Russell and Duenes

A Tribute to a Great Woman

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My mother (here with one of her grandsons, Eli) was a kindergarden teacher until I was born, at which point she devoted all her time and energy to raising me and my older sister, and eventually, four children. I know that these days not all mothers can be at home full-time, but I’m incredibly grateful that my mother could. It would be impossible to recount all of the ways that she loved and cared for me and my siblings and relatives, but here are a few that stand out.

– I had asthma as a child, and sometimes it was rather terrifying. As I labored to breathe, I would have to sit up in bed at night, unable to sleep. Though there was nothing my mother could do for me physically, she would stay up all night with me to comfort me and make me feel secure.

– In middle school, I had to go to “zero period” in order to play in the school band. Obviously this was early in the morning, but my mom faithfully got up each day, got me breakfast and often drove me to school.

– I was never went to school without a lunch my mother had made, and she always made dinner for us as well so that we could eat together as a family.

– My mom was always willing to sit down and help us with homework (though math was not her strong suit), college applications, scouting merit badges, and any other chore.

– Because my father was an airline pilot and often away on trips, my mom got us to our Little League games, Boy  and Girl Scout events, private music lessons, soccer practices, art lessons, church activities and what seemed like a million other things. I still have no idea how she got us to, or arranged to get us to these myriad events.

– It was common to see my mother ironing all of my father’s white shirts he had to wear as a pilot. She still loves to iron any clothes I might have with me when I visit.

– She loves and cares for her in-laws as if they were her own flesh and blood.

– It is always a joy to chat with her, whether about mundane, day-to-day stuff or about the most significant issue of life.

– Best of all, my mother always put us to bed, tucked us in and prayed with us each night. I don’t doubt that her prayers for us have been answered in countless ways.

If there were a Mother’s Hall of Fame, my mom would be in it, and it’s been a joy to see her now as a grandmother to our two boys. Happy Mother’s Day, mom; you are most definitely a woman worthy of high praise.


Written by Michael Duenes

May 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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