The AJT wanted to do something special for Mother’s Day, so we made you an offer we hoped you wouldn’t refuse: Tell us, in 200 or fewer words, why your mom deserves a special treat — candy, flowers or a day at the spa — and we would make it happen for several of the special women in our community.
The submissions came from sons, daughters and and at least one daughter-in-law. Some of you celebrate the obstacles these wonderful women have overcome, either before or during motherhood. One, for example, survived the Holocaust as a child, then had to raise three children alone after her husband died of cancer. Another has taken her children on multiple moves to ensure that a son with special needs gets the best care possible.
One of these moms has Alzheimer’s; another provided care as long as she could for a husband with dementia.
You celebrate mothers who care, who cook, who bake challah and who have come through the immigrant experience to become Americans while conveying their cultural heritage to their children.
In short, these are stories of women who have shown endless love for their families.
Submitted by Shaked Koren-Katz, age 11
My mom deserves to win because she has done so much to contribute to my family’s life. When my older brother, Shoham, was 4 years old, he underwent surgery. Because of the surgeon’s mistake, Shoham came out of the hospital with special needs. He could no longer walk, speak or eat.
My mom was depressed but determined to help him. After two years of therapy and my mom’s push for Shoham to get the best care, he could walk and eat but still could not talk. My mom decided to move us to Israel for more opportunities for Shoham. Because my mom has always fought for Shoham, he has been able to do so many activities that doctors said he would never be able to do.
Two years ago my mom moved alone with Shoham to the United States for a program called Jacob’s Ladder. I came three months later, but my dad had to keep his job in Israel. My mom had to be with me and my brother all by herself. We’ve moved so many times, but thanks to my mom, it has always been successful and fun.
CHERYL FEINGOLD DORCHINSKY
Submitted by Sam Dorchinsky
My mom is the best because she tries hard to make everyone happy and safe. She does not eat meat but makes me chicken and fish. She does not play sports but will sometimes play basketball with me, and she almost won once. She has even tried to play Xbox with me but is not good, so I asked if she can watch instead.
She drives me everywhere I need to go and will take me and my friends out. She had my bar mitzvah in Israel at Hadassah, and I was thanked by people I did not know because of all she does. I love her even when she makes me study or clean because she is the best mom. She cares about me.
Submitted by Leah Dresdner, age 14
My mom is 50 years old. She is the best mom in the world, and this is why: She works so hard to make my sister and me feel loved. She is a teacher and cares as much about her students as she does about my sister and me. She puts our plans in front of hers. She can help me relax in any situation. She supports what we want to do and never makes us do something we don’t.
She really deserves to win this spa day because she is always working so hard and never gets a break, especially when my dog always causes a new disaster in the house. Please think of my mom for winning this contest.
Submitted by Michael A. Morris
Mom, you are wonderful. You were there to hug me when I skinned my knee for the first time. You picked me up five days a week from swim practice for years and cheered for me when I won my first swim race. You tearfully dropped me off at college and joyfully attended graduation. (And remember when you sent me a T-shirt after my first month away? It said, “Phone Home.”)
You bought me shirts for my first real job (OK, you gave me Dad’s, but it’s the thought that counts). You graciously embraced my wife as part of the family when we got married (and put me on notice when we got divorced). You helped me purchase my first house.
You are there, in the shadows, to smooth over disagreements with Dad. Whether they are good, or not so good, you always make my children feel special.
Since I purchased the Atlanta Jewish Times, you have been my most vocal advocate (from all of us at the office — thank you). You are my whole family’s confidante. And it does not go unnoticed that you are there for every special occasion.
“Thank you” falls short. A day at the spa is too fleeting. Flowers, well, everyone knows not to send you flowers. Instead, I offer you my most treasured commodity: more time with my beloved mom.
Submitted by Julia Rosenthal
There are millions of moms out there, but there is no one out there like my mom. My mom is my best friend, and it will always stay that way. We have definitely been through our ups and downs through the teenage years, but I am so glad that I am now able to call her my best friend.
She is there for me 100 percent, through thick and thin, when no one else is, and, honestly, sometimes I don’t know how she does it. She is supportive, loving, tough, forgiving and immensely strong. She is my shoulder to cry on and my person to cry laughing with.
There are not enough words of appreciation that I have for this woman, and I do not know if she will ever know how thankful I am for her. Everyone deserves to know a person as amazing as my mom, and I love her with all my heart. Thank you for everything, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
Submitted by Jody Goldstein
Despite having advanced Alzheimer’s disease and not recognizing friends and family, my mom is always upbeat and has a huge smile on her face. She loves to sing and dance and brighten up the lives of everyone she meets. She would love flowers or a manicure-pedicure for Mother’s Day. She lives in a HUD home on very little money. Thanks so much!
Submitted by Allyson Tibor
My mother-in-law had a hard life, growing up in war-torn Europe. Her family left Belgium when she was just 3 years old to escape the Nazis. Their journey brought them to France, where they hid in an abandoned train station near the town of Viq. When the Nazis discovered them, the men were taken to concentration camps. My mother-in-law and her older sister and cousin were placed in the care of the French underground. They were moved from farmhouse to farmhouse.
One night, when the Nazis were closing in, there was an opportunity to save some of the children and move them in the cloak of darkness, my mother-in-law being one of them. When the war finally ended, her older sister and cousin had the opportunity to come to America, but she was young and stayed with her mother after they were reunited.
The two returned to Belgium, where she was placed into a convent while her mother worked. At the age of 14, she immigrated to the United States with her mom, sponsored by an uncle. She attended Grady High School despite knowing no English.
She met and married her husband, Peter. They went on to have three kids, of which the youngest is my husband, Mark. Heartbreakingly, while my mother-in-law, Suzan, was pregnant with him, her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died when my husband was just 8 days old. He got to hold his youngest and was buried with his foreskin.
Suzan worked as a secretary at Emory Cancer Center while struggling to raise three children. When my husband was 9, he was diagnosed with leukemia. During the 1970s, this should have been a death sentence, but he was treated with a new protocol from Memphis. Though he lost all his hair, he survived.
Throughout Suzan’s life of unspeakable hardship, she has never lost her faith, and she still attends Congregation Beth Jacob regularly. This woman has my undying love and admiration.
Submitted by Shari Alhadell
My dad was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. He wasn’t having many issues until this past year, when it got worse. My mother did not want him in assisted living or memory care alone, so she did everything she could to keep him at home.
I went in on weekends around my school schedule, then more frequently as he worsened. He was at home until he got asphyxiation pneumonia and was put into a hospital and then into hospice. He passed away Nov. 16, 2017.
My mother was brave until the end, trying to take care of him herself. They were married 63 years, and she never wanted to be separated.
Submitted by Kaylene Ladinsky
My mother is the most beautiful and sweetest woman I have ever known. She is always there for her family when we need her. I believe that she especially deserves flowers and a day at the spa this year for Mother’s Day because in the past few months she has suffered a heart attack, recovered from surgery and had to close her business.
Those changes have been a hard pill for her to swallow as a successful and independent entrepreneur.
It means so much to me that she is happy and healthy every day. Thank you, Mom, for everything you do.
Submitted by Oren Abusch-Magder
I remember the first time I made challah with my mother. I was 7. I put in salt instead of sugar, and we had to start over. I burst into tears because I had screwed up. Instead of scolding me, she smiled, laughed it off and started a new batch.
The next week I poured in too much yeast, and we threw out the batch. Once again, she smiled, and this time I smiled too. Every week since then, we have made challah together when we could.
When I am home, we knead the dough, laugh and talk. In college, I have taught my friends how to knead, how to braid and how to make the weekly blessing of the challah. I can make the perfect loaf, but my mother’s attitude taught me more than a recipe ever could.
I still fail all the time, but after years of learning from my mom, I know that failure is a part of life. Sometimes when I am baking with my less experienced friends, they make a mistake, and we have to start over. They get upset, but I smile at them, laugh it off and start the next batch.
Submitted by Carrie Bohn
My mother deserves flowers, candy or a day at the spa on Mother’s Day because she is the best mom ever! She is incredibly selfless and always puts her children first. She has worked so hard to give us the life that we have and continues to put others first.
She gave up her very successful career when my siblings and I were young to take care of us and make sure that we were raised right. Now that we are older, she continues to make sure that we are constantly feeling loved and valued. She has literally driven across states to make sure I am OK and would bend over backward for anyone in our family.
I try my best to make sure she feels loved and appreciated, but I would love for her to be recognized by others for her amazingness!
Submitted by Deborah Herr
From the beginning, my mother has encouraged and supported me, guiding me toward a bright future filled with love, beauty and opportunity. No words will ever truly convey my gratitude for her affection and inspiration. She has been an unwavering and profound force in my life, without which I would be lost.
Submitted by Lloyd Stark
My mom does it all! She is my best friend. She raised two amazing kids and was always there for me when I needed her. She is the most amazing cook in the world. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams and never give up. She is the reason I am where I am today.
She is the most beautiful lady in the world! My mom is awesome!
Submitted by Sarah Moosazadeh
Flowers, candy and a day at the spa all seem like wonderful ways to show my mother why she is the best. They would certainly put a smile on her face and allow her a day of relaxation, which she very much deserves. But, in reality, she deserves so much more.
By emigrating from Iran and settling in America to flee persecution, my mother made the ultimate sacrifice to leave her native country and start anew. When I was born, she promised herself that she would not allow her only daughter to be raised in a nonsecular country and would provide me with every opportunity. Thirty-one years later, I am living proof that she accomplished that goal and so much more.
She experienced hardship while trying to acclimate into American society and later while trying to raise two kids, work full time and earn her college degree. But through it all she always kept a positive attitude and managed to see the good in everything — traits I am proud to have inherited.
She is more than a best friend and someone I can laugh and talk to. She is a connection to my native roots and my culture.
Submitted by Lou Ladinsky
My mother deserves more than just flowers, candy or a day at the spa. Being a mother, along with being a parent and friend, is a full-time job that often goes underappreciated. Our mothers are our foundation growing up, paving the roads we end up traveling during our journey through life.
We use all their wisdom and experience to grow as loving, caring and giving individuals. They help form our values and morals, which we in turn pass on to our own children.
I am very proud of my mom for her care and love as I progressed from a baby to a child to a teenager and finally an adult (or at least a man-child). We may not agree on everything because things do change from generation to generation. I know how much she just loves the music I listen to, along with the length of my hair.
But another thing I know is that I love her very much. She deserves all that life has to offer and more. I toast to you on your special day.