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An ode to a great mother

Natalie Phillips of Elkhart writes about her mother.
Posted on May 12, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

Editors note: The following is the winning essay in the 2013Mother-Child Essay Contest.

Natalie Phillips

I am lucky enough to have the best mother in the world! My mom, Valerie Yoder, says that she always knew she wanted to be a mother. When my brother and I were young, she put her career on hold to stay at home to take care of us. Once we were school-aged, she completed classes at night to finish her education. Even though it was a struggle, she wanted to do this to give my brother and I the best opportunities that she could. My mother combined the perfect amount of love, guidance, religion, and rules to teach me the right way.

Mom was always willing to take me to the movies, to go pick up friends when their parents were unwilling, and to cheer me up when I came home crying, “I hate math!” Once in high school, I decided I wanted to attend Bethany Christian, a thirty to forty minute drive from home. Mom was completely supportive, and drove me to school every morning just to turn around and drive back to Elkhart to teach eighth grade Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry every day.

While I attended Purdue for undergraduate and Western Michigan for graduate school, my mom suggested that I call her every night before bed, which I did without hesitation because I knew that she loved me so much that she would have a hard time sleeping if she didn’t hear from me. Now mom, did you really think I was going to bed at 8 PM on Friday and Saturday nights in college?!

When I met the man I wanted to marry, and set the wedding date for seven weeks after we became engaged, mom made herself immediately available to help make my wedding everything I wanted it to be. She spent her entire winter break addressing invitations meeting me at various vendors, and finding the perfect cake toppers, champagne flutes, and cake servers. She even searched online until she found the wedding dress that matched the exact description I gave after we couldn’t find “the one” in at least 3 different wedding dress shops.

I am now a mother myself, to two wonderful little girls. Mom enjoys every moment of being a grandmother, and my dream is to be as good of a mother to them as she is to me. My mother has always been my advocate, my role model, and my confidante. She has taught me how to display unconditional love with total selflessness. On January 18th, my mom lost her mother. This will be her first Mother’s Day without her mom. I want to make this Mother’s Day special for her as she has done everything possible to make every day special for me!


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