My Mother, My Strength

As yesterday was Mother’s Day, today’s post is in honor of my mother, the woman who made me who I am today.

IMG_1397From left to right, my sister, grandmother, mother, and myself 

On this blog I talk a lot about strength, particularly in the physical sense. But there are other forms of strength that are even more important, and I don’t know anyone who exemplifies this more than my mother. No, she may not be able to bench press her body weight, heck, I don’t even know the last time she has stepped foot in a weight room, but my mother is strong.  I wanted to take today to celebrate her, because strong is not just about weight lifting or running marathons, it’s about much, much more than that.

Strength is…

…Raising your two daughters on your own, but  never letting them feel like they have any less than any other family.


My mom, my sister and I circa…. 1983? 84? 

…Giving selflessly to your children for their entire lives, often forgoing personal wants for the needs of your two little girls.

…Teaching those two little girls that beauty is on the inside, and that we are all beautiful because of, not despite, our differences.


My sister and I on a first day of school… I don’t know why I look so miserable but our mom  made us feel beautiful no matter what. 

…Knowing that we couldn’t afford lavish vacations often, but enriching our childhood through adventures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where imaginations could run wild and “Camping Women” could take on anything in our path.

…Guiding two teenage girls through good decisions and bad, first loves and heart break, and staying sane throughout it all.  Putting up with the very, very wrong relationship mistakes we both made, but helping us to make the best decisions on our own, and ultimately, teaching us how to respect ourselves.

….Wrestling the dog into a Tuxedo, because you know it will make your daughter smile when she comes home on a visit from college.

Mom3But isn’t he handsome? 

…Teaching two teenage girls to drive, making sure we know when the road is “TOO congested!”, and still loving us after two accidents totaling two cars. Yikes.

…Sitting all day (literally, all day, with my grandmother) outside of a financial aide counselor’s office until they finally agreed to see her, just to make sure that I would have a fighting chance of paying for college. 

…Teaching us to always cross in the crosswalk, and somehow knowing every single time when we did not. (How do moms know these things??)

…Hand-sewing years of Halloween Costumes, and always making us feel that our costumes were far more special than all of the fancy store bought ones.


I was a ballerina, Kristen was I don’t know what, maybe a princess? Whatever we were, the costumes were always made with love. And apparently pink fabric. 

…Teaching two little girls that no matter what life throws at you, no matter what obstacles and seemingly impossible challenges lie in front of you, strong women can overcome, and d’Orsay women always will. 

Mom64 Generations of d’Orsay women, taking the world by storm. 

My mother has taught me how to be strong, and she as taught me that although life is rarely fair, it’s up to us to control how we live it. She took control of her own life years ago, and because of that she was able to provide my sister and I with an amazing childhood, filled with memories, laughter, and yes even tears (we are a family of criers, after all). I would never be who I am today without my mother and all of her support, guidance, reprimand, and wisdom. She is stronger than I can explain in a few short paragraphs, and I certainly don’t have the proper words to express how her strength has inspired me in my own life.  I guess the only thing left to say is…

Thank you, Mom, I love you!  

6 thoughts on “My Mother, My Strength

  1. Oh Stephy, I am so proud to be your mother. You brought some tears to me today (and yes, we are criers) but best of all, many memories of the past. I love you more than you can realize.

  2. There are so many things I absolutely adore about this post and there are so many funny things I want to write, so I will start and conclude with this–this blog made me teary because your Mom is so amazing and strong and so are all of you.

    1. Thanks so much Chels! It was a lot of fun to go through old pictures to find some of these!

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