When I was little I would build houses out of books and tuck my dolls away in them to keep them safe.
This one particular doll that I waited all year for Santa to bring me went with me everywhere.
Her name was Samantha, and when she would "cry" I would cradle her, every time she was "hungry"
I would feed her, and I always made sure that I tucked her in at night and kissed her on her cheek.
Looking back now, I realize that I copied how I took care of her from how my mom took care of me.
I wanted to give someone, or something what my mom had given me; love.
As I got a little older, I learned not everyone has a mom. That not everyone has that security and safety and love that comes from knowing that the person who brought them into this world loves them.
I didn't understand.
In elementary school I learned what adoption was. And that sometimes, moms can't take care of their kids,
so they give them away to people who can. I learned that even though my friends mom didn't give her birth,
that she was, indeed, her mother, and it made me feel good to know that there were people out there
who became mothers to those who needed one. And they made these kids their own.
I've had friends who have wanted babies so badly, and after years of trying they still have not been
able to have them. They long to be a mother and it doesn't seem fair that they can't be.
I've met people who have had abortions because they weren't ready for a baby,
and I wished so badly I could have given their baby to my friends who wanted one.
I work with students who don't know who their mother is, or wait for the day that she gets out of jail,
or wonder why she walked out on them and what they did wrong that compelled her to leave.
I've seen the strengths that having a strong mother in the home brings,
and the pain that is caused when one just isn't there.
Mothers have such a critical role in this world. To raise the next generation to spread goodness,
to stand up for what is right, and to make contributions to society.
I understand that some people reading this have been so hurt by their mother that the thought
of celebrating them brings nausea. I've seen it from people who are very close to me.
And you know what? It's not fair that not everyone has had a good mother,
or someone to hold them tight and tell them everything is going to be okay.
I wish I could make it all fair, but I can't.
I don't know everything, but I do know that this world needs love; lots of pure, gentle love.
And whether you have children, or can medically never have them...
or have been so hurt by your mother that you've struggled finding yourself your whole life,
I know that you have a lot of love to give.
And just because a child isn't physically ours, doesn't mean that we can't emotionally support them.
My mom has been a mother figure to tons of kids throughout my life.
And I know that they will never forget her. These kids needed her to look at them and just say,
"Hey, you're great, you know that?"
And somehow, giving that love to people around us, can heal our wounds as well.
I know that all of us have the capacity to act as a healer, lover, source of strength,
fighter, supporter, and encourager to the people around us. And especially to those
who need a little bit extra of all of that stuff.
And that's what moms do, they just make the world seem a little brighter.
Thanks mom, for teaching me how to give unconditionally.
I don't know when I'll be able to bring in children of my own,
but I know my influence of womanhood can affect countless numbers of people that surround me,
and I can't think of anything better than spending my days building others up,
and letting them feel what it is like to be loved.