compiled by Kym Byrnes

Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” This Mother’s Day, May 12, we are celebrating moms by sharing lessons we’ve learned from them. It’s true that a mother’s job is never done, so if you have the opportunity this month, take a moment to acknowledge the efforts your mom has made in making you the person you are today.

“My mother taught me that if you try hard enough, there is nothing you cannot achieve, there are no successes out of reach, no battles that you cannot win. She was right (once again). I hope to raise my children so they know too that the sky is no longer the limit.”
— Julie Della-Maria, executive director, Downtown Sykesville Connection

“I am very grateful that my mother instilled in me confidence that I could achieve any dream I had through hard work and perseverance. Her belief in me helped me become the first male in my family to ever graduate from high school, and the first person to ever graduate from college. Having her love and support was important in giving me the faith that I could achieve these lofty goals in life even though that at times they seemed insurmountable. Faith in my own abilities to accomplish any goal is perhaps the greatest gift that she gave me and one that I now seek to pass on to my own children.”
— Brian DeLeonardo, Carroll County state’s attorney

“The most important thing I learned from my mom was the importance of education. As a woman born in the 1920s, my mother not only went to college, but got a master’s degree in economics. As a child, she played learning games with me and taught me how to not only be curious about the world around me, but how to find answers. I currently have two master’s degrees and a Ph.D., and I credit my mother with inspiring me to get all that education.”
— Judy Morley, executive director, Carroll County Arts Council

“I credit my mother for making me the man I am today. One important lesson she taught me was to think about people’s feelings, not just the facts, when making a decision. It may not change the decision but the way in which it is presented.”
— Dennis Frazier, Carroll County commissioner

“One of the many important life lessons I learned from my mom was the importance of reading — especially reading to your children. Long before I thought of becoming an educator, I saw and knew the benefits of reading and being read to. As far back as I can remember in my childhood, my mother loved to read to my sister and me. It was great time together as a family and great exposure to all sorts of literature and new learning. Of course, when my own children came along, my mom’s first priority was to make sure they had plenty of books! Mom still volunteers to read to elementary students in Carroll County public schools every year!”
— Steven Lockard, Superintendent of Carroll County public schools

“When I was very young, my mom taught me the importance of stopping to smell the roses or watch the birds. I used to laugh when she would always stop and take pictures of birds, but now I have numerous birdfeeders in my yard. Life is so busy and hectic most of time. We need to find peace. Mom was right. Stop and watch the birds!”
— Mike McMullin, executive director, Carroll County Chamber of Commerce

“Life lessons that my mom shared with me had to do with learning through example as she balanced her time as a wife, mother and a registered nurse. That said, three thoughts come to mind: 1. If you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability; 2. Always be accepting of others; 3. Be humble in your approach.”
— Ed Rothstein, Carroll County commissioner

“Probably the most important lesson I learned from my mom is the inherent benefits of letting me fail at things. She, and my father both, accomplished this with love and support, but my fails were my fixes. As a child this may not have been my preferred response from my parents, but as an adult I know there are essential benefits of accepting the consequences, learning lessons, and developing skills to deal with the next of life’s challenges!”
— Lynn Davis, executive director, Carroll County Youth Service Bureau

“My mother taught me to love. Whether it is family, friends or co-workers, you get back what you give. How I conduct myself in public is reflective of the passion, love and nurturing in me starting at conception. I know that if I do wrong, it would disappoint my mother. Therefore, her guidance is forever with me, since love is eternal.”
— Eric Bouchat, Carroll County commissioner

“My mother instilled countless lessons into my sisters and I throughout our lifetimes. However, there are two mantras with which I believe she would want to be remembered. The first is “self-praise stinks. ” The second is stay positive in your thoughts and in turn, your comments. Negativity breeds negativity … stay positive.”
— Richard Weaver, Carroll County commissioner

“My mom, Joan Wantz, played a very important role in my life. She was and continues to be a strong-willed, determined individual. She was adamant about ensuring I had a strong desire to achieve, which included not giving up easily. She can and still is one of the best people I have ever seen with her ability to work a room and engage folks in a positive manner. She can acquire your life history in a matter of minutes, which I have always admired. While talking is an important element, listening is just as important. Her gift of gab makes each and every discussion feel like an opportunity. I have learned this well from her, and use it each and every day. If we are both in the same room, watch out.”
— Steve Wantz, Carroll County commissioner

“A lesson my mother taught me is to always look to learn something new. When you stop learning, life becomes boring. No matter how big or small, it’s important to end the day with knowledge you didn’t have at the beginning of the day.”
— Andrea Berstler, executive director, Carroll County Public Library

“My mother Joan taught my brothers, sisters and me to be resilient through her example. I’m one of six children, so there’s always highs and lows, accomplishments and setbacks. She’s always taught us to keep our heads up and push through, knowing we have a strong family behind us. This example was never more evident than when my father passed away and we watched my mother keep her head up and continue to live for her family.”
— Jim DeWees, Carroll County sheriff