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The late actress Audrey Hepburn, who championed children's rights through her work as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations International Cultural and Education Funds) once asked, "Is there anything more important than a child? Is there another time in your life when love, care, tenderness, food, education are more important than in childhood?"

From my personal experiences and observances of many mothers and children over time, I would say, "Absolutely not."

On this Mother's Day weekend, I remember with abiding love and respect the caring, artistic, well-read, and strong woman who prepared me for the many challenges of life and for the time when I would have to go on without her.

I also recall with great affection my two grandmothers whose nurturing ways, coupled with their feisty personalities and wise perspectives, encouraged me to set my own course for the future.

And I likewise give thanks for my namesake and her 11-year-old daughter, both of whom have allowed me to relive the special bond that exists between mother and child.

Melynda Gidcomb, nee Muldoon, was born on Mother's Day. And even in childhood, she shared her parents' (Mike and Mollie) penchant for looking after others, for being thoughtful neighbors, and for injecting humor and joy into any occasion that brought people of all ages and interests together.

But, she was serious, too. Getting a college degree required balancing work with studies and keeping a steely eye on the ultimate goal of becoming a teacher who would guide young boys and girls along the learning curve.

She continues to be a giver and a doer, seldom, if ever, turning down an opportunity to volunteer at school or church or to tackle a project that imparts new knowledge which will help her help someone else.

Melynda is a voracious reader, a welcoming hostess, an amazing organizer, and a gentle caregiver.

She is a true partner and helpmate to husband, Jimmy, and a doting aunt to brother Scott's daughters and brother Matthew's daughter and son.

I see so much of Melynda in young Mollie Margaret. She is a girl who already knows her own mind and is wise beyond her years. Melynda and I often say that "Miss MM" is an "old soul" and yet she is fun-loving, too. She favors bows and bangles and colorful dresses.

Like me, she is an only child, but unlike me, she has always enjoyed playtimes, visits, and adventuresome trips with her cousins, who are really more like siblings.

Mollie Margaret has inherited her mother's love of books and Broadway plays, especially musicals, and she has shown a real eye for art. She is a deep thinker and a quiet leader who is destined to make a difference in this world. And like her parents, she is kind and caring and unfailingly polite.

So on this weekend when we give thanks and praise to all mothers everywhere, I am especially grateful for Melynda and Mollie Margaret, who continue to bring an abundance of light and grace into my life.

Editorial on 05/11/2019

Print Headline: Mother, daughter light up my life

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