Shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017, I quickly learned what was important to me. I immediately feared the future loss of the joy of watching my children live their lives and have children of their own. I felt the future enjoyment of motherhood and grandparenthood was potentially and imminently being snatched away from me. This Mother’s Day is very special to me.
On Mother’s Day, the tradition is to express your appreciation for your mother or any mothers in your life. I was thinking about this and thought about how I came about to be a mother. I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the people I want to thank for helping me to become the mother I am today.
I’d like to thank my mother for showing me how to be kind, loving, supportive, and how to offer unconditional love at all times (even when one of her children has passed from this world).
I’d like to thank my grandmothers (rest their souls) for being there for me and my mother. Their wisdom and mentor-ship helped tremendously on this journey of motherhood.
I’d like to thank my mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) for showing me unconditional love towards all others. I hear a lot of people complain about the “out-laws,” especially mothers-in-law, but I have nothing but respect for this kind-hearted, God-loving soul.
There are many to thank on this Mother’s Day.
My friends, who are mothers, supported me, advised me and encouraged me. They also act as role models as I walk down this journey of motherhood. Even as I move from mothering children to mothering adults, there is so much to learn.
I’d like to thank my husband Agapito for taking this parenting journey with me and allowing me to be a mother – without him, I wouldn’t have the two wonderful children I have now. We blended out parenting styles and did what we thought was right for our family (sometimes it came with a bit of a fight, LOL).
I’d like to thank my children, Lorenzo and Simone, for allowing me to learn how to be a mother; to make mistakes; to be happy with my style of parenting; and for making me a proud mother. (Five years ago I wrote an article called The Five Keys to Raising Great Kids. Check it out if you are in the early stages of parenting, however, it’s never too late!)
I am thankful to the teachers, professors, guides and others who helped me along this path. The post-secondary education I obtained in social work (including psychology and family studies) also helped mould me into the mother I am today. I learned about healthy and functional parenting styles, and what dysfunctional families looked like (aren’t we all dysfunctional in some way? LOL) I learned how culture influences parenting styles and how generations of parenting rule-books change based on science, media and other outside influences.
Most of all I’d like to thank God for the wonderful blessing of being able to have children of my own. The caring and protective mothering instincts I was gifted with also helped me to get to where I am today. Thanks be to God.
I feel very blessed on this day. Happy Mother’s Day.
Angela G. Gentile
Angela G. Gentile MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com