My mom is someone very special. She has always done what needs to be done. That is just what she did. No frills and no recognition required.
She has a huge heart and a beautiful spirit. She is the best example of a true woman as I have ever seen. She raised my sister and me on her own. She had some help from my dad when they got divorced, but she still had to take care of us day to day by herself. She did what she needed to do to put food on the table, clothes on our backs, and shoes on our feet. Sometimes this meant doing double duty waitressing or working at a gas station. She made it exciting to have breakfast for dinner and I still love having mac and cheese with sausage links. We might not have had a lot of extras, but we always had what we needed.
Over time our family grew. In the 1980s we gained a Dad and two siblings. She was the glue that bound our new found family together. It may have been a bit messy at times, but she helped us all become a family. She taught us that being related by blood doesn’t make people a family. A family is a group of people who care for each other. They stick with each other; through the good times and the bad.
As I have grown older, I have become friends with my mom. We take “girl trips” and have a blast together. I enjoy talking with her, learning about her, and sharing myself with her. She has evolved and grown, sometimes changing careers, but always worked hard. She is very giving of herself and of her time.
In many ways she is still the mom from when I was a little girl, just doing what needs to be done. My mom taught me that you can become whatever you want to be if you are willing to put in the work. She has also changed – learning to be open to seeing life outside of the traditional box. This mom taught me to not be afraid to change; to grow and to open myself to all life has to teach if you have an open heart.
My name is Dana Belden and my mother is Cheri. She is living a life that is filled with heart and has taught me to do the same.