From sons to mom, and mom to son: A Mother’s Day salute

Joyce Coronel with her five sons.

By Joyce Coronel

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, my thoughts turn to years past when little hands gathered bouquets of wildflowers or were pressed into brilliantly colored finger paints to create masterpieces.

Our five sons now range in age from 20 to 30 and are past the homemade gift phase—all except one, that is. USMC Second Lieutenant Johnny Coronel, 23, keeps the tradition alive with stick-figure greeting cards packed with puns and quips and interspersed with heartfelt sentiments of gratitude.

Last year, his Mother’s Day card featured a drawing of me with five arms, one for each of my roles as wife, mom, cook, writer, and woman-who-prays. I keep this priceless treasure tucked away and re-read it every so often, especially on days like this when I’m missing him. He’s at Fort Meade in Maryland now but will soon return to Okinawa, Japan, where he is stationed. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was wearing that Superman cape and holding a bedraggled teddy bear?

Sometimes, when I see a young mother struggling at the grocery store check-out or pharmacy, my mind goes back to the “young years,” to days that seemed endless with fussy babies, tantrum-throwing toddlers and a house that looked like a tornado had blown through. “Hang in there, Mom,” I want to say. “You will get through this!

“You’re not alone.”

Of course, it might seem like you’re all alone, especially during those 3 a.m. feeding sessions, and that’s why you need to cultivate community. Look for like-minded moms who share your ideals, values and faith.

Being a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, there were days that I was surrounded by little people but still felt an aching loneliness. It was then that another mom in the neighborhood with children around the same age befriended me. Barb knew just what I was going through and together, we helped each other navigate the vicissitudes of motherhood and still stay sane. We were able to attend a women’s group at a local church that had free childcare and afforded us the opportunity to get to know other mommies who understood what we were facing.

This year, my eldest son turns 31 and his wife will soon give birth to their firstborn child. The thought of seeing my daughter-in-law blossom into a loving, careful mother fills me with deep joy. I look forward to the day my grandson presents his mom with a homemade gift for Mother’s Day, knowing that she, too, will treasure it forever.

We here at Wrangler News are all about building and growing a stronger community where people care about each other and seek ways to lift burdens. If you see a mom out there who’s struggling, offer her support. Tell her she’s not alone. Point her in the direction of moms who get it. Together, let’s help every mom know that she’s a valued member of our community who is shaping the next generation of leaders, journalists, scientists and business owners.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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