Cherishing moms who embody love, strength


At first glance, Elinor Sullivan was simply a proud suburban mother, raising her four children on the other side of the Great Depression.

Her husband was a state legislator. Her father was a vaudeville performer who originated the role of the Scarecrow in a stage production of “The Wizard of Oz.” But beyond that, you probably wouldn’t have looked twice at Elinor.

Except you should have. Because before she was a wife and a mom, she was Elinor Smith, the “Flying Flapper of Freeport,” who never met a plane she didn’t like or a dare she wouldn’t take. In fact, one taunt persuaded her to fly a Waco-10 under not one, but all four bridges that crossed the East River into Manhattan — a stunt that had never been done before, and was never repeated.

Elinor once held the women’s solo flight endurance record of more than 26 hours, set a speed record of nearly 191 mph, and even topped an altitude record of more than 32,500 feet, taking off from Roosevelt Field. And she became the first woman ever pictured on a box of Wheaties cereal.

And Elinor gave all of that up for two decades — the prime years of her life — so she could focus all of her attention on being a mother. Yet today, mothers can have careers while raising their children, showing even more how extraordinary every one of them is.

As we approach Mother’s Day, it’s important to reflect on the remarkable influence and unwavering love mothers bring into our lives. From the moment we enter this world, mothers are our first nurturers, guides and champions. They are the silent heroes whose impact transcends time and circumstances, shaping us into the individuals we become.

Mothers possess a unique blend of strength and tenderness. They are the multitaskers extraordinaire, effortlessly juggling countless roles with grace. From pursuing careers to nurturing children — mothers do it all with unparalleled dedication. Their resilience in facing life’s challenges serves as an inspiration, demonstrating that with love and determination, any obstacle can be overcome.

What truly makes mothers extraordinary is their boundless capacity for love. A mother’s love is a force unlike any other — a source of comfort in times of distress. A beacon of hope in moments of despair.

It is a love that knows no bounds, selfless and unconditional. This love shapes our earliest memories, and echoes through the milestones of our lives — a constant reminder of unwavering support.

Mothers aren’t just caregivers, they are our first teachers, imparting lessons that extend far beyond textbooks. They teach us compassion through their actions, resilience through their examples, and empathy through their understanding.

The wisdom passed down from our mothers is a treasure trove of lessons, guiding us through sunny days and stormy nights.

In celebrating mothers, we honor the unsung heroines whose sacrifices often go unnoticed. They prioritize our needs above their own, making countless sacrifices without seeking recognition. Whether it’s waking up early to pack lunches or staying up late to offer reassurance, they give of themselves tirelessly, embodying the essence of unconditional love.

On Sunday, let us celebrate the phenomenal women — like Elinor Smith, and our own mothers — who have shaped our lives in profound ways. Beyond the flowers and gifts lies a deeper appreciation for the incredible impact mothers have on our existence.

And they don’t need to fly under bridges or break endurance records. In the tapestry of life, mothers are the golden threads that bind us together. Their presence is a gift that enriches our world in ways words cannot fully capture. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us cherish and honor these extraordinary women who personify love, strength and resilience.