In The Bag May 2018

WICHITA’S HANGER

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 2018

I once told one of my friends that my mom didn’t work. He told his mom, and she in turn told my mom. As it turns out, I was wrong. My mom explained to me, “I work probably about as hard as anyone; I just don’t get paid.” I never said my mom doesn’t work again. My mother is an amazing woman, and she’s always taught us to respect ourselves while respecting others. She exemplifies this in her daily life. She respects everyone she knows while also respecting herself, and she’s a true class act. When I was a kid, my mom sent me to school every day with lunch in a paper sack. Without fail, my name and a smiley face was written on the outside. On my 30th birthday, my mom gave me a paper sack with — you guessed it — my name and a smiley face. Inside, it was filled with treats.

I know I wasn’t the easiest kid to raise at times. When I was a teenager, I once invited a few friends over to our house because we were going to make fake IDs. My mom wasn’t supposed to be home, but right as we were in the middle of our shenanigans, with a huge piece of poster board and all the signs of our transgressions out in the open, she walked in the door. I was mortified, and she knew that. Instead of making me feel worse, she told all the kids to go home and had a talk with me. She didn’t blow up or get really angry, both of which would’ve been understandable reactions. She’s always been really good at rolling with the punches. At the end of the day, it’s all about people and relationships, and my mom has always known that. She’s a natural caretaker who always focuses on giving more than she’s taking. She always strives to add value to other people’s lives before trying to take something from someone else. Being a physical therapist, this was something she put into practice every day of her career, both with patients and with her kids. By the same token, Aram, my wife and the mother to our children, is devoted to our family and is selfless when it comes to our kids. When I met Aram, she was doing very well in her career. As soon as our daughters were born, she chose to set aside her professional aspirations to raise them. She’s also taken Ethan on as her own son in a very selfless way. She’s chosen to be a full-time mother, one of the most challenging and rewarding unpaid positions in existence. These days, I get to see my mom a couple times each year, which is not as often as we’d like. Mom lives in a suburb of Cleveland near where we grew up. We go visit her once a year, and she comes to see us in Wichita once a year. Even now that she’s retired, she’s still taking care of people. She does in-home care for a woman who’s over 90, and she goes to work every day to care for her. She’s always taught me to follow my heart where it takes me. She doesn’t need to say it — she lives it.

Dave with his mother Sharon

My mom is an extremely caring, compassionate, and consistent person. I never had to worry whether or not I was going to be her priority. Her No. 1 goal was always to have a happy and healthy family. I saw early on that, because my dad traveled a lot for work, my mom was the one who kept our home together.

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