The word “run” has overtaken the word “set” as the English word with the most meanings. I would argue there is one word they are both far behind. Mom.
Just say it out loud. Mom.
The meanings behind the word “mom” are profound and personal. Just saying it can flood us with so many emotions. Ones that can cycle you back through your entire life.
“Mom” needs no explanation. While writing this, I can’t think of any other words that I can say that about. “Love”? No, I love a lot of things. I love my family, I love my friends, I love the Yankees, and I love a good backrub. They are all very different. How about “hate”? Nope. I hate cancer. I hate being left out, I hate failure and I hate stubbing my toe.
Mom. That’s my mom. I’m just like my mom. I miss my mom. Any questions about the level of meaning in those?
I have been blessed to have 4 “moms” in my life.
Jamesine “Jamey” Barone was my mom. She held me when I was sick, she came to every baseball game I was in and she taught me to laugh at life. Then I lost her. That was 26 years ago. I am almost 48 years old and even now when I have one of those rough days, I would give anything for a hug from my mom.
Janet Barone is the wonderful woman whom my father married 12 years later. Janet has managed to make my father completely happy. Not only that but has always shown such respect towards the memory of my mom and at first caring, then love towards my brother, sister, and myself. Unbelievably, Janet has become a second mom to me.
Celeste Frank is my mother-in-law. She is the glue of my wife’s family…as most moms are. I sit and watch her during the holidays. I see her interacting with each of her three children and her 8 grandchildren and I love it. Somehow, she allows me to experience what it would be like to have my own mom around to still teach those pearls of wisdom to 3 kids who think they have succeeded enough in life that they don’t need her advice; even though everyone in the room knows they do. To see her grandkids run up for a hug and share with her whatever exciting thing happened in their own tiny universe. She doesn’t even know how important she has become to me.
Finally, my wife, LeLane. The mother of my 2 children. She drives nearly an hour each way to work, every day, to make a company better that will never know how much she does. Then when she gets home, not only does she have to deal with me (not the simplest of tasks) but she then takes on meals, children, cleaning, homework, and a multitude of tasks that will all leave her with as little praise at home as she gets at work. Yet, she does it and still finds the time to laugh, play and snuggle with our kids. That’s so “mom”. Until I saw what she goes through every day, in all the aspects of her life, I don’t think I was able to fully appreciate a mother’s love.
The word “mom” has so many meanings and it brings warmth to my heart and nourishment to my soul. How about you?
Say it again out loud… “Mom”.