Our hearts filled with joy as our inbox was flooded with responses to our SuperMom Craft-Cation Giveaway contest. The decision was so difficult and it took hours of reading and research to narrow down just one winner. Though you are all Super Moms in our book, there can only be one winner for the Craft-Cation Giveaway! And that lucky gal is Hilaria Grau. She was recommended by her daughter Irene Grau; below is what she had to say about her sweet mother.
She deserves this title for a number of reasons.
Supermom reason #1.
My mother had me when she was 22. When she had me, she was committed to taking care of me (and later my brother) herself — no babysitters, no daycare, etc. So for the first year of my life, before my brother came along, she worked nights when my dad got home, so she could be with me during the day. That didn’t give her much time for herself. After my brother came along, she became a stay-at-home mom not just to me, but to my three cousins as well, while their mother worked. So for many years she had two pre-adolescent boys and three children all under the age of 3.
Supermom reason #2.
When I turned five, my parents opened a restaurant. Again, committed to raising her children herself, mom made sure there was a little room in the back (which should have been an office or break room) for my brother and me. We had a couch, a table, a TV, and books, games and crayons to keep us busy in the evenings. Because of the restaurant, mom made sure we ate at least one good meal as a family — which was breakfast — but was actually dinner. We never had cereal or pancakes or (god forbid) frozen waffles. No, mom would make full meals of protein, rice, veggies or a salad — essentially dinner (I believe this is why my brother and I did so well in school — our brains were fed!). This doesn’t mean dinner WAS cereal or pancakes; but they weren’t a sit-down meal together. Who else gets up at 5am to make sure dinner is ready before school?
Supermom reason #3.
As a teen, my mom was never lacking with an encouraging word or support. She was my best friend. I remember going with her to sign up at a gym with a family plan. The trainer said “Oh, you must be sisters.” We laughed and said no. “Cousins?” Again we said no. “Is she your aunt?” she asked me. “NO! She’s my mom!” The trainer sat there with her mouth hanging open. “No way! Moms and daughters are NOT this friendly to each other.” We just laughed again.
Supermom reason #4.
Over the years, mom has mothered not just her own two kids, but countless friends and family members. I have several friends now whose mothers have passed, and mom has lovingly and willingly embraced them as her own. She also mothered her own mother when she was terminally ill, her older sisters (she’s one of 17!) as they were dying, and most recently, my cousin, who had dementia and just died last week. In fact, several of the other patients in my cousin’s facility have become so attached to my mom that she has promised to continue going to see them — and she will love them and cry just as hard for them when they finally succumb to their illnesses.
Supermom reason #5.
Finally, my mom is a grandmother of 4. Every Saturday they visit her and know they’re going to get her special “brown chicken and rice” (breaded and pan fried chicken fillets and her Spanish rice). In fact, her grandson (my nephew) won’t eat anything else. He has become a peanut butter and jam sandwich kid (he’s 7) even at home, 3 meals a day; but on Saturdays he knows he’s going to eat “brown chicken and rith,” as he says it. Even when her knee is having a particularly painful flare-up of arthritis, where walking and standing is painful, mom still insists on making them their food. She also makes sure she has homemade tortillas, because the kids love their quesadillas.
I’m sure I could go on listing more reasons why my mom is a Supermom, but honestly, even without any of these reasons, she’d be a supermom because, well, she’s MY mom. She is getting older and slower, but she still does whatever she can for anyone who needs help or a loving hand. She is the most selfless person I know, and I love her dearly. That’s why she’s a supermom.
We also wanted to give a special shout out to these special Moms whose stories also touched our hearts. In alphabetical order:
Amy Jo Maruschak
Lori Renee (Hill) Rios
Sheryl Joy Smith