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With Mother’s Day approaching, we can’t help but be reminded of how much of who we are must be credited to our mothers. It was our mothers who planted the seeds that sprouted and grew into a vision of Suzuki music education for the world. And who among us isn’t happy about that?

Although my mother never had the opportunity to play an instrument, somehow she intuitively understood the value of music. Despite the financial hardship it incurred, she insisted that music lessons be a part of the education of each one of her six children. Mom is the one who steered me toward the violin and away from the saxophone. She may as well have been superwoman, extending her hand to deflect a speeding bullet! She’s the one who wouldn’t let me quit at a time when I was too immature to recognize the colossal value of meeting the challenges that mastering an instrument presented. She may as well have been Atlas carrying my world on both shoulders. Mom trusted me as she set me free to pursue a college education far away from home. She allowed me the imagination of Icarus albeit without the tragic ending. And she even embraced the man I chose to be her son-in-law, despite the fact that he was a saxophonist! Her heart is clearly that of Midas. Mom has steadfastly encouraged me every step of the way.

My mother is an extraordinary woman, just like your mother and a million others. I guess that would make them all quite ordinary, but we know that is not the case. They’re exceptional. Comic book heroine and mythological goddess exceptional. Because that’s what is required to be a great mother.

This Mother’s Day, I’m not going to resort to my standard gift of a potted plant or a coffee mug. I’m going to give Mom my gratitude for all the good in me that comes from her, wrapped in my words and displayed in the SAA Galaxy of Stars. You can see it there among the many other glimpses into peoples’ hearts. It reads:

“Thanks, Mom for building the scaffold for my life. You’ve given me the guidance and the freedom to soar. You’ve made it possible for me to pass on to others some of the wisdom in your beautiful soul. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!”