My Mom

*For whatever reason, my scanner isn't working today... so I haven't been able to upload all of the pictures for this post yet. I promise I'll add them as soon as I can.

Today is my mother's birthday. That's right, my mom's a Leap Year baby.

In the past, I've written a couple of blog posts about my family... a special Father's Day post for my dad, a wedding day post for my little brother, and of course, the tributes to my grandparents following their Christmas day accident.

In each of those blogs, I included little bits of information about my mother. But, up to this point, I really haven't shared that much about her.

That may seem odd... as if I'm neglecting my mom, or placing the rest of my family above my mom, or just have nothing good to say about my mom. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

To be honest... over the last year, I've made several attempts to write something about my mom. Today is just the first time I clicked Publish.

But why?? Doesn't make much sense, does it? If she's as wonderful as I say she is, then why can't I just write about her??

Well... it's hard to explain, but here's the deal: when I try to find the right words to describe my mother... I fail -miserably. Every single time.

I'm sure that today will be no different. I'm sure I won't do her justice. I'm sure it'll seem as if I just threw some crap together, in some half-assed "Happy Birthday" attempt.

Regardless, I'm going to try anyway, because my mom deserves to have a special post written about her. She means everything to me, more than I could ever put into words... and more than she could ever know...

So... here goes. I'd like to introduce you to the woman I call "Mom." 

My mother is --hands-down-- the most giving, selfless person I know. She is loving. She is patient. She is kind. 

She's honest, loyal, and sincere. She's compassionate, understanding, and forgiving. She's nurturing, thoughtful, and generous. She's wise, humble, and inspiring.

She's the kind of mom that everyone wishes they had... but very few people get. The kind of mom that makes everything okay... just because she's your mom. The kind of mom who was born to be a mom... to be my mom

And the kind of mom that I certainly don't deserve.

Even now... as I write these words... I can feel that I'm failing again. My mom is so much more than this...

She's more than just an amazing mom... she's an incredible human being. She gives everything to everyone else, and takes nothing for herself. She needs no credit... and asks for nothing in return. While she doesn't have to do these things, she chooses to do them anyway. If it's the right thing to do, then my mom is going to do it. Honestly... that's just the kind of person she is...  

Mom has the rare ability to see the good in every person, and in every situation. She's level-headed and realistic, but positive and optimistic. When the world turns upside down, my mom still sees the light. And even though she may sometimes worry...  I swear you'd never know it. In her heart, she truly believes that everything will be okay.

And even in your darkest moments... she'll make you believe the same.

Maybe I was gifted with some of her best traits, but my mom still blows me out of the water. I've only become the person I am today... because my mom taught me how to be that way. But no matter how hard I may try... I could never compare to the genuine goodness that pours from my mother's heart. She's the very best person I know... and anyone who knows her would agree with me.

Beyond that, she's an equally amazing mom. My mom is one of those all-knowing moms, but not in a "know-it-all" kind of way. Instead, she just knows stuff... in a non-threatening, non-showy kind of way. She knows how to be a mom, she knows her kids, and somehow, she knows pretty much everything else. If she doesn't know... she finds out. And then, guess what? Now, Mom knows that, too.

With any question, my mom has the right answer. With every issue... she's got the solution. Anytime I ask for help, my mom is right there to help me. She's always there to guide me... but she doesn't force the issue. She'll never promise to be right, and she'll never say, "I told you so..."

But... in the end... she did tell me so, and she was right. Sure, I can doubt her. I can challenge her. I can try to prove her wrong. But my mom knows stuff, and without her even trying to be, she's always freaking right.

While she doesn't want me to learn the hard way, she knows it's going to happen. So... she simply lends me her wisdom... but allows me make my own decisions, and my own mistakes.

When I don't take her advice, she's not mad, or disappointed, or frustrated with me. Instead, she supports me... whether she agrees with me or not. And then... when I fall, she's there for me... to help me pick up the pieces... to guide me back to where she tried to send me in the first place. 

Now that I think about it... it's actually pretty brilliant.

Mom knows tons of junk about life, but she also knows her kids. Some call it mother's intuition. I call it damn-near psychic. My mom has always known things about me, long before I ever told her about them. To be honest, she's so good at this... that it almost freaks me out a little... but in a comforting way. She's always managed to offer me the very advice I needed, before I'd ever mentioned the problem. To encourage me to go on, before I'd ever threatened to quit. To say the exact words I needed to hear... before I knew I needed to hear them.

In truth, she's the only mom on Earth that could've handled a child like me. Growing up, I was a total pain-in-the-ass, at least 90% of the time... especially during the teenage years, which were a real treat for my parents. (What can I say... it happens to the best of us.)

I was grounded more times than not --and for good reason. I broke all of their rules and did massive-amounts of stupid crap. If I could go back in time, I'd ground my ass, too.

Back then, I basically thought "my life was over" ...at least 7000 times. Of course, my Mom would attempt to comfort me, saying: "Ashley... I know you're upset right now, but I promise it will be okay, and you'll probably even laugh about this one day."

Ummm... doubt it!! Mom- this is soooo super-serious right now! Didn't you hear me?! My life is OVER!!! Obviously, in my mind, my mom couldn't grasp the severity of my "complex teenage struggles." Because --clearly-- my mother was born yesterday, as a full-grown-Mom-adult. Duh.

Looking back now, those "struggles" seem pretty ridiculous and hilarious. My life was never over. My problems were often trivial. That boyfriend was a total douchebag. Curfew didn't kill me. And drinking was 100% illegal.

If I'm being honest... I should probably still be grounded...

But somehow, even during those tough times, my mom knew just how to deal with me. While she didn't let me get away with things, she did allow me to make mistakes. She also knew how to teach me the important lessons, in the exact way I needed to be taught. She knew how to comfort me, to encourage me, and to challenge me in the right ways. She knew how to inspire me in the best ways.

And I'm not sure how or why... but no matter what I did, she always loved me through it.

Here's a classic Mom example:
On one of those I'm-being-a-massive-baby-over-something-so-damn-stupid days, I had a big fight with my mom, because I felt like she didn't understand me. Later, I came home to find a card on my dresser. The card had a dog on the cover... and my mother's handwriting inside. It simply said:

"I do understand you. I'm your mom."

That day, I tucked those words into my heart, where they've lived ever since. Really... nothing more true was ever written. I'm never alone. She does understand me. Of course she does... she created me. She's my mom. 

My mom brought me into this world... and she's also kept me here. She's saved my life more than once... in very real ways. I honestly wouldn't be here today, if not for my mother's love. I wouldn't be me today, if not for her. I wouldn't be much-of-anything today... if not for her.

She's the very best mom in the whole wide world, and for whatever reason, she's my mom. Every day of my life, I've been blessed to have a mom like that.

And every night...
As I close my eyes... 
I thank God for His belief... 
that I'm worthy of her.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you more than anything. See you tonight!

*Please make a special donation to Lucky Dog Rescue in honor of my mom's birthday! It would mean so much to her!


  1. You and your mom look so much alike in that young pic of her!

    How blessed you are - your family (and you) are obv amazing.

  2. That is an awesome story and my parents are just that way too... You and your family are very special and Happy Birthday to you Mom...

  3. Very nice tribute to your Mom! As a Mom of adult children I know all we want is EVERYTHING for our children, to be kind and compassionate, loving and happy, and doing something they love. Sounds like your Mom got everything she wanted with you!

  4. you're very lucky to have your mom

  5. Wonderful post...well done! As a mom who adores her 4 year old daughter more than life itself, if she ever wrote these words about me, it would make my life. Your mom is the kind of mom that we all aspire to be. I hope I can have the effect on my daughter that she has had on you. Enjoy her celebration!

  6. Wow Ashley, that was wonderful to read. I too would like to say Happy Birthday to your mom, and also thank her for raising such an unselfish, giving lover of animals. I know she is as proud of you as you are her.


  8. So good to read this wonderful post Ashley. I'm going to spend tomorrow with my mom; this post makes me appreciate her even more. Wondering why I am not getting your blog posts in my email? Hoping your Grandma is better and better every day.

  9. Ash, this is a beautiful tribute to your mom. I had an incredible mom, too, but I'm not sure I really told her how important she was to me when she was alive to hear it. Like your mom, mine always knew when something was wrong. She could just take one look at my face or hear one word out of my mouth, and she just *knew*. It was also because she totally believed in me that I grew up believing in myself, and that I can do anything I set my mind to. In fifth grade I wrote a book. A Walt-Disney-inspired-kids-kidnapped-by-counterfeiters book. It was a book written by an eleven-year-old in every way...but my mom believed in me. She even took me to see a publisher when one came to town...riding the rapid transit all the way down to the city, taking a loop bus and meeting with a stranger because she believed in me. It's moms like yours and mine that made us women who do it instead of talking about it.

  10. Ashley, can you tell me who Ruby was and what happened to her? Did she get real love?

  11. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.


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