You’re Not My Mother, But…

I know Mother’s Day has always been a challenge for you. You didn’t have the best experience being mothered, although your mother loved you. Your childhood was hardly the stuff of Hallmark cards, but you did the best you could with what you had.

You’re not my mother, but… when I first met you your partner-in-crime was a sweet little five-year-old boy named Jeremy. You had raised him to be sweet and kind and decent, and all by yourself. You had managed to juggle your military service and single parenting to remarkable success. You were as good a mother as you could be, the mother you wished you had, the mother you know your son needed.

You’re not my mother, but… we built a life together and you whole-heartedly embraced the idea of adding another to our little family. We were so young and bright-eyed as you bloomed and blossomed and, just a year and a few months after being married, you brought forth our little blessing. You were filled with joy at the birth of Jennifer and showed me all I needed to know about caring for her. You were the best mother she could have hoped for, and best mother a father could ever want for his child.

You’re not my mother, but… even as your own Navy career grew and you accomplished great things, you offered yourself up again, willing to expand our growing family as only a mother can. You were my tenth-of-ton-hon, balancing a burger on your swollen belly as we waited for whoever God had for us. Even after warnings from the doctor about potential problems, you were full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. She came out swinging, and Jamie brought a world of character to our lives that took all of your mothering instincts to corral.

You’re not my mother, but… you made the huge sacrifice of giving up your opportunity to be an officer so that we could add still another child to the clan. You stretched on your khaki maternity pants while we waited for the next child-chapter in our lives. And when the baby of the family John came along, you became the full-time mother we needed. I know those were tough times, with a house full of kids and all the things we faced, but your instincts as a mother overcame them all and you built a house full of love for our four kids.

You’re not my mother, but… I cannot imagine having a more loving, committed, industrious, intelligent, thoughtful, caring and… perfect mother of our children. You overcame, sacrificed, struggled with, fought for, prayed for, and loved with totality.

It’s Mother’s Day, and even though you are not my mother, I am blessed beyond measure to proudly call you the mother of my children. They all carry you inside their souls, their character shaped by yours. They are all amazing kids, all because they all have the same amazing mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, Diana.

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