Hamilton

'She always knows what to do': Hamiltonians pay tribute to their moms

We put out a call to Hamilton residents asking what makes their moms special. Here's what they had to say.

'For many of her patients, she's the last person they see before dying'

"She's an excellent physician, mother of four, and a wife of 28 years," says Rashad Al-Aani of her mom Karam. (Rashad Al-Aani)

It's Mother's Day, and we put out a call to Hamilton residents asking what makes their moms special. Here's what they had to say.

Rashad Al-Aani on her mom Karam 

Few weeks ago, I had a conversation about work-life balance with a colleague who told me you just cannot have it all. True, I cannot have it all, but my mom did it all.

She's an excellent physician, mother of four, and a wife of 28 years. My mom is the armour and anchor of our family. She immigrated to Canada at 48 years old, leaving behind an established career in pediatrics, fueled by faith and hope for a better life for her children. Nonetheless, she pursued her academic passion. She held the fort down while my dad continued to be our bread winner.

There are many things that make mom special: her determination, her generosity and the fact that she always knows what to do, to name a few. She tell us that everything will be OK. Only a woman of faith knows that. What really stands out to me is how she raised four siblings who love and support each other fiercely; and who never ever fought with each other, not as children, not as teenagers, and not as young adults. Only a wonder woman made of love can do that.

April Almeida on her mom Elizabeth

"I don't feel I do nearly as well," says April Almeida with her mom Elizabeth, "but I aspire to every day." (April Almeida)

My mom has been through hell and back. Yet she carries on, day by day, not allowing life's scary stuff to affect her soul. She's gentle, kind, warm, quiet, focuses on the little things, even when storms are swirling around her. She managed parenting us on her own when dad was away for work. She was always there when we needed help. She survived stroke in 2011 and heart issues culminating in a heart attack last fall. Yet she smiles and faces life without fear. Hard as I try to be the mother and woman she is, I don't feel I do nearly as well. But I aspire to every day.

Tim Carr on his mom Sue

Tim Carr's mom Sue runs the 541 Eatery and Exchange on Barton Street East, which lets people short on cash get a meal by spending donated buttons from a jar on the counter. (Tim Carr)

My mum is special because she spends a ton of effort and energy building up the people of the Barton Street community by running 541, and somehow she still has time to take me out for my birthday.

Mike Des Jardins on his mom Marnie

"She astonishes me every day with how much she authentically cares for people," says Mike Des Jardins. (Mike Des Jardins)

My mom, Marnie (Rawlinson), is a retired nurse, an energetic senior, an avid TiCat fan, and a lifelong Hamiltonian. She astonishes me every day with how much she authentically cares for people through volunteering and being a primary caregiver to her husband. She is always willing to put her needs aside to assist others with theirs. She is an amazing woman and I am a better person for having had her example of compassion and caring in my life.

Megan Hager on her mom Denise

Megan Hager says her mom Denise "helped me in my recovery from mental illness, addiction, and being a victim of sexual violence." (Megan Hager)

My mom is my hero! She went back to school after having me for a career in STEM, became a professor, and then raised me after my dad left. But most importantly, she never stopped believing in me, even when everyone else had during my darkest days. She's supported me 100 per cent and helped me in my recovery from mental illness, addiction, and being a victim of sexual violence. My mom rocks!

Dan MacIntyre on his mom Maureen

"There's an edge to her that I love," says Dan MacIntyre. "She reminds me of Lennie Briscoe from Law & Order." (Dan MacIntyre)

Aside from being an exceptional mom, mine also happens to be a nurse — the most difficult job in the world! She left Hamilton Health Sciences almost 20 years ago and has worked as a visiting nurse in downtown Hamilton ever since. She loves it!

She's resilient, like downtown. She's been through a lot caring for patients. There's an edge to her that I love, she reminds me of Lennie Briscoe from Law & Order.

For many of her patients, she's the last person they see before dying. She's an angel to them. 

She's brought comfort beyond healing their wounds. She's the shoulder they cry on, she's the hand they've held, she's the person they can scream at. She's done their grocery shopping, she's brought them meals on holidays, and given gifts for Christmas and birthdays. 

My mom is a hero and I couldn't have been raised by a better person. 

Cait MacLellan Penman on her mom Diane

Cait MacLennan Penman's mom Diane is "a Blue Jays super fan." (Cait MacLellan Penman)

My mom Diane is the most special woman I know. Everything I know about hard work, kindness, resilience and loyalty I learned from her. She's a loving Grammie, a great friend, a Blue Jays super fan and a really fun person to be spend time with. She's such a good mom because she really makes me feel like I'm an awesome person — there's no better encourager! I'm so lucky! 

Paula Mitchell 

Paula Mitchell and her mom. (Paula Mitchell)

Selfless. Compassionate. Kind. Those are the words I would use to describe my mother.

I've been so blessed to have her and my dad as my lifelong teachers. One day, when I have children of my own, I can only hope that I am half as incredible of a mother as she is, and to have a marriage like her and my father do. On the 1st of May, my mom became a grandmother (for the first time) to my sweet niece, Lucie. It brings me so much joy to see her heart bursting with so much love. I cannot wait for Lucie to know how loved she is. There is nothing quite like it. It's a blessing. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. You are my light, and I love you so much.

Patricia Poore on her mom Pat

"She drives people around to appointments and picks up groceries and medication for people who can't get out," says Patricia Poore of her mom Pat. (Patricia Poore)

My mother is awesome because she helps anyone she comes in contact with who needs it. She drives people around to appointments and picks up groceries and medication for people who can't get out.  She is always thinking of others and goes out of her way to be there for those in need.

Some Hamilton Mother's Day social media 

Maureen Wilson is a Ward 1 city councillor.

John-Paul Danko is a Ward 7 city councillor, and his wife Dawn is vice chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

David Sweet is a Conservative MP for Flamborough-Glanbrook.

Sam Merulla is a Ward 4 city councillor. His mom is Rosalia.

Fred Eisenberger is mayor of Hamilton.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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