As Mother's Day comes to a close this year, I'd like to stop to think about my dear mom, and all she has done for me. Not only did she give me life but she sacrificed and worked tirelessly with my father to provide a good life for me and my brother.
My mother, Elaine, was born into a Greek-American, immigrant family in Mississippi. She grew up in the restaurant business, just like I did. She was on the pep squad in high school, and graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS with a degree in elementary education. Soon thereafter mom and dad met while mom was on summer vacation in Greece. After they were married, mom and dad continued in the family business.
I don't remember much about my early childhood, but I have an overwhelming sense of being loved and having fun. My mom cared for me and took me to play with other kids. She saw me through swimming lessons, gymnastics, ballet, and piano. I had a completely joyful childhood that I am grateful for having daily. No one can ever take that experience away from me, and I have my mom and dad to thank for it.
When I was old enough to be in school, mom went back to work in the family restaurant to help provide for our family. Though the restaurant business seems glamorous on television with shows like Top Chef, Iron Chef and America's Next Great Restaurant, but the honest truth is that restaurants are lots of hard, physical work. And work she did all the way up until I was in college and mom and dad moved back to Greece.
On this Mother's Day occasion, I thank my mom for loving me through the joys and challenges, for the years of labor she put in for my brother and me. I thank her for listening and giving, for raising us in a house full of love, and for reminding me to "Be a lady" every time I left the house. Mom instilled in us a good sense of right and strong values.
Through all her work and teachings, my mom is also beautiful and classy. She's a petite, sophisticated lady who appreciates quality and excellence. She's an amazing cook and baker, and she's never shy to share her food (one of her qualities I'm so glad to have inherited).
For all the complaining we do about our moms, it's important to remember all they do for us. As different as each one of us is, we all have mothers, and it's wonderful to have this day set aside to remind us to appreciate our moms.
She affirms, supports, and encourages me. She's a top member of my personal board of directors. She's an ear when I need her and constant sounding board for my approach to life. Thanks mom. I can because of you!