by Christi Ashby
Each year we lovingly celebrate mothers – sometimes it’s the mother-daughter bond – which of course is close to our hearts since Kate and I have worked on Orange Appeal (and siblings Interior Appeal and the Orlando Women’s Conference) together for 13 years. But as I have aged into grandmotherhood, I have realized that many of my closest friends are not mothers – at least not in the traditional sense.
However, they, and others like them who did not carry or raise children themselves either by chance or choice, actively engage, guide, love and yes, mother, younger children, adolescents and young adults. Their role, whether as mentors, relatives or counselors, is valuable and worth shedding a light on.
One of my friends has been gently counseling and supporting her niece through a difficult time. Many more volunteer with at-risk girls in the community. Some are foster moms who offer hope and safe havens. And others provide personal and professional mentoring to special people in their lives. So, this season let’s raise a glass and toast those women who fill maternal roles with generous hearts.
They see the promise and potential in your eyes,
And tell you your limit is beyond the skies.
They feel your pain in unseen ways,
And comfort you on your darkest days.
They are overjoyed when you hit a new high,
And can’t contain their excitement and pride.
They gently nudge just short of nagging,
But about you they are always bragging.
They are there when you need someone to confide in,
And know just what to say and exactly when.
They light up your world in their giving ways,
And make you feel worthy in a million different ways.