In honor of Mother's Day, we asked our readers to share what they love most about their mothers or the mother figures in their lives.
Here are some of the thoughts readers shared with us. Responses have been edited for grammar and clarity.
"She is so selfless and such a great role model. She is always there as a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. She gives great advice and is a great shopping partner."
-- Whitney Sweeney, 26, of Little Rock
"Her fighting spirit. My mother lived as a child in the Depression. She had to raise six children virtually on her own, she did not have an easy life but she had a wonderful work ethic, one that she instilled in her children. We had love, support growing up in our home, not everything is what you purchase, some things are learned and earned. Today I care for my mother as she declines from dementia. Our mothers care for us as children, now is my time to pay that love and care back... she has earned that! I love you Mom!"
-- Sue Woodward, 87, of Alexander
"That she is still with me! She is 92 years young! We have switched roles, I take care of her now! She has stayed in through the pandemic and is doing great! We prayed through this past year and lived by the Lord. Faith over fear!"
-- Tina Boyles, 58, of Lonoke
"She is one of the most selfless people I know. She was a single parent of six kids, with no help.
She not only raised six kids on her own, she babysat three of our cousins. She put herself through nursing school. Became a nurse and cared for the elderly for over 30 years and will babysit her grandchildren and great-grandchildren when she can. My mother had to wear many different hats while raising us six kids, she wore them well. She always put us before herself. She would do without so we could have, even when she needed something."
-- Sue Bowles, 73, of Van Buren
"She is my Mother and my Father, she is a soft place to land and the first to be proud of me and the last to judge. She is a great defender. She knows my secrets and she is my child's best friend. I see the way my daughter Caroline looks at her. I know she knows what I know - we are the most blessed two girls in the world to know her."
-- Carolyn Seaberry, 78, of Richardson
"My mother has one of the most positive outlooks on life & always has positive things to say. Her ability to see the best in people & situations has an indelible effect as a matriarch & just being my mom."
-- Mary Kay Robinson, 75, of Little Rock
"My mom has such a heart for her family. Every single one of us. A year ago, she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed down her left side. She spent five months in rehab without seeing her family, except for window visits due to covid-19. Gone are the days of her waiting on others. Now dad carries the load that she once did proudly. Gone are the home-cooked meals and entertaining parties at the house. Gone are the hand stitched quilts she spent hours and hours making for all the grandkids. But never have I seen her love harder. My daughter gets married this October and she is currently in rehab learning to walk again because there is no way she's not walking down the aisle to watch her granddaughter get married. That's my mom!"
-- Rich Cowell, 52, of Bryant
"My mom loved with her whole heart. No matter who, no matter what. She was a beautiful, Italian woman who learned to love from her own parents. She was brought up in a large, Catholic family and endured the struggles of daily life during the 1930s. Her father immigrated to the U.S. when he was 19 and had to learn the language and how to make a living. He held close to his faith. He worked hard and was able to marry and provide for his six children. My mom was a beautiful example of selfless love. She studied to become a nurse then married my dad. After she had the first of nine children, she and my dad decided she would stay home and take care of the children - in other words, that she would sacrifice her career as a nurse to immerse herself into her vocation as a mother. She knew how to stretch everything - from her budget to our meals to her attention to each of us. We all felt as if we were an only child, she loved big. My mom... she loved because she knew she was loved by God."
-- Patti Drake, 56, of Little Rock
"Despite many challenges in her 94 years, my mother Garnet is such a positive, caring person of faith who leads our family with love and grace and never lets life get her down for too long. She taught us by example that it is important to be a 'giver' in life and by doing so we make ourselves happiest. She is the epitome of strength and a good example of why those her age are often called 'the Greatest Generation.'"
-- Marjorie Wagner, 69, of Little Rock
"Her compassion for everyone one around her and how she loves unconditionally. My mother cares for my father with dementia. Her compassion and how she loves patiently. She is the center of our family. She nurtures all of her three daughters as well as kids and grandchildren."
-- Ann Booth, 77, of Benton
"I lost both of my parents to pancreatic cancer 10 years ago. I was my mom's primary caregiver and it was a very hard time in my life. What I love about my mother-in-law is that she never tried to fill my mother's shoes, or replace her, but she gave me the same love. She has always been there for me. There are so many moments after my mom passed when I needed her the most -- questions about raising my child, how you fix pot roast, or just wanting to hear her voice. My MIL would be there to listen, to offer help or advice if needed, to support, and just be present. She is such a caring person and I am so grateful to have such an amazing mother-in-law. I truly am blessed."
-- Mary Katherine Wilson, 48, of Fayetteville
"Our home was always open to visitors, known or unknown. Mom loved to entertain."
-- Jan Hastings, 65, of Benton
"She made each one of her grandchildren feel like he or she was the only one. She had 24!"
-- Mary Sue Whitelaw, 76, of Little Rock
"I love how my mom is always loving and caring for others... from picking up Sonic for her granddaughter to have a snack before cheer, to sewing and repairing all the things, to knowing what special little treat each person in the family likes, to the 'feel better' messages, and not to leave out things she does to uplift others like church family and neighbors. She's just the best and I strive to be more like her."
-- Jan Sheridan, 68, of Benton
"Patience and her ability to adapt. My mother was an Army wife for over 20 years. She met my father after he was sent to the Army Navy Hospital in Hot Springs for injuries he received from World War II and had recovered and was stationed there. They wed within a year of meeting. He immediately was stationed in Central America and she was not allowed to join him. In the 1940s there was no FaceTime, no texting, no Zoom, long distance calls were expensive especially overseas. Writing letters, having them delivered and waiting for an answer was a slow process. Expressing your worries and love to someone was time consuming and patience was a virtue. After four years and two kids, she had to adapt to raising them by herself while he was stationed in France. When the family was able to join him, she embarked on a 4,800-mile journey with those children by bus and plane. Flying by plane with the Army usually meant flying standby. Unable to get on the plane she expected to travel on extended the travel to a tiring five day trip. Her resilience was remarkable. She died at 93 years of age and she was still patience, adaptable and resilient. What was not to love about her."
-- Marsha Roper, 69, of Hot Springs