It’s time again to look back on some of the memorable moms of the past year.
These women aren’t necessarily listed here because I agree with who they are or what they stand for, but they’re moms who struck me as memorable in some way this year. As always, this column is my opinion.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Most memorable mom: Elizabeth Edwards. During Edwards’ recent memorial service after her death from breast cancer, she was lauded again and again for her dedication to her four children. She was so much more than a mom (attorney, author, health care activist, policy advisor to, ummm, her ex), yet she seemed to balance mothering and the rest of her life with grace and flair. North Carolinian Edwards was buried next to her son, Wade, who was killed in a car accident at 16. She leaves behind children Cate, 28, Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10.
Scariest mom: Sarah Palin (her third year in a row on this list). Sarah scares me. Ms. P’s illogical rhetoric and reactionism unnerve me — though I admire her persistence and spunk. She’s a mother of five, grandmother of one, and clearly, a force to be reckoned with. I’ve said it before, but she’s that train bombing down the track toward the end of the line that always manages to put on the brakes just in time. Or have her handlers brake it for her.
Scariest mom, part II: Bristol Palin. Bless her heart, as we say in the South. Teen mom, political liability, Dancing with the Stars contestant, and abstinence spokesperson. Does anyone really take her seriously on the abstinence stance? Do I even have to ask that question? America’s face of “do as I say, not as I did,” paints a typical teen mom portrait—including celebrity photo spreads with baby for People Magazine and speaking engagements where she pulls in up to $30,000 per appearance. Bless her heart.
Most intriguing celebrity mom: Sandra Bullock. After the actress filed for divorce from bad boy Jesse James, she adopted baby Louis, born in New Orleans, and became a single mom at age 46. She also continues to spend time with James’ children from his previous marriage. In 2010, she donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following the earthquake. Respect-worthy.
Local activist mom: Leslie Boyd. After Boyd’s son Mike Danforth died of colon cancer at age 33, she left her long-time reporter job at the Asheville Citizen-Times to start a health care advocacy organization called Life o’ Mike. Because, to paraphrase Leslie, Mike didn’t really die of metastatic cancer—he died from lack of health insurance. As do other people in this country every day. In addition to advocacy, the organization offers a peer support group for people diagnosed with serious or chronic diseases. This is just another example of a mom’s heartbreak morphing into life-saving work for other people’s kids. Cause each of us is somebody’s child.
Mom making a difference locally: Cindy Weeks. Co-founder and rental investments manager at Asheville non-profit Mountain Housing Opportunities, Weeks has had a year in the spotlight — and it’s been a little too toasty at times (she told me so — though with slightly less colorful words). Like the folks who she helps find affordable homes in the area, Weeks once struggled to support herself and her children as a single mom. Having been there has enabled her to bring passion to her work, despite some occasional heated community opposition. This year, MHO’s mixed-use development and LEED-certified Glen Rock Depot opened in the River Arts District and Asheville City Council approved MHO’s Larchmont development in North Asheville (construction slated to start in January). Weeks has been a driving force behind both.
This is nowhere near a complete list of memorable moms of 2010. Tell me who yours are in the comments section at www.mountainx.com.