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Where Would We Be Without Our Mothers?

“Our Mothers … no one angers us more. No one inspires us more. No one saddens us more. No one brings us more joy. No one loves us more. Our Mothers are our Infinite Everything; without them, there is no life … no meaning.” —Richard Bliss Brooke
 
I have been fortunate to have three mothers. 
 
Aileen Brooke gave me life and then proceeded to torture and inspire me for the next 65 years. She was an extraordinary one-of-a-kind. You can read about her here:  https://richardbrooke.com/blogs/personal-development/lessons-from-my-mother
 
My father remarried when I was in my teens and had the great fortune to find his true-life soul mate. And I found the nurturing mother mine was often not. Penny Brooke, my “stepmom,” embraced me like her own, loved me, tolerated me, entertained me, but most importantly, gave my father a life of love and meaning. 
 
“Stepmom” feels like a horribly unsatisfying label to describe Penny’s role in my life. She allowed me to see what love and companionship looked like. And fortunately, she is still an immensely important part of my life. 
 
 
“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” —Cardinal Mermillod
 
And then there is the “finally” love of my life, Kimmy. Although we have only been together for eight short years, Kimmy has shown me the infinite distinctions of true motherhood. 
 
I have always marveled at the idea of the physical process of giving birth … the idea of which petrifies me. I literally cannot fathom it. Not the 9 months leading to it, not the 19 hours of IT, and not the 19 months of nursing and crying afterward. It is a price paid for giving life that is the ultimate gesture of love, generosity and selflessness.
 
 
“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism.” —Gilda Radner
 
I came into Kimmy and Hailey’s life when Hailey was 15. They had been inseparable since Kimmy’s divorce from Hailey’s father five years earlier. I have been gifted being able to witness, virtually every day for the last eight years, what LOVE really looks like, what it feels like. Love when it is angry. Love when it is disappointed. Love when it is not heard. Love when it is scared. Love when it is inspired. Love when it is hopeful. Love when it is unconditional.
 
 
“Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” —Marion C. Garretty
 
I have been immersed in love, being pulled to the extreme at all angles … stretched to unimagined lengths but never at risk of breaking. It is a miracle in constant motion. Sometimes I try to imagine the heartache Kimmy feels. I cannot. Sometimes I try to imagine the pride and joy she feels. I cannot. Not at her level. It is biological. It is chemical. The two are one, like twins feeling each other’s pain and joy.
 
Kimmy has given me many things for which I may be inspired. Her joy, humor, resilience, courage, leadership and creativity are world class. But her motherhood is out of this world … my world, magical.
 
Hailey, you are one “lucky egg” miracle. And your children will live extraordinary lives because of the model you have lived in your mother Kimmy.
 
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, Penny and Kimmy. Thank you for the LIFE.
 
P.S. My blogs are, for me, a conversation. I rant for a bit and then … if so inspired, you respond. Your comments close the loop of conversation. They let me know I was heard. They let me know I contributed something … or not. I encourage you to close the loop … or open a new one and say something.

20 Responses

Jerry Moore

Jerry Moore

May 30, 2021

You are a good, solid man sir. Your blog post is well put. I have never liked the term “step” either of any kind. My dad corrected me once when I was a teenager and we got a card from his brother, who came along after his mother remarried. He told me my uncle was his brother. I understood. I’m glad Penny Brooke came into your life and that you found your wife. Good blog post.

Cassie Rathbun

Cassie Rathbun

May 14, 2021

This is a lovely tribute to three powerful and beautiful women in your life. It’s so true, a mother’s love is like no other. I’m blessed to be experiencing it with my two littles. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Chris St Cyr

Chris St Cyr

May 14, 2021

You always have such a great way of putting things. In lots of aspects of life …. love them or hate them ..your a gem !!! Thanks for all the sharing you do 😋

Art Burleigh

Art Burleigh

May 12, 2021

Thank you, Richard! I was touched and inspired by your heartfelt, sensitive appreciations of all these Moms in your fascinating life! :-)

Rose Stebbins

Rose Stebbins

May 11, 2021

Richard, as always, your “raw” authenticity & love for Aileen, Penny, & Kimmy, touched me profoundly! In a time filled with so much “chaos” & “misinformation” it’s a jewel to hear someone’s soul & the love within! Thank you!🧑‍🌾🌺❤️

Drea Martinez

Drea Martinez

May 10, 2021

Such depth and breadth in this raw, tender and beautiful writing Richard; much emotion and respect came over me while reading this. Thank-you.

Carolyn DeMarco

Carolyn DeMarco

May 10, 2021

Elegantly written, heartfelt tribute to mothers that I sent to many of my favourite mothers. What I liked is that it honestly expressed the different ways an individual can experience the mother role, and the unique and irreplaceable role of our birth mother. Greatly appreciated. Thank you Richard.

Carmela

Carmela

May 09, 2021

I could go on & on with my reaction to your story(s), Richard. I’ll simply say: I am deeply moved by all that you have shared with us. Thank you!

Steve Szabo

Steve Szabo

May 09, 2021

A beautifully written, thoughtful and inspiring blog! Thank you Richard for sharing this with all of us who read it!

Louise Harvey

Louise Harvey

May 09, 2021

Thanks for this deep honest sharing. I could relate to all of this. A harder job than being a mother is the step – mother job. So I celebrate that your experience was one of value. And wonderful that you could share all that with us. Feeling Grateful.

JANA JORGENSON

JANA JORGENSON

May 09, 2021

Richard… I absolutely LOVE the rawness & authenticity of this piece of writing & reflection. Of course, from you I would expect no less but to admire & embrace Kimmy’s beautiful role as a Mother brought me to tears. This was a beautiful account of your life. Happy Mother’s Day to your Moms and Kimmy! You are #trulyblessed

Ricardo Wilkins

Ricardo Wilkins

May 09, 2021

Beautifully said Richard. As someone with a strong devotion to my mother your words resonate deeply.

Linda S Moore

Linda S Moore

May 09, 2021

Richard — Glad I scrolled down after reading about your Mom. Incredible story of love. From beginning to (not yet the) end. How fortunate you are!!
Linda

Lisa jadis

Lisa jadis

May 09, 2021

This is beautiful Richard! I felt your words as a Mother who adores her 2 children and a Daughter like Hailey who experienced love from an extraordinary woman. What a gift!

Gordon Hall

Gordon Hall

May 09, 2021

Richard, you always do more than contribute something. You inspire. Your words are always motivational.

Lynnette Smith

Lynnette Smith

May 09, 2021

Nice to have stumbled upon such a well written piece by you Richard on Mother’s Day! Thank you. 🙏🌺

Dawn Aspaas

Dawn Aspaas

May 09, 2021

Thank you for being so open and giving a perspective from a son. Even when a mother isn’t perfect she can be valued enough to love and here you show it to be true. The gift of a step-mom can be a great blessing and the love of a wife and daughter with all its raw beauty! You have a wonderful gift of expression Richard and I enjoy your wisdom. May Gods always bless you with love and light in your life! Dawn

Bernadette Glasgow Bryant

Bernadette Glasgow Bryant

May 09, 2021

Richard,
That was absolutely one of the most beautiful tributes to mothers. It was true, from the heart and filled with awesomeness. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, sentiments and experiences of the lives of those who serve the beautiful role of a mother. As we all know, it truly is the most challenging and the most rewarding role of all. Some do it very, very well, and when they do, it is life nurturing. When they do it not do it well, it too can motivate us and do it better.
Have a blessed day with all your loves!
Bernadette
Bernadette Bryant

Cheryl Wills

Cheryl Wills

May 09, 2021

A most inspiring reflection. Thank you, Richard.

Heather

Heather

May 09, 2021

This is beautiful, Richard! Thank you for sharing from the heart. I can relate to the love you describe between Kimmy and Hailey, from both the daughter’s perspective and the mother’s perspective. It’s such a blessing to have such a close relationship with my mom and my daughters.

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