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Still Matters - Love Matters
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May always makes me think of Mother’s Day and flowers. And this year we added a graduation, planning for a wedding in June, and everything else in between.

We started planning a graduation party for my stepdaughter in late April for her graduation from the University of the Pacific on Saturday, May 4. Alicia Still graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics. She has worked so hard and we are so very proud of her.

We had a graduation party following the graduation that took a lot of planning. Family and friends showed up to show their support for her major accomplishment. We have no doubt that she will be moving on to amazing things in the near future.

I think seeing the kids grow up really makes you realize how old you really are and that time goes by too quickly. I am the stepmom of three, Alicia, Justin, and Jared. They were six, four, and two when I came into their lives. Justin is going to be 20 this month and has decided to serve our country in the Marines. Jared is 17 and has one more year of high school. Alicia, who is the oldest, will be turning 22 this year. All three of them have enriched my life in so many different ways.

It wasn’t too long ago that Alicia was just a little girl sitting next to me, holding my hand watching TV. Now, I got to sit in the stands at the AG Spanos Center and watch her receive her diploma, walking down the aisle with all her ropes and honors. Receiving a diploma much deserved after four years of focus, discipline, and determination. She has grown up to be quite the beautiful, smart, and loving young woman.

This really made me reflect on motherhood and although, we should be showing our appreciation year-round to our mothers, Mother’s Day is a great day to make it a point. The day that in such a busy world, time should be taken to give a phone call, send a card, or best case scenario, spend time with that special person.

This Mother’s Day my husband and I decided to host an omelet brunch to celebrate both our mothers. My dad, father-in-law, sister-in-law, and the kids joined us to add their special touch. We started out around 10:30 a.m. and had a variety of toppings for the omelets along with fruit and toast. The brunch was really nice. We got to spend time and shared some laughs. I am thankful and blessed to have such wonderful in-laws.

To spend the day together really isn’t out of the ordinary. We all live close by each other and tend to see each other as much as possible. My mother and I live five minutes away from each other and see each other almost daily. If we aren’t doing something together then we have talked on the phone at least once that day.

My mom, Gloria is an amazing woman. She is loving, caring, thoughtful, nurturing, and selfless. I would say that I got pretty lucky being raised by such a wonderful woman (and you too, dad). I am the youngest of five children and although I am a “daddy’s girl,” my mom and I have quite the relationship.

She has taught me so many things like how to be patient, kind, and giving. We can talk about anything and she has no problem telling me when I am wrong. She is always trying to find the goodness in people and looks for the silver lining in negative situations. Her heart grows two sizes bigger, she tells me, when she can do things for others. “To give and not expect anything in return, that’s the way to give,” she says. “To do it out of the kindness of your heart and know that you made a positive impact is what’s important. That is rewarding.”

These are words to live by but at times not always easy to do. She not only shares that advice but she shows me.

There are so many times that I come home from work and there is a pot of homemade spaghetti and meatballs on the stove and a salad in the fridge. I could smell it as soon as I got to the door, which put an instant smile on my face. As I continued to look around I noticed the dishwasher unloaded, a stack of clean towels in a basket and my dogs had a full bowl of food and water.

She looks after my dogs, two wonderful little miniature pinschers, Maddie and Oliver that are a very important part of our family. I tell her they are her “gran-poopies.”

She has taken my husband lunch when it was forgotten at home and has taken him breakfast because she was thinking about us.

These are just a few things that she does to make my family member’s lives brighter. And, oh, let me tell you about our events. The celebrations that we have throughout the year take a lot of hard work and planning. My mom will sit down, get a list started and planning will begin. After the parties start to wind down, while everyone is sitting around enjoying themselves and visiting, you can find my mom in the kitchen cleaning up, with a smile on her face, and adding her two-cents to the conversation that is going on in the living room. Who does that?

Let me just say, she is a pleasure to be around and has made my world a better place by being in it. I love my mother with all my heart. I appreciate all that she does, and all that she is. Her good deeds and unconditional love do not go unnoticed.

She also reminds me the importance of giving someone a compliment, a positive comment, a hug or even just a smile because the small things still matter.

Thank you, Mom, from the bottom of my heart.


Virginia Still is a reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.