If you're looking for a column about anything other than Mom today I'm afraid you should continue on in your search.
Because, even if I tried, I couldn't not tell you about how much I love my mother.
I know I reference both her and my dad with relative frequency, but that's only because I owe them everything. Either way, today it's about Mom.
First, a point of clarity: For those of you who feel you've got the world's greatest mom, I do understand. And you're almost right - I'm sure she's a close second.
But my mom is the best. If you don't believe me, you can ask my equally objective siblings - they'll concur. If you don't believe them, I'm going to have to call in the big guns and get my dad involved. I don't think you want that.
Anyway, the thing about my mom is that she is a natural nurturer. All of my pals, heck practically anyone who's even had a chance run-in with my mom will tell you how they, too, are on the receiving end of her benevolence and compassion. In fact, my three closest girlfriends all refer to her as "Mom."
I could fill the entire Sunday edition with the many things Mom's taught me, but here are a few of the biggies:
There was only ever one perfect mother - the one who bore the Savior of the world. Mary deserves our love and devotion and we should emulate her. That said, she is the best mom who ever walked on earth - however, the rest of us screw up, you know, all the time. Yet, as long as we are taking care to always act out of love and in the best interests of our children, odds are we won't mess them up too severely.
Putting your child first and showing him or her unconditional support and love are really the only requirements for being a good mother.
Kindness and compassion are always in vogue - to your children and everyone else. But mostly to your children. This is especially difficult when said children are causing you to stick a sharpened No. 2 pencil into your own thigh to keep from kicking their little butts to Jupiter.
You never outgrow your worry for your children and you never stop growing in love with them. No matter how old you or they get. But, take heart, because
While fretting over everything from baby food brands to soccer safety to broken hearts (and everything in between) accompanies the job of motherhood, this anxiety can be placed on hold.
Editor's Note: I inherited my mother's world-class, Olympic gold worthy penchant for worrying. It is something neither of us can deny. But, Mom has given me the helpful tip of setting aside worry to be resumed at a later time and then using that energy for something positive - like praying to Mary.
Every time a mother in this world loses her child and you are made aware of it, a tiny piece of your mother's heart will die. It should.
No one knows what's best for your baby but you no one.
At least one time, and possibly more, in your life, your child(ren) will tell you they hate you and / or that you are ruining their lives. Expect it, keep a lid on your emotions during your immediate reaction to it and understand that they, in fact, do not. Frankly, it's not only to be expected but also a likely sign that you're a really good mum.
Just when you think your heart couldn't possibly contain more maternal love, you become a grandma. Editor's Note: I will take her word on that one for a very long time to come, thank you.
And so, on this day when so many of us are honoring our mothers, my wish is for a lovely day to each and every one. For those who've lost their precious moms, I share your grief, no matter how long you've been enduring it. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you should be over it by now - she is your mother; you will never be over it.
A few shout-outs to some special mom-types in my life:
To my mother-in-law, who is going through a really rough patch right now, you are one amazing lady. Being a mother is the most important, wonderful, amazing gift with which I've ever been blessed and without you, I wouldn't have my family. Thank you.
A special little "hollah" to some of my very favorite Mahoning and Trumbull County moms this fine morning: Carolyn Zarlengo, Jean Ruggieri, June Marshall, and Mary Hazen I love you, girls!
And a big whisper upward to some of my favorite moms in heaven: my two beloved grandmothers, Monica and Giovanna (whom I'm certain are helping run the place), Margaret McHenry, Jean Petzinger and Jodi Coppola all of whom arrived at the gates far too soon. I love and miss you all so much.
To my own mom, Arleen, what can I say? I'm still trying to be as good a mother to my son as you are to your three grateful children. It's a feat I'll never accomplish and yet never stop trying to attain. I love you more than words.
Happy Mother's Day!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who loves her Mama. She loves Jesus and America, too. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.