A Mother’s Day that changed my state of mind

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Spoiler alert! If you have not read the article on the Angels Fostering Family Network “Putting on the Ritz” article, I suggest you stop now and go read it before going any further. Held the Friday before Mother’s Day, this event and my interview with Jonathon Stone and his “Team Stone” family had a great impact on me.

Spoiler alert! If you have not read the article on the Angels Fostering Family Network “Putting on the Ritz” article, I suggest you stop now and go read it before going any further. Held the Friday before Mother’s Day, this event and my interview with Jonathon Stone and his “Team Stone” family had a great impact on me.

As much as I try to stay out of a story, this family’s story touched me so deeply I was in tears during the interview, and again in tears as I listened to it again and wrote the story. It is a phenomenal journey and it made this Mother’s Day weekend a very special time for me as I reflected on the mothers in my life that had such an impact on who I am today.

Being a Navy veteran I fully understand the demands of military life on both the people being deployed, on duty, and on call all of the time and the effect that this has on the other side of the family that is left at home. And in Stone’s case, with two twin girls, another daughter two years younger and a son with global learning disabilities, his wife was the foundation of Team Stone. It could not have been easy for any of them, but they persevered the demands and made the fullest of life.

Also going through cancer with a loved one, his story brought back many memories of fearing the worst, and the Stone family faced the unthinkable when his wife suddenly died of cancer. While talking with him, it was not a tragic story that brought tears to my eyes. It was the pure joy that Johnathon had on his face as he told me about their journey in finding Angels, finding the son they wanted so and how as a family they met the demands that life threw at them. There was no tragedy in his eyes as he told me his “long and beautiful” story. And that is exactly what it is and a moment in my life that I will never forget. It is a beautiful story and I look forward to following the continuous journey of Team Stone.

I did a lot of reflection over the weekend and realized on Mother’s Day that there was no sadness in the missing of my mother, my grandmothers, mother-in-law, all of whom are not with me anymore. And for those that have lost their mothers understand how difficult or melancholy Mother’s Day can be. But this year, I celebrated with the spirit of love and joy of Team Stone. There were no tears, remorse or sadness this year even though I miss them in my life every day. And if tears were to come, they would be tears of joy in celebrating the wonderful things that these women provided me in life. I am a fortunate man to have had such strong, beautiful women teach and nurture me well into adulthood. I cannot ask for anything more.

So I am taking a tiny piece of that joy of life and carrying it in my pocket every day from now on. Like my mothers, it will help guide me through life in a positive way and hopefully I will take heed to Stone’s story and make it a joyful one. Not only for me but also for the mothers that are in my life today. The mother of my children, my daughters, and if I’m very luck enough to see, my granddaughter. There is no better gift to leave these special people in our lives than the gift of joy and perseverance in a completely unpredictable life.

It is my hope that you had as beautiful of a Mother’s Day possible. My future Mother’s Days and every day will be forever changed by one small conversation. If I can be an example like Jonathon Stone, then I’ll be a better person and those around me that I have influence on can live a better life. It is much better to live and thrive in life rather than just to live it. Every decision, every day counts and I hope to never let go of that thought.