mother's day 2017Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. And I want to dedicate this one to a very special woman who is often overlooked on this holiday. A woman who is neither my mother nor my grandmother or even a mother at all. This Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to my grandmother’s sister who, in essence, was my second grandmother. My incredible great-aunt, who was widowed young and never had children, loved her sister’s kids as if they were her own, including my dad. And when my dad had his own kids, she loved us every bit as much.

When I was very small, I actually didn’t realize that she wasn’t our grandma. She was and still is an outstanding surrogate. She is one of the many beautiful souls in my life who have shown me what it means to love without restrictions. She has proven that love doesn’t have to follow traditional guidelines to be real and true and pure. As a kid, I didn’t really understand the depth of what was happening. As I got older, I slowly began to realize that I have been blessed with more love than any one person deserves. In no small part due my awesome (great) aunt.

So on this Mother’s Day 2017, let’s all remember the women in our lives who are not mothers in the traditional sense of the word. Let’s salute those women who step up when they don’t have to. Let’s show them how much they mean to us. So today, Aunt V, I salute you. I salute your big smile and your bigger heart. I salute your warm hugs and your open home and all the amazingness that is you. Most of all, I salute your great love. I accept it with gratitude and I return it to you with all my heart. I love you more than I have words to say. Happy Mother’s Day.

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