Read: Mother's Day Love Letters to Mom

Prepare yourself to read a beautifully moving letters from loving daughters to their moms. Ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday, May 12, we asked various women across the Diocese of Lansing to pen a love letter to their mother. Here are three of the best. Pictured from left to right above, they are: Janet Smith with her mother, Anne Smith; Morgan Wilcox with her mother, Paula Wilcox; Karen Johnson with her mother, Constance Dobson. Enjoy these letters. 

Dear Mom,

I am walking in your shoes now. I am experiencing the trials of old age, which basically means the steady and annoying decline of abilities. People are incredibly sweet and thoughtful, but I think of you a lot when I am frustrated with my decline — because you dealt with all things with grace, dignity and resilience.

Your response to the death of Dad, to whom you had been married 62 years, exemplified your approach to life: “Other women have survived this, I guess I can, too.” You loved to serve others and to be the responsible, caring adult at all times. Being on the receiving end of attentive concern was not easy for you.

But you didn’t have an attitude because you were always considerate of others; you smoothly adjusted to the constraints of old age and dementia. In fact, you showed sensitivity to me when I did not show it to you. With good reason, occasionally I would have to apologize for being mean; you would respond, “Don’t say that about my daughter.”

Others who cared for parents with dementia often had to deal with a parent who had become hypercritical and who complained about the difficulties of a very constrained existence. You seemed nearly incapable of complaining. Instead, you always found something for which to be grateful; no longer able to drive, you observed how blessed you were to have others driving for you.

It was lovely that you were always willing to say a rosary; once when I asked "Is this a good time to say a rosary?", you answered, "What isn't a good time to say the rosary?" When we used a book of pictures that illustrated the mysteries with pictures of Mary, I loved how you remarked, "That lady certainly has a lot of different outfits." I don't know who else made taking care of someone with dementia so much fun!

It was astonishing to everyone that your ability to deliver “zingers” remained and grew in your dementia. Once I told you we were going to confession and you said, “I don’t know what I have to confess, my husband has been dead for years.” (!!!!) I said, “You could confess that sometimes you are critical of your daughters.” You replied, “But never sinfully so.”

From what I could tell, you never did have much to confess; your life wasn’t filled with pious practices, but you were grounded in your commitment to do the right thing, and you extended your unconditional, generous motherly love to all who came into your circle: “You like my fudge; give me your address, I will send you a box.”

You are still a huge part of my life: I think of you regularly and miss you tremendously especially with regret that I can’t share this or that with you. How blessed I was that you were my mother!

Janet Smith,
St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor

Dear Mom,

From the moment you enrolled me and the boys in Catholic schools, God has been working in your life in more ways than you can imagine. Now, as you enter the Church yourself this Easter, I couldn’t be prouder of you and your conversion journey.

I know becoming Catholic was a long decision for you, and I know you say to all your friends that my faith was one of the things that gave you the final push. But you are the one who pushed me to achieve the spiritual growth I needed. You are the reason I am where I am today.

It never bothered me that you weren't Catholic while I was growing up, because you showed me how to be faithful in a different way. However, now that you have made this choice, and as you embark on the rest of this journey, I want to tell you how proud I am of you.

I often feel as if I don’t thank you enough for your influence on my faith life. From attending weekly elementary and middle school Masses at St. Thomas to supporting me in my religious endeavors throughout my time at Lansing Catholic, I have truly learned what it means to have faith and pursue it despite what others may think.

Everyone always says that there is nothing like the love a mother has for her children, but the love and pure joy I have for you on this journey toward Catholicism is endless. I can’t wait to see how you continue to bloom in your faith.

I love you, Mom. You have made me the most proud, happy and excited daughter knowing you finally get to experience the full relationship with God. A relationship that, because of you, I have been able to cultivate since elementary school. You are an amazing woman, a dear friend and a champion unlike any other.

Happy Mothers’ Day! I love you!

Morgan Wilcox
St. Martha, Okemos

My girl, my beautiful mother,

There is nobody like you. Nobody.

Your fine example is one I try to follow every day of my life. My daughters do, too. I don’t know any other woman who has given so much to her family, Church and community — all with such abundant grace and love.

Maybe it’s your heritage that makes you unique. As the first living child baptized by Father DuKette at Christ the King in Flint, you have grown up with that church — and continue to serve it well. I don’t know too many other 94-year-old women who volunteer and give so tirelessly, no matter what.

Or perhaps it’s your faith that sets you apart. You’ve always told me God is responsible for your longevity because he wants you to be on hand to keep caring for others. And I’ve watched you live your faith in so many ways — raising us kids, caring for Dad in his last days and always coming to take up the slack when there’s a need.

Remember when the Flint Journal ran that picture of us together? I was putting together the church fish fry before the jazz festival in downtown Flint, and I had to stay late to process the fish. Everybody else had gone home. You called and I told you what I was up to. The next thing I knew, you were there knocking on the door. You always give so freely of your time and effort, not to mention your money. I was so proud a photographer showed up that day to snap that picture of us working together — it is a keepsake I’ll always treasure.

It was you who taught me the power of God’s unconditional love. In fact, our whole family has learned it from you. I see echoes of your holy, loving touch when I watch my girls doing good in their own communities.

I forget how many great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids you have, but I know you have each of their names inscribed on your heart. You are so sharp — remembering so much history, keeping friends and family close and keeping yourself in such great shape. No cane, no wheelchair. You’re in constant motion. You just go and do. Go and do. You’re taking care of your family and your Church family. And I think that's beautiful.

Thinking back, I recall how you cared for Dad in his last days. My husband and I were watching you once, and I told him, “Look at how lucky you are. You see how she’s taking care of her husband? That’s the woman whose example I’m following. Just look at how she leads. Someday, I’m going to do the same for you.”

Constance Mollay Dobson. My mother. My inspiration.

Thanks for all of it. I love you!

Karen Johnson,
Christ the King, Flint