I was born January 7, 1984. That same day, my mother, Madeleine Valiquette, went into a coma after having an aneurysm during labor. Three weeks later, two weeks after her own birthday, she passed away. I grew up with a single dad who did his very best to take care of me and raise me. Until I was in high school, most of our extended family was still around so my dad had help from his godparents, his mom, and his now ex-wife’s parents. This of course meant that I grew up with a series of “dad’s girlfriend”s, each one seemingly crazier than the other. First was a woman from Texas who decided I’d be better off with her, so she took me out of the state for an extended period of time, then when my dad tried to take me back, attempted to kidnap me from our front yard. By this time, my dad had remarried to a woman who, after a couple years, cleaned him out and shut down his business. A few years later, when I was in eighth grade, he met a woman whom he was to be with until after I joined the Army, and whom he finally had to ditch because she became an unemployed raging alcoholic who continually called the police on him for no reason whatsoever.
The point of my tale here is to show how much you should appreciate your mom. If she has been there for you all of your life and has done her best to take care of you, she deserves your constant thanks. She deserves thanks for feeding you, clothing you, wiping your ass for years, changing your diapers, keeping a roof over your head, keeping your family together, teaching you about girls or boys, giving you advice, and countless other things. She even deserves thanks for those times when she has embarrassed you in front of your friends. There is a 90% chance that in some way these moments taught you something.
In this country it seems that we have become a society that needs holidays in order to appreciate where we came from for only a handful of days in a year. We have one day a year when everyone is patriotic, and then for the other 364 days of the year, most of the country forgets how much of a miracle it is that we have made it this far. We have one day a year where we give thanks when really we should be giving thanks every day, and even that day has turned into not much more than a preparation day for the biggest shopping day of the year. We have one day a year to give gifts when really we should be giving as often as possible. Today is a day everyone who has a good mom thanks her by buying her shit she probably doesn’t want or need. The other 365 days of this leap year, most people probably rarely think about their moms, besides maybe on her birthday, and roll their eyes every time they get a call from Mom or (if you’re still a kid) every time she says their name or gives them a pep talk. Moms, well good moms anyway (these days some moms are downright useless), deserve your thanks every time you see them.
Thank your mom, not just today, but tomorrow, and every time you see her or talk to her on the phone. Or at least once a week. Do it for those of us who aren’t or weren’t fortunate enough to have that person in our lives. Do it because your mom is them most important person in your life. She’s who made you the person you are.