Not too long ago, Patch ran a Mother’s Day contest on all 19 of its Florida sites asking you to comment about your mother or another special lady in your life. We have named the five winners and want to share their stories with you.
Remember: The five $500 gift card recipients were selected at random, but we think you’re all winners in our book. If you want to share a story about your mom, we’d love to hear it. Just add it in the comments section. We'd love to see photos uploaded to the gallery in this story, too!
Winner Judy Watkins, Land O’ Lakes:
My mother amazes me more and more every day. She has always been there for me growing up and has always been by my side. She is the type of woman that I strive to be when I am older. Wise, beautiful and most of all strong. She has been through more of life's obstacles than anyone that I know. She was there for me when I became a teen mom and she supported me through everything. Only in the past three years she had to deal with her father (my grandpa) being diagnosed with cancer and passing away all very suddenly, her brother (my uncle) also being diagnosed with cancer and passing away. Her mother in and out of the hospital, her only son being sent to prison, and finally her husband (my father) being diagnosed with colon cancer. She has been taking care of him and trying to nurse him back to health for the past three years, while working a full time job, and paying all the bills and taking care of the house by herself. Although we think his battle may be coming to an end she never leaves his side and is still taking care of him. At times I think she forgets to think about herself and take care of herself. She thinks of everyone else before she thinks of herself, and has always been so strong. Sometimes I don't know how she does it all. She definitely deserves to be pampered and to be given everything that she ever wanted and dreamed of. I have always wanted to be able to spoil my mother and show her just how wonderful she truly is. I love my mother so much. She deserves this.
Winner Michelle D. Henderson, New Tampa:
You rock in so many ways. You rocked on July 14, 1974 when you birthed me. You were the best blessing God could possibly have a baby girl born into. You rocked when you gave up your career in the Army to become the best stay-at-home mother ever. You rocked when we had to pack up and move in a moments notice due to dad still being in the Army. You rocked that "Thanksgiving" when we had no food in sight, but somehow you created food out of no where. It was the best ever!!! You rocked by keeping the family together, well-versed, and educated of different cultures and diversities. Your rocked when everyone always complimented you on how well-behaved and well-mannered your children were. You rocked when dad got out of the military and took a job all the way in Turkey to provide for us, leaving you alone to handle everything stateside. You rocked when he came back for Christmas '92 for vacation and we had the best Christmas ever. You rocked March 21, 1993, when you had to tell us dad had died in the hospital of heart failure. You rocked when you sent me off on March 30, 1995 into the Air Force as tears streamed down your face. Mom, I guess I am saying...you've been rocking all of your life. The greatest time you rocked was March 20, 1955...the day you were born. Without you, there would definitely be no us. Thank you for everything you've been to me and everything you been through for us. You are my hero and I love you always and forever.
Winner Donna Jean Robertson, Temple Terrace:
My Mom rocks! She is 72 year old widow & she is still a Foster Mom. She helps with all the Grandchildren & Great Grandchildren. She helps the ladies at Church if they need a ride to & from Church, or to go see a love one who is ill. She is active in working in the Social Hall & on the Church cleaning team. She is & always has been right there for her Family & is my best friend. I cannot imagine a day without her. <3
Winner Carolina, Westchase:
My mom is the rock of our family. She left her husband and four small children behind in Guatemala, and came alone to the U.S. in search of a better future for her family. After working hard over a year, she was finally able to bring the family to join her. Then I was born a year later. Despite having to work so hard just like Dad to give us the best private schooling, Mom was the perfect homemaker too. She never complained. We didn't have much but we were rich in family values. When the oldest son drowned at a Father's Day picnic at the age of 15, Mom's strength to keep going was amazing. Not until health issues forced her to stop working outside the home, being a stay-at-home mom kept her just as busy. When it came time for grandchildren, she reared them all. When I moved to Florida to open a retail business, Mom came along to help. She has worked hard right beside me for over 27 years, through the good and bad, and never asking for a dime. Recently, at the age of 81,Mom has had to slow down. She had to have open heart surgery and I became her caregiver, instead of the other way around. I have no regret in putting my life in financial jeopardy to tend to my mother's recovery, because of her unconditional love and dedication all our lives. I pray to have her in our lives for many, many years to come. She deserves the best. I love you, Mom!
Winner Kathy Lane, Bloomingdale:
I had a favorite doll, my Raggedy Anne, who went everywhere with me. She would ride in the basket of my bike as we rode all over the neighborhood, I would play with her for hours, she never left my side. Because of this, my constant companion looked a little rough around the edges. My precious Mother would meticulously mend my doll, her face, hair and even her little body complete with embroidering a red heart. The care that should took with my darling doll is the same care she took with me. I still have my darling doll and she sits in a place of honor on a little shelf in my bedroom and every time I see her, I can feel the love of my Mother shining through her little black button eyes!