A Mile in Her Shoes Giveaway Finalists!

Wow, we received some AMAZING nominations for our Mother’s Day Giveaway! Your words were inspirational and filled with so much love. It has reaffirmed our belief that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.

Below are the top 4 finalist nominations in the contest, starting with our winner, Martha Basco! Congratulations to our finalists and thank you to all moms out there! We salute you!

*All information below is listed directly as it was submitted on the official nomination. Nominations have not been edited in any way, regardless of grammatical or spelling issues, in an effort to remain completely neutral and maintain the author’s full and original nomination. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order. Nominations and photos are shared with permission.

martha bascoMARTHA BASCO – Because walking in her shoes is exhausting and anyone who thinks they can, will drop dead from exhaustion not even half-way thru. My mother, Martha, is an angel sent from heaven for soooo many reason and one of the strongest women I know. She not only raised my sister and I as a single mom who worked FT while attending USC at 32 – which she graduated with a BS, she went on to out my sister through USC all 4 years same year, fall season, as well. She has been there for us daughters since day one, asking nothing in return.

When I had my first daughter, she was born w/seizures. I would have emergency appointments at all hours of the night and though I lived an hour away, my mother always met me at the ER. When I had my second daughter, she retired from her job to move-in with us to help take care of her and my oldest while my then husband and I worked. She is there for everyone in our family whether it’s helping with divorce papers, school, writing a paper for college, or paying for dance classes or sports they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Again, she does it out of pure kindness.

In 2012 my grandfather was diagnosed w/terminal cancer. My mother moved him into her tiny 2 bedrm house she shared w/my then step-father who was battling Dementia. Shortly after my grandfather moved in, my grandmother, who had a 2bdrm house up front of the property had a stroke. My mom and one of my aunts spent 6 months caring for my grandmother who deteriorated rather quickly day-in and day-out all while taking care of my grandfather and my step-father. She never complained. Unfortunately, my grandfather lost his battle with cancer while in her home, and a few months later, my grandmother passed too. She still continued to take care of my step-father who was deteriorating each day. He required round the clock care. When we needed something or my sister and my children had events she would hire a caretaker to stay the night so she could get a break and be at every one of their events. She never missed anything as exhausted as she was.

Shortly after my grandmothers passing in Aug. 2013, my mother was involved in an auto accident that almost killed her. A man in a truck made a turn from opposite side of the road at full speed straight into her drivers side sending her vehicle flying. If not for the railroad track cables stopping her flying vehicle she would have flipped and died.

The man never checked on her and left her there screaming. He hid behind others. Bystanders ran to help her. Now mind you, she has my step father at home w/ a caretaker. She was heading to the bank to get money to pay. She never made it and her car was totaled. I live in San Diego county and I rushed to help her 2 hrs away. I spent days there and brought her home with me. She was wheelchair bound, then on crutches with a shattered foot, damaged knees as the dash completely smashed down on her and massive bruising and pain. To his 80 y/o mothers house so I could take care of her here since she could not drive and I have 2 kids with active schedules, a husband who works FT and goes to school FT at night. She had to have my step-father go stay with his sister who was 1.5 hrs away from her. Once she was able to stand she insisted she go home to care for my step-father who needed to come home. though she was in pain, trying to recover. Unable to fully walk and surely unable to lift him, causing them to fall at times, she took care of him. Never faultering in being there for the grandchildren and all their events. She tried putting him in a home and spent every day for hours there with him but that lasted a few months because as anyone knows, no one can care for your loved one better than you and she found that to be all too true in the worse way. He was miserable, neglected when she wasn’t there and so she brought him home. She continued to care for him daily but in Aug 2015, he passed away due to his dementia and the many strokes he had. She is still handicapped. She will be forever disabled due to the accident. My aunt, her baby sister, was diagnosed with ALS shortly after my grandmother died in 2013. She has began to deteriorate and my mother has been helping her and my Uncle a few days a week by spending the night and caring for her round the clock.

She’s still in pain but that has to remain secondary to all that she does for our family. She does it without complaint and her exhaustion doesn’t count. As my oldest daughter gets ready for college this fall, and my youngest is in sports, my niece is in her first year of college and my nephew is a preteen and both are dealing with the recent loss of their own father, my mother…never misses a beat. She is the most selfless person I know and so when I say that anyone who tries to walk in her shoes will drop from exhaustion, I am not saying it to exaggerate in order to win. I am telling you because it’s the truth and that’s just the tip of all the wonderful things my mother does for everyone around her.

Patricia BouttePATRICIA BOUTTE – I know you will read many entires of how wonderful each mom is. I honor each mom and I believe every mom deserves to be treated like everyday is Mother’s Day. Words cannot fully describe just what my mom means to me. If you were looking into my eyes at this very moment you would probably not need my words. My tears would speak louder than my words. Each tear falling would tell a different story. The first tear would tell you about the times my mom didn’t buy herself shoes for years just to make sure that my sister and I were able to get the shoes we WANTED.

The next few tears would tell you about the time that I begged my mom to allow me to get a job as a freshman in high school. She thought it was because I wanted to have my own money to buy myself designer clothes that she couldn’t afford. She learned quickly after I received my first paycheck that it was because I wanted to buy her a pair of shoes. My mom had foot problems back then and needed orthopedic shoes that were very expensive. The only pair of high heels she could wear was also very expensive and designed specifically for people with her condition. I surprised her one day and asked her to bring me to that store. It was the first time I could bless my mom and say thank you for all that she has done for me. I purchased those shoes for her and it made me so happy as a teenager to put a smile on her face.

Each tear tells a different story that I can tell for days. They spring up and out of me from a spirit of gratitude, happiness, joy, and thanksgiving for having such an amazing mom. I never felt a void in my life as a child. I grew up with a single parent and I really didn’t understand what that truly meant until I was older. My mom made my sister and I feel like we were always whole as a family and deeply loved. She taught my sister and I how to be independent women and as a result we have both grown into successful business women with a family of our own. What more can I say other than I have the best mom in the world! As I said before, words cannot describe what my mom means to me so each year I write her a poem in hopes that I can somehow express my love in an art form that goes beyond words. I leave you with this poem. I love you mom.

Soul Memories – A Mother’s First Smile to Her Child by Tonya Hairston

From a distance, through my tears, it looked like a beam of light with ten thousand rays.

As my tears dried, I looked again.

This time I was certain that it was a rainbow with ten thousand different colors I had never seen before.

As I got closer, I noticed that my entire body began to relax.

Finally I was being held by it and I could see clearly what it was.

It was a smile from a stranger that I’m pretty certain was an angel.

It was the first time I laid eyes on my mother.

Re DAgostinoRE D’AGOSTINO – Re D’Agostino is turning 100 in September and lives in an apartment unit at Sunrise Retirement Home. She is still mobile although we insist that she uses a walker when in her apartment alone for fear of a fall. She deserves the Salute to Mom Award because she was the first generation of her family born in America and was raise by her immigrant parents from Sicily in New Roads LA where they owned a restaurant. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy of Pointe Coupee and married my father and celebrated 64 years of marriage before he passed away. She was the disciplinarian and educator of the family and she and my dad put 4 kids through college and instilled a strong work ethic and moral fabric in her family and all that were exposed to her.

She proved that strong family values can be passed on to the next generations and that hard work and education is essential to success.

Dad only finished 8th grade as he had to quit school to help his immigrant parents earn a living and he worked two jobs to insure that his 4 kids received a college education. Mom provided the structure and support that the family needed when dad was busy trying to earn enough money to support us. She truly is a star and I am not sure if she will wear out a pair of flip flops prior to her September 13 birthday, but she will give it her best effort as she has done for everything in her life.

Nora OzunaNORA OZUNA – Hello My mother (Nora Ozuna) is a fabulous woman who doesn’t complain of all her aches and pains she was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, and a bone the navicular accessory bone that protruded on her right foot.

She had surgery to remove the bone but is still in so much pain she use to love to wear flip flops she just loved them and now her osteoporosis causes daily aches and pains On her body.

I know a lot of women who are probably a perfect candidate to win but my mom is amazing she lives daily in pain and she doesn’t complain she works through it she tries to be an active grandmother she tries there are days where she can’t even get out of bed but she does with a beautiful smile on her face I pray that she is considered Thank you for taking the time to reading this With much love and prayer Megan Garcia