When you think of the many qualities of a great mother, what comes to mind? Loving? Patient? Wise? Probably all of these would be the start of a great list for any mom. But my mom isn’t just any mom. My mom is the standard to which all mothers should be judged. Barbara (Not Barb!) Wicks is the dictionary definition of an outstanding, gold star, A+ mother who has time after time put her kids and her husband ahead of herself. When thinking about all the wonderful things my mom is and exemplifies, I narrowed it down to three that really stuck out to me.

Hard Working- Growing up we didn’t have a ton of money. I remember coming home from school and my mom leaving for work. She worked second shift at a senior living facility for many years doing the job no one really wanted to do. The tough stuff, thankless and difficult. Now that I’m a parent I understand how difficult it must have been to be away from your kids every night of the week, and on weekends too. And then later on when we were all in high school she got a more administrative social work position during the day and had the opportunity as a benefit, to go back to graduate school. Night school and night homework. She fought hard to get her masters degree and take advantage of the opportunity that was presented to her. I never heard her once complain, she never backed down, she never quit. She always got up early to do the laundry and get ahead of stuff before the day started. It was Thomas Edison who said that opportunity is disguised as hard work. My mom would have never had the chance to get her masters for free if she didn’t work second shift for so many years. Thanks mom, for being the example of hard work.

Giving- LIke I said before, we didn’t have fancy stuff growing up. But my mom made sure we always had nice clean clothes and looked presentable. She always gave to me, my sister, and my brother before thinking of herself. We went to a private school, we always went on vacation, we had mostly decent vehicles, we always had food to eat. I know now, looking back, my mom never thought of herself, she gave everything to us and for us. While I was in college and graduate school she would send me money and do what she could. Even now! She still takes me to lunch and gives me gas money. Giving is the greatest sign of love. Thanks for your love mom.

Kind- I have never heard my mom say a negative word about anyone ever. She doesn’t gossip and she isn’t malicious. It’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t have ulterior motives or isn’t trying to get something from you. Kindness is gentle, quiet, and doesn’t need to be recognized. My mom is the best listener I have ever I talked to, and I’ve talked to a lot of people (I take after my dad with my endless talking). She’s the nicest lady I know. Really, kind means benevolent. She is the most well-meaning person, in every circumstance and each situation. Thanks mom, your kindness is my aspiration.

Mom, thanks for being you, never changing, never disappointing, always loving, always caring. You are gift, not only to me but now to my children. I think it profound that you chose the name mom-mom when you became a grandmother. Because the only thing better than being a great mom is being an awesome grandmother (a mom that’s twice the best). Thankyous are never enough, but it’s all I have to give. Thanks.