Yesterday I took my mom to the Mom Squad Luncheon sponsored by 95.5 the Fish at Hartville Kitchen to celebrate Mother’s Day. These events are so fun and they include a yummy lunch (the pie is to die for!), prizes, music and a speaker. They also celebrate one mom by giving her the “Mom of the Year” award. I have thought about nominating my mom in the past for this, but always seemed to miss the deadline. So this year, I made a point of doing it and got my nomination in on time! She didn’t win the official contest. The winner was a wonderful, faith-filled, selfless, and caring mom of two children with severe special needs. She was definitely very deserving of the award – not a dry eye in the place! However, I wanted to share my nomination with the world in honor of her and Mother’s Day. I already shared this with my mom yesterday and she agreed that I could post it here!
Mom of the Year – May 2013
Virginia Marie Pillsbury
I am writing to nominate my mom, Virginia Marie Pillsbury as “Mom of the Year”. When I think of the many reasons why my mom should win “Mom of the Year” the words that immediately come to my mind are faith, teacher, and friend. So I thought I would share why I think my mom is deserving of this award by grouping the reasons in those categories.
First of all, my mom’s strong faith is the cornerstone of her life and she is a role model for me and many other people in her life. She has a very active prayer life and consistently uses her daily “doggie walks” as her prayer time….in all seasons! I think her faith helps her to remain incredibly positive no matter what situation she is facing. From just appreciating the things in life that other people complain about, like walks in the rain, to seeing the silver lining in a relationship gone bad, my mom always seems to look on the bright side of life. She has been through some struggles in her life that she didn’t plan on, but she is always able to find the good in everything, believing firmly that there is a greater plan for her. Also, she has served as a member and as the chair of the Outreach team at our church throughout the years and does such a good job of reaching out to others who are seeking and inviting them to come and check out our church. She has a real gift of hospitality and knows how to make people feel comfortable and welcome right away. In addition to her role with Outreach my mom is a faithful attender of the weekly women’s bible study, quilting nights and a leader/planner for the women’s weekend retreat for over twenty years. Over the last few years my mom’s faith and work with our church has extended her outreach even more into the community as a whole. For the past five (5) of years she has served as our church representative to the Hudson Community Service Association.
Perhaps the most inspirational thing my mom has been involved with as a result of her faith has been the creation of the Hudson Food Pantry. Historically there has been a great need for a food pantry in Hudson for a number of years. A few dedicated individuals had a home grown system based in someone’s garage to help provide food to people who needed it, but the system had become antiquated. The Hudson Community Service Association recognized the need to find a dedicated space to house the food pantry, but struggled to find the space for it. Enter my mom. She came up with the idea of housing it in our church! She advocated for this idea with tons of passion! First, she talked at the organization’s monthly meeting and then presented the idea to our church council and congregation and it was passed! Her passion and caring, together with the support of our Pastor, convinced the church to give up a prime Sunday school classroom for dedicated space for The Food Pantry! The first distribution in April 2012 served two families (four people) and it continues growing every month. In March 2013 the distribution served 32 families (94 people)! My mom continues to be faithful to this project in her consistent service on food distribution day. I’m so proud to see this wonderful contribution to our community and to know that my mom was a huge part of getting it started!!
My mom worked as a preschool teacher in Hudson for twenty years, mostly at church programs for 3-4 year olds. Through the years she has met so many nice families and developed some neat relationships with the preschool moms she has gotten to know. Often my mom runs into former preschool families or students out in the community and it is so fun to see them greet my mom with a big smile and a hug! They always tell me how much they liked having Mrs. Pillsbury as a teacher. When I meet someone out in the community who is a former preschool mom, she always tells me how much their son/daughter loved my mom’s class and they ask how she is doing. My mom took her job as a teacher very seriously. As a matter of fact, to her I think it was more than a job – it was a calling – it was/is who she is. She genuinely loves children and loved the opportunity to teach in a Christian program so teaching about God could be part of the curriculum. She brought a loving heart and the patience of Job to her classroom, even with the most challenging of children. Many times the most ornery and misbehaving child in the class at the beginning of the year became one of her favorites by the end of the year and looked forward to a hug from Mrs. Pillsbury. The kids knew she loved them and they felt safe and could make mistakes and learn in her classroom. She still teaches a “Fun with Art and Music class” and a “Kindergarten club” part-time at the local fitness club where she has consistent followers who sign their children up for classes on a regular basis. She is able to combine her talent for crafts with her love for children and teaching in the most creative way.
My mom is a good friend. She is one of those people who truly listens to people when they talk rather than just nodding and smiling! She is tuned into what people are feeling and is so good at just being there for people. She has a nice group of women friends who have met for breakfast every Monday morning for twenty-nine years! As an adult I have heard countless times from my mom’s friends, former preschool moms and even just acquaintances how much they love my mom. “You have the best mom” or “I just love your mom” are phrases I have gotten used to hearing often over the years and it is really only until I am writing this that I truly realize how lucky I am. I was not only lucky enough to have had my mom as my actual mom, but now that I am a mother myself I get to enjoy being my mom’s friend too.
One of the unique ways my mom is able to sustain her friendships over the years is through her Christmas cards. My mom is very thoughtful. Even though she is now on Facebook to keep up with her friends, she still often sends out handwritten notes to friends and puts them in the mailbox. Imagine that! She also has kept up her favorite Christmas tradition each year – her handmade Christmas cards. She has designed and created a unique handmade Christmas card each year since 1971. Each year she makes and sends out about 200 of them! Most are mailed to family and friends near and far, but the local merchants on Main Street receive a hand delivered greeting from my mom the week before Christmas. There is also a homemade ornament in each card that follows the theme of that year’s card! She usually gets her card idea in the summer, makes a prototype and once it is tweaked she starts the production process! Many people on her Christmas list look forward to her cards. Some even have special little Christmas trees that hold their collection of ornaments from her cards. My mom calls her cards “her Christmas” and even with financial challenges and increasing postage costs over the years she always manages to continue her tradition of greeting her loved ones in her own special way.
I am writing to nominate my mom as “mom of the year” because of all the things I have already said, but mostly because of the person she is and the person she has taught and continues to teach me to be. I’m 43 years old, but I still need my mom and I am still learning from her. If I could be half the mom, half the teacher, or half the friend that she is for me and all who know her, I would be thrilled. Her steadfast faith is woven through her church work, her career/calling as a teacher, her work in the community, and her friendships. She is a role-model, a confidant, and my friend. Most of all I am just happy to nominate her because that means that I can share with her all the reasons that she is already “mom of the year” to me. I love you, Mom!