Editorial: Hero mothers
At the approach of Mother’s Day, the usual soft images of flowers and loving embraces flood our consciousness. Indeed, mothers who brought us up deserve all of these tributes and more.
Today, however, we salute the hard-edged heroism of mothers, who care for their young with sometimes incredible courage and cost at almost every higher order of life.
Medieval mythology painted the pelican mother as one who tore open her breast, feeding her blood to her young. Apparently modern science has proved this is myth indeed, but the actual sacrifices of many mothers take on similar heroic stature.
Who has not known the single mother who works one job or two to support her children? The mother who works and continues her education, even earning college degrees, while taking care of her children? The mother who thinks her job is done, then takes in a grown child who has fallen on tough times? The grandmother who takes in and rears a child’s children?
The mother who fights like a tiger to be certain her children get fair play, equal treatment, and the best shot at a prosperous and happy life?
All of these are heroes for the modern age. It is the rare mother who does not sacrifice her time, her energy, and her income to create the best possible conditions for her own young children.
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And finally, we salute a real hero mother of our time. Virginia Grogan of Gloucester gave her life in January 2013 in a futile effort to save three grandchildren from a house fire. She had a chance to save herself, but re-entered the home and met her own death. For this act of valor, she has posthumously received the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Heroism. And deservedly so.