Celebrating moms — no matter the circumstances

May 7, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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This Mother’s Day may seem different than years past.

As everyone works to flatten the curve or prevent a second peak of COVID-19, family gatherings and annual traditions have been put on hold or have gone virtual.

But that doesn’t mean the mothers in our lives shouldn’t be celebrated. And with that in mind, Headlines asked faculty and staff to share their gratitude for the amazing moms they are thankful for every day.

Some showed love to their mothers or grandmothers, others to their daughters. Here are just a few of the heartfelt messages Headlines received:

From Gillian Cady:

My mom is the most selfless, giving, loving, amazing person I know! I have Crohn’s Disease and my mom has been there for me through everything. She comes to my appointments and has been to every single infusion I’ve gotten, except one due to COVID-19. It was weird and a little sad not having her by my side, but as she messaged me throughout that infusion I knew she was definitely there with me in spirit. She has been my rock, my best friend, my advocate and my biggest cheerleader in my research career. I would not be in the wonderful position I am in here at U-M without her guidance, motivation and love. It is really hard for me to be away from her during this time, but I know it’s keeping us both safe and we are always with each other through an unbreakable bond.

From Alexis Ellis:

One of the most amazing mothers I know is my grandmother, Mary “Sassy Granny” Hayes. She is 101 years old and sharp as a tack! I am eternally grateful for her love, support, affection, guidance and protection. She has instilled in me her zest for life, intelligence, drive, independence and confidence. I can always depend on her for truthful, sound advice and a warm hug. My grandmother was born in 1918 and has seen more than I can imagine and this “new normal” is just another experience she can check-off in this thing called “life.” We may be distant in miles, but our hearts will forever be connected.

From Carol Ward:

My daughter, Candace Westbrook, is one of the most amazing people I know. She has always been strong, tough willed and “outside the box” — being one of the first female football players in the area back in the 1980s. She and her husband have raised three amazing boys who following in her footsteps of giving back to their community. She has been a great “mom” to me during COVID-19 — bringing groceries, checking on me daily and keeping me in line, as well as helping her brother in the same way. She is a dedicated daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. I am so very proud to call her “mine.”

From Suhair Gulli:

I want to recognize my amazing mother. She has sacrificed for me and my family in ways that are unexplainable. As a 12-year-old child, I was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. My mom took me to U-M for care because she only wanted the best. She carried the burden of caring for a child who needed surgery, chemotherapy and radiation while she worked two jobs and cared for her other three children at home. My father was a great support to her, but he worked long shifts for our family business.

My fondest memories were spending the entire day with her in the clinic or when she took me for Chinese food or ice cream nearby. She unknowingly strengthened my faith when I saw her praying at my hospital bedside when she thought I was asleep. I became a PA because of my memories of her during such a difficult time. I now have four children of my own and hope to nurture my family as she has.

From Danielle Kendrick:

I would like to give a shout out to my mom, Cathy Kendrick, who is a part of Michigan Medicine’s nursing leadership team. You are an amazing woman who we all look up to and admire. Shannon, Patrick and I are so lucky to have the honor to call you “Mom” and we can’t wait to celebrate with you soon!

From Suzie Armiak:

My wonderful mom is a retired U-M employee with 40 years under her belt! She is such a strong and resilient woman who is enjoying her retirement and deserves a HUGE Happy Mother’s Day and soon to follow a big Happy Birthday (May 12)! Love you, mama!

From Sunita Cherian:

I want to share a little bit about my mom, Kay Cherian. I’m pretty heartbroken that I can’t see me mom this Mother’s Day, but I will be celebrating her from a distance. After almost 20 years of working at labs across U-M, my mom retired in 2012. Anyone who knows her knows that she is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. She loved her time here at Michigan and was over the moon excited when I started working here in August 2018. She is spending her retirement in Chicago by spoiling her grandkids and remains a die-hard Michigan fan. GO BLUE!

From Angela Crosslin:

My mother has been with me though many ups and downs. But she always put her faith in me to make the right choices. I didn’t feel the need to hide things or keep secrets from her. I remember I skipped school once in high school. Later, when the guilt came, I confessed what I had done. My mom gave me “the look” and then she said: “Angie, really calm down. Everyone else had done that at least once.” I was shocked. I was more disappointed in myself then she was. It was years later that she told me why she didn’t yell at me for skipping school: She said if she had yelled at me that I wouldn’t want to bring other mistakes I made to her. I can say that is one of the things that has helped me be who I am today. If I make a mistake, I step up and own it. It’s one of many lessons from my mom I will never forget.

From Amanda Eisenmann:

My mom, Judy Laberdee, is one of those “behind-the-scenes” heroes. She serves the Michigan Department of Corrections as an essential worker in probation and parole. For more than 30 years, she has worked to assimilate citizens back into society while making tough decisions to keep the public safe. On top of a difficult job with little recognition, she serves her community. Just last week, she organized a food drive for Food Gatherers, raising 598 pounds of non-perishable foods and essential goods to be distributed to families in need! To those of us fortunate enough to call her “Mom” and “Nana,” she is our cheerleader, favorite cook and sounding board. She makes the world a better place and I want her to know we are so grateful for her. I love you!

From Lauren Irving:

My mom has been incredible my whole life. I’m an ICU nurse and during this stressful time she is always calling and checking in on me, always asking if I need anything and always available to talk and give me a “virtual hug.” Although I can’t see her in person due to social distancing and trying to protect each other, I always feel her love and support with me. There aren’t enough words I can say to give her enough praise and thanks. Thank you, mom. I love you and owe you a big steak dinner when this is over!

From Margaret Ramsey:

My mom is so special, so strong, so independent. I look up to her for her ability to continue to keep going even under these trying circumstances. She is the master gardener, the accomplished artist and true friend. She’s taken my husband as her son, our daughter as her “bestie,” my lifelong friends as her own daughters and sons. Her heart is full and giving. This will be the first year in many that I won’t see my mother. She is in lockdown in another country. This weekend, and always, to the moms out there who are all that to their own: Happy Mother’s Day.