Moms Who Rock

In honor of Mother’s Day (and all the days), we want to give a shout out to all the amazing moms out there. We asked readers to share stories about their moms and what makes them so fantastic. Maybe she gives great advice, maybe she offers support when it is needed most, or maybe she just teaches by example with the way she embraces life and overcomes challenges. Read some of the heart-warming submissions we received below.

To all the moms—those who taught us, those who lifted us up, and those we lost too soon—happy Mother’s Day.

My mum, Maré LeMay, rocks! She teaches me every day that it is never too late to pursue your dreams and that the best dreams are always, at their core, what make you feel most connected to yourself and to the earth. At age 68, my mum is pursuing her lifelong dream of running a successful small scale farming operation called Mindful Gardens in Bowdoinham, Maine. She specializes in organic fresh flowers and mixed vegetables and also produces hand woven baskets and everlasting wreaths. Last year was her first debut at the Bath Farmer’s Market, and she saw a successful summer with customers who love her products.

My mum was born to be a farmer. She grew up raking blueberries on her family’s farm in Washington County, but having her first child at age 19 and her last at 39 meant that most of her life has been spent caregiving and working sometimes three jobs at a time to pay the bills. Having created abundance out of poverty, and determination in the face of being diagnosed with M.S., my mum has always found a way to keep her hands in the soil and her feet in the earth. Whether it was launching the Waterville Farmer’s Market in the 1990s, founding the community gardens at Viles Arboretum or simply growing her children’s fresh food from whatever soil was available near the homes she rented, my mum has kept her dreams alive. Nearing age 70, she still holds a paying job providing fuel assistance to low income Mainers, but she works every day of the year pursuing her love of farming. Her energy and ideas know no bounds. She has lined up weddings for this summer and hopes to have an education center for school-age children on the farm. It can be hard to live up to someone who is relentlessly motivated with endless energy and can spend hours in the sun weeding and handpicking potato beetles, but more than anything, it is an inspiration to witness. I am so proud of my mum. Oh, and did I mention she is a terrific grandmother to my 18-month-old? Because of her, my daughter gets to grow up in the magical world of strawberry patches and wildflower. My mum rocks!
—Meg LeMay

My mom is the best! Even though the distance separates us, we talk every day. She has taught me to be strong, grateful and feel passion for what I love to do in life. She has inspired me to dream big and make it happen. After so many years, my mom still loves to get creative with her sewing machine. She used to make beautiful wedding dresses among other pieces. I remembered those days, her trying to teach me how to use a sewing machine. (It wasn’t for me, but I did learn to make cushions and small bags.) My mom, Irma Soto, is an inspiration and I will admire her forever.
—Enid Arvelo

I get to brag about my mom, Mary Cecelia Mooney Rutherford—the best, strongest, hilarious, stunning! And my phone-a-friend if I were to ever be on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” I remember her driving me to school in the winters in her Saab Turbo 5-speed with her steaming-hot flamingo pink with a teal rim coffee mug. (Pretty sure she still has it! And I’m 37!) With coffee black—no cream, no sug! The woman was no less than a pro. Didn’t spill a drop and never was in the wrong gear. Among many many trillions of other things she does and did, this was my fave. She is my definition of strength!
—Ashley Rutherford

Hands down MY mom was the best mom ever! She was an avid kayaker before cancer took her from us. Mom used to sing while paddling, and we developed hand signals for when we were trying to spot wildlife and were trying not to talk. We just enjoyed each other’s company while appreciating the beauty. She was my rock, shared my birthday, had the best laugh and sense of humor. Laurie Bennett was always there for me and became one of my best friends. She taught me a lot, including how to kayak, which has become my passion. She taught me about the person I wanted to be. She was so proud of her role in our family, of her creativity and of her ability to always find the silver lining! We lost her in 2009, but she continues to teach me lessons and is always with me, especially when I am paddling!
—Kim Bennett

Laurel Daly is not only a fantastic mother, she’s also my best friend and most impactful role model. She has always led by example in teaching me to use my voice and stand up for what is right, especially in the face of injustice and hate. She is one of the founding members of Maine Educators United Against Gun Violence and is working hard with her colleagues to protect students and teachers and make sure that school is a safe place for everyone. She is an introvert and quiet by nature (she’s a librarian, after all), but when it comes to the safety and lives of others and what she believes in, her voice is loud and clear.
—Hannah Daly

My mom, Kerry Lemieux, has always encouraged me to be my truest self and follow what sets my soul on fire. Even though it is not often the traditional path, I know she will be/always has been right beside me cheering me on. She is the rock that holds my entire family together and is the most selfless person I know. She is strong, compassionate, beautiful, kind and has a heart of pure gold. She makes me want to be the best version of myself that I can be.
—Claudia Lemieux

My mom is the best! She’s worked as an EMT and a sternwoman on a lobster boat but she traded it all in to be a full time Gammy/Nanny to my three children while I work. She is as selfless as they come not only to her family but to her friends, too.
—Susanne Wilson Hopkins

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