From Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, with Love


The inspirational author Marion C. Garretty said, “Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” Mothers do achieve the impossible, finding time to raise their children, run their households, work, volunteer, and care for spouses, pets and elderly parents. You don’t understand how hard it is until you become a mother yourself.

My fellow editors and I are all mothers, so we get it. It was with that understanding that we lovingly compiled this collection of stories from our library, to show our fellow moms of all ages how much they are appreciated and loved.

We don’t just honor mothers in this book. We include stories about grandmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, and the other moms in our lives. These touching stories will sometimes make you laugh, occasionally make you tear up a little, and most importantly, they’ll make every mother feel great about the impact she has on her children.

There’s a special twist to this book, too. We’re donating the author royalties to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Boys & Girls Clubs are an integral part of many communities, providing a safe place for kids to learn and grow, to have ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, and to engage in sports and other life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. The clubs are often used for after-school care by busy moms, and they provide youth with hope, opportunity, and — best of all — a great time!

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the stories in Chapter 1 — Thanks for Being My Teacher — because that’s such an important part of what we mothers do. In “Everything I Would Need to Know” Barbara Ann Burris describes watching her mother run her own deli and catering business. Barbara resented the business when she was a teenager but she now realizes how many lessons she learned “about faith and determination, hard work, responsibility and most of all, about caring.”

In Chapter 2 — Thanks for Always Being Right — you’ll read stories that validate what we moms already know: we ARE always right! In “Party Invitation,” our own senior editor Barbara LoMonaco tells us about the time she had to turn down a day at Disneyland with her best friend because she had already accepted an invitation to another girl’s birthday party. Barbara’s mom wouldn’t let her renege on the first acceptance. Doing the right thing, however reluctantly, Barbara went to the birthday party and had a great time after all, explaining, “My mom was right… as usual.”

Prolific Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Mimi Greenwood Knight shares her story, “Mom to the Rescue,” in Chapter 3 — Thanks for Being There. In Mimi’s case, her mother quickly cooked a special dinner at home after Mimi’s date had car trouble that caused them to miss their pre-prom dinner at a restaurant. Her mom even washed, dried, and ironed her date’s oil-stained shirt while they ate, “remedying yet another mini trauma in my life,” according to Mimi.

Have you ever wondered how you do some of the things that you do as a mother? Chapter 4 — Thanks for Your Strength — is about those superhuman feats that moms manage to perform. In “Wonder Mom,” Canadian Susan Blakeney tells us about the time her mother kept the children calm and happy during a big snowstorm that stranded them at home for a week. Their father couldn’t get home for days and the storm was so bad that soldiers ended up being deployed to clear their road. Susan’s mother was terrified the whole time but never let on to the kids, even though “she had never been so overwhelmed as a mother, or so alone.”

Chapter 5 — Thanks for the Memories — is about those special moments that become part of family lore, like Toni Becker’s story, “The Healing Power of Toilet Paper.” Toni and her ninety-two-year-old mother, who was in the final stage of cancer, decided to have one last adventure together, toilet papering the yards of Toni’s brother and sister. Toni says, “In the coming weeks, Mom and I shared many more laughs after each of us received calls from puzzled family members wondering who had done those strange things.”

There’s no doubt that we moms are role models, and our lessons persist long after we’re gone. In Chapter 6 — Thanks for Being My Role Model — Lisa Hutchison writes in “Focusing on What We Have” about how her mom’s “positive attitude” after a stroke that paralyzed her “helped me to keep going, to have faith and to remain connected to her, especially after her death.” Lisa says her mother’s example “certainly changed my life.”

Good parenting should include a lot of humor, right? And that goes for grandparenting too. Robin Rylee Harderson had me laughing out loud in “Granny’s Bible,” which is one of the many funny stories in Chapter 7 — Thanks for the Laughter. Robin’s grandmother was a font of wisdom, often “quoting” the Bible. One day when someone called Robin a brat, Granny said, “You just go right back home and tell him that the Bible says it takes one to know one.” Robin concedes that Granny’s “Bible,” suspect as it was, “always solved whatever problems had been thrown in my path.”

In Chapter 8 — Thanks for Being My Rock — you’ll meet some moms who were steadfast in their unequivocal support for their children. I’ve always been amazed by Leigh Ann Bryant’s story, “She Never Stopped Loving Me.” Leigh Ann’s mother was her rock during her trial for killing the husband her mom had warned her not to marry. Leigh Ann says, “She stayed by my side and loved me through it all. When my jurors spared me from prison, she gave me a thumbs-up and mouthed, ‘I love you.’ A smile crossed my face — I believed her. My mother loves me, no matter what.”

Our moms love us unconditionally and we love them back, in all 101 stories in this inspiring collection. We offer you these stories in the spirit of “mom solidarity.” I’m already smiling as I imagine you reading them.

~Amy Newmark

Author, Editor-in-Chief, and Publisher, Chicken Soup for the Soul

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