What are the qualities of a good mother? Many would list caring and loving. Others may add selfless and uplifting to the list.

Everyone has a view of the perfect mother that comes from their own experiences as well as the interactions they may view between their friends and their mothers or even of strangers and their children.

While many people may believe their mother is the perfect one, they may not always tell her so. Mother’s Day, however, is a day when children from young to adult can tell a beloved mother what she means to them, how they appreciate all that she has done for them throughout their lives.

This year a local doctor has given people across the region the opportunity to not only say why they think their mother is the best but also a chance to surprise their mother with not only some pampering but with the gift of better eyesight.

Dr. Parag Parekh, along with several other area businesses, put together a Mother’s Day package for one lucky lady. While the winner has not yet been selected, the finalists have been and the Tri-County Sunday has been given permission to announce these finalists and to share how family members have described them as exceptional mothers. In each description are seen the traits that make these women special not only to their families but to others around them. They care for others above themselves, always seeking to do something good for someone else.

While there are nine finalists, at press time we had received permission from eight to share what they wrote about their mothers. They describe their mothers in their own words below. This week one of these women will be selected to receive a Mother’s Day package. In next week’s edition, the Tri-County Sunday will sit down with that lucky lady to talk to her about her take on motherhood.

Karen Henrichs of DuBois

Every mother deserves the highest amount of recognition and pampering this upcoming Mother’s Day. They undoubtedly have the most demanding job in the world and it is one that never gives a day off. My mother has committed to this life long vocation not once, not twice, but three times and has never spread herself thin in the process. My sisters and I have been blessed with a mother that did not just teach us how to stand on our own two feet and make sure we made it to school on time but one that has become the unsurpassed example of an amazing mother.

My mother is a teacher at heart, that lead her to her career in education. Having a full-time job did not ever get in the way of my mom from helping my sisters and I with any school assignment we had growing up. I can remember the long evenings, sitting at the table after our family dinners, working for hours on math problems or writing essays. I did not appreciate the value of having such a resource at my disposal at the time but looking back now it was what laid the foundation of my pursuit to become a lifelong learner.

The teachings went far beyond the classroom and carried over to life lessons that were not as easy to learn. My mother has helped me develop a sense of pride in everything I do and truly an uncommon level of integrity. Growing up I made a lot of mistakes, which is not unusual for a kid, but my mother always made sure I learned from them. This lead me to become more independent and develop an elevated level of confidence. With time comes wisdom and my mom has given me all of the support I need to be successful, but l still know I have a teacher I can always talk to about anything.

When people see my mother, I know they see someone that makes motherhood look easy and almost effortless; however, I know there is much more going on behind the scenes. My mother works tirelessly to make my sister’s and my life better. She has made countless sacrifices and somehow in the process has been able to continually shower my sisters and I with love and kindness. It is not easy being “on the clock 24/7” but my mom has figured out a way through selflessness, love, and genuine kindness. She is the model mother who makes not only my life but the lives of everyone around her fulfilling and worth living. I have a truly AWESOME mother!

Annette White of Mayport

I want to nominate my mother for the Mother’s Day giveaway because she gives and gives, but rarely receives. My mother is Annette and she is 52 years old. She is a hair stylist and has terrible varicose veins from standing most of her life to work. She always gave everything she could (and still does) for me and my sister. She went YEARS, without getting much needed dental work done because she wanted to send us to the best school she could. Even after we had entered into high school, she wore old, stained clothing so that we could have name brand items to ‘fit in.’ Anything we wanted, she worked hard to get for us. She is the kindest woman I’ve ever met. I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer my senior year of high school (2014) and she has stood behind me the entire way. I have a factor in my pathology that makes my cancer super aggressive. So it’s been 5 years and no remission. Every single doctor appointment, biopsy, surgery, treatment, ultrasound and full body scan she takes me to. I’m 23 with two babies of my own, but she still schedules off work so that she can be there to support and comfort me when I’m too overwhelmed.

When I lose my faith and feel defeated from the bad reports, she steps right in and reminds me who I am and how important I am. She is perfection. I don’t know why God thought I deserved such an amazing role model in my life, but I sure am glad he gave me to her. She rarely gets a moment to herself to relax and doesn’t have the finances to go to the spa or treat herself. She is irreplaceable and has a heart of gold. I’m sure there’s hundreds of deserving mothers, but I sure hope she wins this, because she has shown me that if I’m even half the mother she is, my babies will always be well taken care of and loved beyond all measures.

Kelly Yarbrough of Parker

I’ve decided to tell you why I think my mother deserves the ultimate makeover. My mother isn’t just the average mother, she’s also my best friend, my care taker, and my all around go-to. Her name is Kelly Yarbrough. When I was younger my mother was always gone because of working all the time. My siblings and I had to stay with my grandma most days, nights, and weekends. Now that I’m older l realize why she was at work all the time. She was a single parent. She always made sure my brother, sister, and I were taken care of. We weren’t the best of kids to raise. I’m sure there were days where she just wanted to give up. Nope, she kept on going. Between three jobs, she made sure we were taken care of. Roof over our head, food in our stomach, and clothes to go to school. Whatever the case may be, she was always, and is still picking up over time, and working a lot to cover all the expenses we all needed/need. I want to do something in return for all her hard work that she put in the past years to raise us children. Even to this day she still makes sure we are all good even though some of us are out of the house. My brother still lives at home so he can get his car running to work. She does everything in her power to make sure he is on the right track. Keeping a roof over his head, paying his phone bill, and having food in the house. Even though we are older, she is still taking care of us and making sure we are good. She doesn’t have to make sure of anything since we are out on our own, but she chooses to. She chooses to be the best mother she can be every day. It shows in our eyes and I would like to give her the care she deserves and needs. Most days we don’t see each other anymore because she still continues to work all the time. Anytime I need something my mother is there offering a hand. I’ve been having a rough time paying my bills at home, coming to work, and paying my student loans. My mom has always offered me money, food for my house, or anything I might need. Honestly, I’ve been so thankful to call my mom, my mom. She has been by our side for the darkest and happiest times of our life. She’s had health problems within the past few years. Everything from epilepsy, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When we were younger I remember being with my grandma. When I was with her, she received a phone call that my mother crashed her car into a telephone pole and she was at Clarion Hospital. As we got to the hospital, it was the worst day of our lives. We found out she had a seizure while driving. Luckily she was okay, nothing major. A couple weeks later she lost her license. She had a very hard time getting back and forth to work, and carting us around. Even though she lost her license for a period of time, she still was working and making sure we got to where we needed to be. She still has epilepsy. These are some of the reasons why my mother deserves to pamper herself, she deserves the world. My mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Kelly Witherite of Sykesville

For the woman that puts others first, always. The one who takes care of my father (who needs a double lung transplant) that helps DAILY with my daughter so I can work full-time, that works full-time herself as a beautician to make everyone else feel beautiful, and is a super hero, breast cancer SURVIVOR.

She is a giver. A caretaker. A rarity. And she is humble – never, ever asking for anything in return.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Kelly Witherite, and all moms everywhere.

Emily Luchini of Weedville

I’m 6 years old and my narne is Mattison and Mommy is Emily Luchini. She is the best mom ever because she is kind and loves to take care of me and my brother Brice and sister Brooke. She takes us to the library and reads books to us. She always gives us lots of hugs and kisses. She tucks me into bed every night. She takes me to playground and pushes me on the swing. She cooks my favorite food – spaghettios. She takes us for walks with our dogs Coal and Allie.

Mommy is my best friend and we love her very much. She works very hard.

Donna Sieger, State College

I remember that day as if it was yesterday. The dreaded phone call came during my college history class. The results were positive. Mom had breast cancer. That day, despite being so clear in my mind, is also a bit of a blur. I remember numbly walking across campus to the bookstore where I worked. I remember collapsing in the office and sobbing as my boss tried to comfort me.

All I wanted was to get home and hug my Mom. I did. And she was so positive. She was strong. I could not see any fear in her eyes. She did not appear scared or weak. She comforted us, her children, when we should have been comforting her! I had no idea how her strength would uplift so many lives through the trials that would come over the next year.

Two days after the news of Mom’s cancer, we received another devastating phone call. Mom’s younger brother, our favorite uncle, had lost his battle with depression. His death was a blow to our family, and the loss felt so strong. Those days were hard. Our family was going through so much heartache and loss. But through all the events of that week, followed by months of Mom’s chemo and radiation, she was still so strong...such a beacon for her loved ones. It was hard to watch her go through treatment, especially when it caused her so much pain and discomfort. But her faith never wavered. She knew that despite the pain and suffering she was enduring, God still loved her and he would carry her through this. And he did. Mom’s cancer is gone.

I can’t adequately describe why Mom is so amazing or why she is the best mother. Words cannot do justice to who she is.

She is a mother to nine children and a Grandma to twelve grandchildren. She runs an in-home daycare. Her daily hobbies include gardening, lawn care, home DIY projects, renovations, and she still finds time to read! Her energy amazes me.

Her husband and all of her children love and respect her, and a day does not go by without one of us calling her for help, advice, or just to chat. She always has time for us. Mom genuinely cares for people. She is the most sacrificial, selfless and loving person I have ever known. She gives and gives and seeks to serve the people around her with such joy. She has been the most influential person in my life, and it is by her example and teaching that I know how to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. I am so honored to call her Mother, to call her friend.

Warrior. Survivor. Creator. Mentor. Wife. Friend. Teacher. Mother.

Natalie Krise of Treasure Lake, DuBois

I would like to nominate my mom, Natalie Krise, for the Mother’s Day makeover contest. ...She is a mother to not only me, Brittany, but also to my sister and brother, Emily and Jeremy, and I can’t forget our three very high energy dogs that she helps take care of every day as well. She married my dad, Scott, 28 years ago and has put us all before herself ever since.

I can confidently say that I have never in my life met someone as selfless and caring as my mom. She always puts everyone else before herself and her own needs or wants. She has done this by spending most of her life taking care of her kids and husband, and then as the time came she moved immediately on to taking care of her parents as they needed her. Never once in all of those years do I remember her ever complaining or not being able or willing to help. We were fortunate enough to have her at home raising us until we all started school, but she then got a full time job where she has been working at since. With her busy schedule and constant caregiving she has had very little time to focus on herself. Even if my mom potentially does have free time that she could spend on herself she always seems to find more happiness in doing things for others. Everyone that knows her would agree, without a doubt.

My kind-hearted, genuinely nice mom is extra special to us all and is so incredibly deserving of the self-care that this contest could give her. I think that every one of these prizes could benefit her in so many ways. They are all things she would enjoy and that would help her feel great, but are also things she has never thought to do for herself. This makeover would be the perfect way to refresh and rejuvenate my mom after she lost her dad to Alzheimer’s last year and now her youngest baby is headed off to college this year. She has been under a lot of stress, so this would be the perfect relief. We really feel that we have the sweetest, most thoughtful, and best momma anyone could ask for.

Christina Brown of Lanse

My mother went back to college after having three children, she accomplished her goal of becoming an RN with a bachelor of science from Clearfield Campus of Loch Haven. She has worked her way up to being Unit Manager at Mount Nittany, even with making sure she was there for all our events throughout the school year, in which there was many things to attend between football, wrestling, track, cross country, softball, Little League and cheerleading plus travel teams. She has now decided to go back to Clarion University to become a nurse practitioner. Mom always puts everyone first before her, she has wanted lasik surgery for many years, but when my brother got a job at the Philipsburg Prison, she paid for him to have lasik surgery so he didn’t have to worry about wearing glasses at work. She is also on the school board at West Branch, always donating to anyone needing help financially, which means she is always thinking of someone more needy than herself. My dad works all day and is only home two days a week which means mom has to carry his load at home also. We love our mom for who she has become.

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