Today is Mother's Day. My fourth sans Mom. As is our tradition, Mom went to church and to dinner. She gets around.
Having my literal mother no longer with me always brings to mind the other people in my life who mother me, or who otherwise take care of me. Permit me, gentle reader, to take a moment to appreciate the Others in my life.
My sisters, who make me crazy half the time and make me proud to be a Bieritz the other half. They aren't perfect, but they are mine.
Rae, who has only held the title of Mother for a little over a year but who loves so perfectly and unconditionally, I feel as though she was a mom, in some ways, much sooner than she actually was. Thank you for having a daughter who loves me, even in pictures.
Janie, a woman who goes with the flow but always stands out from the crowd. Maybe it's her effervescent smile. Maybe it's the way she accepts people just as they are. Or maybe, just maybe, it's the bundle of unbridled joy in her arms. That's my nephew, Liam. You should hear him giggle.
Kelly, who has been mothering me since she was 13. Which is really saying something, since I was 16 at the time. She supported me through the loss of my mother, my job, and my husband, all the while reminding me that I was strong.
Ellen, who calls me "earth mother." She never fails to remind me that in my worst moments, I can choose to be my best self. She has high expectations of me, and I never want to disappoint her.
The Original Margaret Rathunde, my mother-in-law. This is a rare woman who understands that her son can divorce me, but she doesn't have to. It was my distinct pleasure to spend this morning with her. She's nuts, she's high strung, and I love her.
Finally, my dad. Yes, my dad. The man who, for me, hung the moon. He's the one I call when I need career advice, or when I'm still trying to understand how I failed as a wife, or when I need that recipe for Aunt Judy's soup. Glenn Bieritz is one in a million, and I'm glad he's mine.
So to those of you who are mothers, I celebrate you today. To those who have mothers, I hope you celebrate with them in some way. May we all continue to love and mother one another through the heartaches, scraped knees and triumphs of this crazy journey we call life. Happy Others Day, one and all.