Six Mothers, Six Daughters

Today people are celebrating someone very special -- their mothers. Although we should be doing this every day of the year, many don’t often tell their moms what they mean to us. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show and tell our moms how much we love them. American Thinker interviewed some powerful women that expressed what their mothers mean to them.

Sharyl Attkisson is an investigative reporter, author of the book Stonewalled, and will soon host a syndicated national television Sunday news program. She regards her mom as someone who “grew from a dependent teenage mom to an independent woman, allowing her children to find their own place in the world without offering judgment or criticism. Somehow, she kept an orderly home amid the chaos of having four children under the age of six. A few years later, when faced with the challenge of being a single mother, she managed to not just survive, but also eventually thrive. In her second marriage, she embraced three more kids into her family sphere and navigated the formidable challenge of having seven teenagers at once. Some kids carry the burden of parents who have expectations they cannot meet. My mom never made us feel as though we had to live up to some sort of idea of what she thought we should be. She is genuinely excited by the paths each of us follows (or blazes). Even today, she takes notice and delights in our individual traits and accomplishments.

Jan Brewer is the former Arizona Governor, and a constant advocate for the rule of law. She considers her mom the most important person and mentor in her life. “My mom became a single mother after my father died when I was eleven years old. Although she had never worked outside the home, she supported my brother and myself by owning a dress shop.  My mother was a role model for me, teaching me responsibility, honesty, integrity, and courage. Working side by side with my mom in the dress shop, I learned a number of valuable lessons: to be accountable, employees must get paid before the employer; patience, the customer is always right; initiative, making sure the job is completed; and never shrinking from a challenge. As I write this I realize how much I miss my mother, because she would remind me to treat others, as I would want to be treated, and what’s right means doing the hard thing. I was able to apply all these valuable life lessons to my tenure as governor.”  

Dana Perino was the first woman Republican press secretary, author of the book And the Good News is, and a co-host of the highly rated TV show, "The Five". She feels her mom always “provided unconditional love, which meant that I was able to take risks, make mistakes, yet she never judged me if I failed. Because I knew she would love me no matter what, I didn't worry about losing her support (even when I rented a room, that was really a converted water closet, on Capitol Hill when I first moved to Washington, D.C. -- a month later the water heater broke and flooded my futon and ruined all of my new work clothes. She didn't say "I knew it," but she offered her help instead). My mom is proud of my career success, but she really couldn't care less what I achieve. It's a remarkable kind of love, that between a mother and her child. And I'm glad she's had a chance to bask in the glow of my new book, because it gives her a chance to read over and over how much she has meant to me and my sister, Angie.”

Hana Berger Moran and her late mother are Holocaust survivors whose stories are told in the recently published book Born Survivors by Wendy Holden. She thinks often of her mother, Priska Lomová, and relates, “There is this final good outcome that came from the Holocaust. I was born weeks before the Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated. Initially my mom was sent to Auschwitz, when she was two months pregnant. She was transported to other camps surviving slave labor, starvation, giving birth in a prisoner’s barracks, and the brutal death transfer. Yet, through it all, this twenty-nine-year-old Jewish woman not only survived these horrid times but flourished, establishing a new department of education at Šafárik University in Prešov, Slovakia; introducing a teaching methodology focused on foreign languages, namely English. My mom told me many times that her goal was to keep herself alive, to keep me alive inside that womb. She taught me positivity, optimism, and perseverance with her favorite saying, ‘I will get it done.’ This Mother’s Day I will be at Mauthausen to celebrate our liberation by the Americans, and I will be thinking of what my mother went through to survive not just for herself, but for me. I consider her a hero. She will always be my mom, the very special mother.”

Kelly Glenn Kimbro is a spokesperson for a rifle company, and an advocate for Arizona ranchers. Her mother died last year after a short bout with cancer. Kelly says that her mom represented the frontier woman who performed multiple tasks.  “Mom was a cowgirl/ranch woman through and through. Mom was the organizer who Dad called “The Boss.” Nothing ever fazed her, which is why we all called her the ‘go-to gal.’ She had an amazing ability to defuse conflict and promote collaboration. Growing up as a carefree young woman, she experienced awesome opportunities of adventure and became a force to be reckoned with. Mom was a “cowboy” who loved to hunt and was a crack shot with a rifle, pistol, or a shotgun. We were taught by her the values of being a no-nonsense person, treating everyone the same, being dignified and being honest. Mom graced us, nurtured us, engaged us, and empowered us.”

I also want to express my feelings about my mother who is suffering from dementia. This illness has caused her to begin deteriorating mentally and physically, although fortunately she still recognizes her three daughters. She always described herself as “old school” where family came first. As a stay-at-home mom, she was head of the household. But regarding all three daughters, she instilled self-confidence, independence, and perseverance. A Jewish proverb says: mothers understand what a child does not say. This is what I remember best about my mom: how she would be able to listen to my voice or look into my eyes and ask, ‘what is wrong?’ She always seemed to be able to read my mind, and knew when to listen, share her opinion, or just give a big hug. She is my inspiration.

Today these daughters gave a touching remembrance of their mothers. For many, including those interviewed, mothers are the role models and inspiration for our success both professionally and in our private lives. Although we should do it every day, at least on this day we should pay homage to that very special person, our mom. 

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.