The stories submitted for our Mother's Day Contest were amazing. The love and nurturing that mothers and mother figures give can never be heralded enough, so to those who entered, thank you for helping make this Mother's Day so meaningful.
All the entries were touching, and we were inspired by the wonderful women we were introduced to and moved by the eloquent tributes to them. It was hard to narrow down the nominations to four winners. Actually, it was so hard, we selected five 1st Place Winners--and two Honorable Mentions!
This means five lucky mothers will each receive a $500 gift card, and the two honorable mention winners will receive a $250 gift card. We hope you'll take the time to read the submissions below and get to know the winners. We are sure you'll find their stories as uplifting as we do.
Submitted by Denise Maggard
Abraham Lincoln summed it up best when he said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” My mother, June Boggs, is an incredible woman. She is the mother of three girls and grandmother of three girls and three boys. It is hard to narrow down and describe all her amazing characteristics as a mother. She is strong, kind, loving, and a true example of being selfless. I can remember as a child wanting to be just like her. She has taught me how to work hard, love unconditionally, and live each day with no regrets.
Mom has devoted her life to taking care of her family and she has done a fantastic job! Looking back over the years, I can recall countless ways she has given of herself to others. When my sisters and I were teens, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. Without hesitation, mom packed a bag and headed to the UVA Medical Center along with my aunt. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. She never left my aunt’s side while going through this battle. My aunt passed away, but mom had no regrets. Years later, my grandmother passed away. Mom became the caregiver for my grandfather. Another name for caregiver should be superhero! She washed my grandfather’s clothes, cooked his meals, took him to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopped for him, cleaned his house and took care of her own immediate household. As I write this, I am overwhelmed at the love that she shows to others. She has taught me that love is shown through actions and not words.
Mom is also a fighter and a picture of strength. She has overcome breast cancer, hip replacement and covid in the past few years. I am always amazed at her positive attitude and willpower when facing challenges like these. She has taught me to find good, even in the bad, and never give up hope if there is life left in you. Her faith in God is unwavering and her prayers for others have reached the throne room of God more that I will ever know. Wow! I am blessed to call June Boggs my mother and friend.
~ We agree. Congratulations, June!
Submitted by Nina Walker
My Mom: The Phenomenal Woman
Let me tell you about a fabulous, phenomenal woman. This woman gave birth to four beautiful children and took two others who lost that mother to breast cancer. Strangers that meet this blended family could not tell the blood siblings from the adopted ones; we were just family. Mom raised us to trust and obey God first in all we do. She also modeled what she believed before us. As the years went by, my father had a bad accident on the tractor, resulting in a double amputee. Therefore, for the next seventeen years of my mother's life, she had to care for him. She missed out on family gatherings, shopping, visiting with friends, you know, all the things ladies like to do. I know this because when my father passed, I took her shopping and she just stood in the store and told me I don't know how to shop, I don't know what size I wear. It brought tears to my eyes. I realize my mother had put her life on hold to take care of my father. I saw life come back into her after she came to stay with me. She told me she didn't have any more tears to cry over daddy's death because the man she fell in love with had died years ago. Mom fought colon cancer in 2016, but she is cancer-free today. We almost lost her after her reaction to one round of chemo treatment. She was in rehab for three months.
This phenomenal woman takes care of herself drives wherever she wants to go. And has a contagious laugh that lights up the room. And she is a sassy dresser. I thank God she is still here to teach me how to enjoy life at 77. This phenomenal woman is Patsy Echols.
~ We agree. Congratulations Patsy!
Submitted by Heidi J. Strommen
My Mom and Dad had three biological children and adopted 9 children from different countries - Korea and South America. They also did foster care while we were growing up. I consider my Mom my best friend and know that I can talk to her about ANYTHING that is going on in my life.
She always has wise advice. My Mom has set such a wonderful example for us kids, that my Sister and I have done foster care and my brother and I have both adopted children. I recently had a conversation with my adult son and he has expressed that he too, would like to do foster care.
What a wonderful legacy! Many of us "children" have gone on to have large families. There are over 50 grandchildren. Mom always makes a point to attend activities for the kids. She makes each of them feel special and that they are her "favorite". She will always lend a helping hand when needed. She hosted many events in her home where a "small" gathering is 40 people. She built a playground in her yard for the grandkids to play on and has 5 scooters for them to ride. She has an adventurous spirit and is so much fun! I would love to see her pampered on Mother's Day. She certainly deserves pampering after raising 12 kids!
~ We agree. Congratulations, Ida!
Submitted by Tiffany Rynes-Fox
My Mother, Addie Mae, isn’t just a fantastic mother, she is an amazing woman. I was an only child, but my parents dedicated many years to working in group homes for children who had been removed from their homes for numerous reasons. My Mother found herself caring for one child for one decade, to up to 15 at a time for the next decade. This was around the clock care, very similar to foster parenting with children of all ages and backgrounds. She quickly learned how to feed 3 meals a day to a small army on a ridiculously small budget, manage non-stop laundry, organize school and extracurricular schedules, and make time to ensure each child felt loved; which some children had gone their entire lives without. And while she was doing all this, she made sure I never felt neglected or lost in the shuffle. My Mother made a happy home, for children who came to us as strangers, and left as part of our ever expanding family.
I am proud to say I got to share my mother with over 200 other children over the years, and want her to know that everything she did for everyone did not go un-noticed or unappreciated. She is truly a wonderful Mother, to anyone who needs one.
~ We agree. Congratulations, Addie!
Shana K. Love
Submitted by Deonte Blair
Mother means sacrifice, caring, and unconditional love. My mother Shana Love a single mother has demonstrated amazing sacrifice, which led me to graduate from Tennessee Tech University with a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering. My mother is a provider that currently works three jobs, and takes care of my younger sister. In spite of balancing three jobs, she stills volunteers in the Knoxville community, speaks on a local radio station, and is a leader at church.
I consider my mother to be a human super woman. There is no way I could ever repay my mom for all the love she has shown me, but it would nice if she received this Mother's Day blessing from Mrs. Nash. Please pick my mom, because she deserves it.
~ We agree. Congratulations, Shana!
Submitted by Patricia Maxon
36 years ago, my dear mother died suddenly. A day does not go by, especially Mother's Day, that I don't think of her or miss her. When she died, a friend said I had the mother that everyone wished they had! She left us too young and too soon, but she left us with a gem, her baby sister, my dear aunt that is the same age as me! 52 years ago she left PA to live in LA. Since that time, she has maintained constant communication by phone, cards, letters and now text. My grandchildren adore her, she is their great, great aunt. She never, ever forgets my great grandchildren! She visits the East Coast as much as possible, and when she enters the house it is a holiday!
My oldest son was tragically killed 4 years ago, he was her god child. That horrible day she came, stayed with me, readied his clothes for his wake, bought the flowers and stood by us. She left home many years ago but remains the matriarch of our family. I nominate my aunt, my best friend, my mother substitute and my sister in my heart to be honored by Patricia Nash -- Gay Rohaley Carnello, beloved wife of Dr. Wertz, retired educator, mother of Drew and Lauren, grandmother to 13!
~ We agree. Congratulations, Gay!
Submitted by Susan Lindamood
I wanted to honor my beautiful daughter-in-law Samantha. She is married to our son Andy and is the super-mom of our four grandsons, aging from 5 to 16. I love her so much. I watch her with the boys, and I see how much love spill out of her for them. She's the kind of mom that works her tail off, all hours of the night making sure there's food, clean clothes, school supplies, home works done, every one has been fed, bathed and it's my guess, she falls exhausted into bed. I know what it's like being the mother of all boys.
Sometimes it feels like you are alone, no one listens, no one hears you and you simply need a break from all that testosterone! I'd like her to know that I love her, and all she does for my son and their boys, I love her for all she does for her grandma, parents, niece and nephew. I love her for all she does for my husband, her brother and sister in laws, and myself. She goes over and above and we all appreciate everything. She needs to know that we see her and all the hard work she puts in every single day for her family, rarely thinking about herself. She is a blessing and I would like to let the world know that I am so proud of her.
Happy Mother's Day my beautiful daughter-in-law, Samantha.
~ We agree. Congratulations, Samantha!