Mothers are often the unsung heroes for every child's accomplishments, for every child's knowledge of right and wrong, and especially for every child's love and kindness. Whether or not they are still here with us today, we want to make sure our mothers know something: among all the wrongs, there has been so much right. Our love for you is enormous, and we can't thank you enough for the sacrifices you've made.
Joining us are beautiful memories about individual mothers and motherhood itself (Mother's Day is on May 10th, 2015).
Elle Rowley, Solly Baby Wrap
Our home was old and its bright green shag carpet, among other things, was a little bit embarrassing to my 13-year-old insecurities. But, it was our home. It was the first home my mom was able to purchase after the divorce, the divorce that left my mother alone with five of her seven children still at home. It was so much better than all the dirty and roach-infested homes we’d lived in before, so I loved it anyway. Its charm was a huge window in the living room that overlooked a farm. It stretched out to Antelope Island, a little hilly island on the Great Salt Lake. Every evening as the sun would start to fall behind that island, the sunset would light up the sky like a painting. My mother would frantically call out, “Sunset alert! Sunset alert!”. Every time like it was the first time. We would gather around her on the sofa and watch the colors continue to change and morph until the sun would disappear altogether. That is my mother. Always looking past the struggle, the pain, and even the shag carpet, just to see the beauty of the day.
Garrett Clayton, "Teen Beach Movie 2"
When I first spoke to my mom about wanting to be an actor, she was the person who clued me in to the reality of the situation. She said, "If you get your grades up, and keep them up, I'll help you get into acting. Make sure this is something you really want, because it will be years before anything happens." After I went about getting my grades up, she got me a meeting with an agent in Chicago and a meeting with an agent in Detroit (my hometown). From that point on, it was me and my mom taking Greyhounds back and forth for years. She taught me what it means to really want something and have to work for it; nothing worthwhile in life is handed to you.
Cassie Scerbo, "Sharknado 3"
Mom, words could never describe what you mean to me, but I hope this letter does it some justice. Your selflessness as a mother is such an extraordinary gift to my life and an example of what I hope to be for my kids one day. Not only have you been to every dance class and recital, soccer game, baseball game, football game, school event, and so forth for Alaina, Johnny, and myself, but you gave up your whole life for my dreams when I was only 14-years-old. I'll never forget that first pilot season when we flew out here to Los Angeles and all the memories that came with it. I could never thank you enough. I'll always treasure how much you believed in me and still do. You have never failed me, never let me down, and your unconditional love truly means the universe to me. Thank you for always being there at any second of any day. You're my right hand woman and I'd be completely lost without you! I am the woman I am today because of you. I love you beyond anything measurable (and your cooking!). Happy Mother's Day to my best friend in the whole wide world! Ti amo!
Mom, when I was a young boy, you took me and my sister to South Africa with money and secret letters sewn into our clothes to help the fight against Apartheid. A little later we climbed the pyramids in Egypt, where Dad and I had to fight off locals who wanted to trade you and my sister for camels. We went camping in Tahiti, celebrated your 50th birthday in India, and jumped out of an airplane together when you were almost 60. And never will I forget sitting in the middle of a gorilla family in Rwanda, long before it became a tourist attraction. Thank you for showing me the world and for teaching me to always be open to new people and cultures. Now I am a parent myself and about to plan the first trips with my little girls, I cannot wait to hear your ideas.
Tina Huang, "Rizzoli & Isles"
My mother is my hero. She was an immigrant who climbed to success and was proud that she had done so “with broken English.” She worked hard, became a shrewd business person, often working two jobs, yet still made it a priority to watch her three rambunctious kids fall asleep every night. At 52, she was diagnosed with atypical Parkinson’s Disease. She dealt with her rapid decline gracefully. She found moments to laugh and smile even through intense physical pain. She was practical and readied her finances for end of life and still took the time to stroke my hair, tell me that life was short, and that it was important to work diligently but not too hard as you cannot take money to the grave. As she became more disabled and lost her ability to speak, she continued to smile and light up when I was with her. At one point she said, “I am your baby.” I replied, “You’re my mom. You've earned that title.” She passed away December 2014 at 64-years-old. We brought her ashes home on Christmas Eve. She never gave up, never felt sorry for herself, and taught me about love.
When I think of my mother’s parenting style, the only word that comes to mind is ‘fun.’ My mother had three boys by the age of 21: my brother Ramon, myself, and my twin brother Ricky. I remember there was always laughter in our homes; whether we lived out of our car, which we did for a period of time, or lived in a brand new and beautifully decorated home. Once we came home from school and the living room was decorated like a campground with sleeping bags, lanterns, and board games. We had the best weekend "roughing it,” only to find out our power had been disconnected and wouldn't be back on until Monday. That's proves her amazingness. She taught me that even when all of the chips are down and you think you have nothing left, you can still laugh through it and make it better tomorrow.
Lindsey Morgan, "The 100"
I am beyond lucky to say that my childhood was an extremely happy one and I know I have my mother to thank for that. When I was in the fourth grade, my parents, like so many others, decided to get a divorce. My father remarried and moved across the country with his new family. That Christmas, my brother and I ran down to the tree to find all the presents were missing except for a small envelope had contained a clue detailing a scavenger hunt for our gifts! My mother is extremely creative and needless to say, we had a blast searching and this became our new family tradition each year. And it was not until I was much older that I realized my mother wanted to distract us from our father’s absence during the holidays. She always made sacrifices for our happiness. As an adult, I am only beginning to recognize and truly appreciate her for being a strong, beautiful, and loving woman. I hope to be at least 1/10th of the woman she is when I am a mother.
Kristina Meltzer, 100 Layer Cake
Becoming a mother was the single most transformative experience of my life. In the hours and days after my first son was born five years ago, I felt not only the most intense, protective, all-consuming, and gut-wrenching love that I had ever known. There was also a complete shift in how I experienced the world. It was wild, amazing, and scary, yet the most beautiful, enduring change of perspective that I can imagine. It’s as if a new part of your being is born, along with your child. It’s so big. And to me, Mother’s Day is a celebration of that love between a mother and her children, whether they are still tiny or have children of their own. There is nothing like it in the world.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson, "Texas Rising"
My mom doesn't play a superhero on TV, but she is my true superhero and a hero to many others as well. I have grown up watching my mom in various roles: first as a nurse, second as a well-respected small business owner, and then in her next move as a philanthropic leader of causes close to her heart in her native country of Ghana. She is dedicated, selfless, and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and will always be my number one support. She is my role model not only for the fierce female characters that I play, but the woman I am today. Love you, mom!
Maria Canals-Barrera, "Cristela"
I've come to realize that there is no greater or important responsibility for a woman than being a good wife and mother. Think about the enormous influence a mom (and a dad, too) has on a child. A mother's love is a very specific thing. Deep in their heart, in their conscious and subconscious mind, and in their spirit, the love and security a child feels from their mother is vital to their well-being. I strive to be the best mom I can be and pray daily for the help and guidance to do so.
Photography by Roneil Chavez
Hair by Richie Roman
Production Assistant: Crystal Rivera