Moms to Lean On

Because we were always “leaning” on her, sometimes Mom needed to lean on the family boat and do some fishing and we happen to catch this photo in one of those moments.

I’ve written a lot about my dad, Chubby. He was a huge influence in my life. He taught me many lessons for living, often in simple sentences, like “When you think something nice about somebody, tell them right away before you forget,” and “When you look forward to lunch, you need a new job.” I affectionately call them Chubby Rules.

But on this week after Mother’s Day, I want to share that my dad was remarkable only because my mom was remarkable. She helped him start his real estate firm and worked by his side for years. She was his best friend as well as his wife. She was the foundation that he needed to build a successful business and a meaningful life.

At 22 years old, I was "too cool" for Mom's kisses on our family trip to Mexico, but here she is bending down to kiss me anyway.

On Sunday I reflected on so many fond memories of my mom, Catherine (like in the photo above). This got me thinking of other remarkable moms, and one particular story of a mom who made me sad and inspired me at the same time. This is a mom who stepped in front of a car to save her kids’ lives. When I learned about the story, I reached out to her daughter, Chloe Veron. She wrote me back with the following:

“Hi Greg,

This is Chloe Veron. Thank you so much for reaching out to me!

My mom ran in front of a car to save the lives of my brother, my sister and me. She did this without thinking. It was an automatic thought process. We came first in her mind, just as we still do, and she was willing to do whatever it took to ensure our safety, though she knew that it likely meant death for her.

When she somehow survived, and doctors looked her in the eye and told her she would never walk again, she was devastated, but she did not sink into depression. She did not retreat. She accepted what had happened, moved forward, and loved us every step of the way.

The love that a parent has for their child is endless. My mom has shown me what parenthood is. It is unconditional love. It’s about giving absolutely everything you have to your children, regardless of whether that means putting your life at risk. It’s about being able to move forward and express this love just as well in bad times as in good. It is undying and permanent, and it is this love that ties humanity together. I cannot wait to pass this incredible love on when I have children someday.”

You can watch the story of what Chloe’s mom did in a video she posted with her sister on YouTube 11 year ago. It now has 6.7 million views. In honor of her mom, I purchased the URL and pointed it to the video.

For all you moms out there, I hope you had a loving and memorable Mother’s Day. To all the dads and kids out there, be glad we have moms to lean on.

Mom and I giving my nephew, Jason, his first tricycle on Christmas in Cincinnati.