It wasn't until later in my life that I realized the comfort and stability this provided me as I grew up.
One of the things I appreciate most about my mom is her willingness to serve others. This is an admirable quality, but she went a step beyond and involved her children in that service. I can remember taking the meals she cooked to the neighbors and when she would visit some of the elderly people in our neighborhood we were with her. She provided a great legacy to me by her example. - Robert Leifson
We take it for granted: learning how to talk! But I will always be grateful my mom, LeOra Larsen, tried to teach us proper English. She often corrected me and my siblings but made it like a game. If one of us said, My brother and me did something, she would smile and say, Is you brother mean? Or if we said, It is him calling, she would softly say, Oh, I thought it was he! With texting, words are abbreviated and it becomes more difficult to speak in complete sentences and write with correct spelling and punctuation. We still make mistakes. But since our matriarch spoke English so well, we have tried to follow her habit of continually learning and correcting ourselves. She passed away at the age of 102. But well always remember and appreciate her simple lessons of helping us speak and love the English language. - Carolee Larsen Harmon
My mom always did sweet small acts of kindness and encouraged us to find good in others. Once she told me that someone said something nice about me and that I had to tell her something nice about someone else before she would tell me what was said about me. One thing she did for me that warmed my heart was when I was serving and LDS Mission in Liberty Missouri. I was on my second Christmas out and feeling very homesick. The first year, she sent me a cute stocking she had purchased me for Christmas, and I loved it. The second year my dear mom sent me my Christmas stocking that I have had since I was very small. It was made of terry cloth and had a cat on it. The cat had a Santa hat and had a candy cane tail. It was very worn from many years of use. My mom filled it with gifts before she sent it and when I opened it, I cried. I can't remember all that was in the stocking, but I remember the warmth that filled my heart that Christmas because I knew I was still my mom's girl. In my life I have struggled to feel special and significant. My mom is one person who helps me feel like I matter. - Tamara Johnson