With Mother’s Day approaching (May 9) I have been reflecting on awesome women over the years that have helped me to become who I am today.
Throughout my life they have taught me so many values, which have influenced me personally and as a mother in many different ways. I have learned so much about people, relationships and the value of family and friendship.
One of the most influential people in my life is my grandmother Gammy, Betty Young. Gammy taught me a lot about nature and how to be a caretaker of the earth and to the beautiful flowers as well as to the animals that often entertained her outside her window.
Gammy taught me the importance of compassion how to enjoy the little things, how to be a friend and how important it is to help each and every one when presented the opportunity. She was sweet, honest and kind, and always made sure I had everything I needed. I miss her smile and our upbeat morning conversations.
My grandmother Karen (Mimi) Waldo was also a strong force of influence in my life early on growing up in West Virginia. Mimi had her doctorate in education and was a school principal. She stressed the value of education and the obligation and responsibility to help with social injustice.
My mother, Valerie Hooper, has been a big influence on my life as well. She is very energetic and has taught me through example to live each day to the fullest. She has taught me to be independent, and has always instilled the value of proper etiquette as well as the importance of responsibility.
She has also taught me what it is to be strong. A little over a year ago my mother lost her husband of 30 years after a swift battle with cancer, which was an unimaginable loss to our family.
I wondered how she would get through it. My mother has shown so much strength as well as grace as she has fearlessly begun to establish her “new normal.” For these and so many other reasons my mother has been a big influence in my life.
I am fortunate to be the mother of twin 15-year-old girls as well as a 25-year-old lady. I can honestly say that all three of these young ladies embody each of the characteristics and values described above and make me so proud to be their mom.
From twins Alexis and Alexandra helping to form Gammy Pantry, the Community Garden Pepa’s Pages and helping to form and being members our youth advocacy group in Gammy’s Pantry and the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence, it is easy to see that they too have inherited these values passed down through generations. They are kind, hardworking, dedicated and focused on education as well as their community.
Being their mom means experiencing unconditional love at its finest. I never knew one could love something so much until becoming a mother.
Being their mom means that I have evolved into an expert multitasker.
Being a mom means I am their biggest cheerleader and biggest fan and most importantly they are my heroes.
Young runs Gammy’s Pantry at the Five Towns Community Center and was the Herald’s 2020 Person of the Year.