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Three Sanibel mothers share their stories on motherhood

By Staff | May 5, 2011

In honor of Mother's Day, Carol Hayduk, Marcia Kimball and Becky McDaniel share their stories about motherhood and beyond.

In the early 1900s, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase Mother’s Day. She was even very specific about the apostrophe; it was to be singular possessive, for each family to celebrate their mother.

However, in the following years, the day set aside to honor mothers turned into a commercialized holiday. Anna was a major opponent of what the day had become and spent all her inheritance and entire life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

According to IBIS World, a publisher of business research, Americans spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts, such as spa treatments, and $68 million on greeting cards. In 2008, Mother’s Day jewelry accounted for 7.8 percent of the industry’s revenue. It is also the most popular day to dine out.

While it continues to be one of the most commercially successful occasions in the country, the day is really about appreciating the mother in your life. In honor of Mother’s Day, three Sanibel women share their stories about motherhood and beyond.

For Becky McDaniel, becoming a mother was the greatest joy in her life. At the age of 34, she had accepted the fact she may never have children. But along came her son, Zac.

“I felt blessed,” she said about becoming a mother. “Never say never.”

While being a mom was her greatest joy, she has taken the next step – becoming a grandmother. Nine months ago, her son and his wife Jana welcomed baby Zara into the world.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” said Becky about learning she was going to be a grandma. “I was over the moon.”

Even though her granddaughter lives in Oklahoma, Becky is a proud grandparent. She has even become one of those grandmas she always heard about – the ones that carry around oodles of pictures to show everyone they meet. Becky admitted she wants to be a “fun” grandma and do things like building sandcastles with Zara and taking her fishing.

“She may be the only one,” said Becky. “So, I have to make the most of it.”

Becky admitted once she and her husband moved to Sanibel, she never wanted to return to Oklahoma. But, baby Zara has changed those feelings and Becky will be leaving Sanibel soon to spend five months in Oklahoma.

Like Becky, Marsha Kimbell had her daughter, Allycia, late in life. As a single parent, Marsha found it difficult to be the mom, dad and the bad guy.

“It was one of the hardest things,” said Marsha about working and taking Allycia to daycare.

Marsha worked hard to give her daughter everything she would have had if the situation were different. But Allycia is the best thing in Marsha’s life.

“I can’t imagine life without her,” said Marsha. “I never thought you could love another human being the way you love your child.”

Now at 24 years old, Allycia has become a young woman and their mother/daughter relationship has grown, too. As if leaving her daughter at daycare as a child wasn’t hard enough, Marsha has been faced with letting her go into adulthood.

“We have become very good friends,” said Marsha. “But I never stop worrying about her.”

A difficult challenge of motherhood is letting a child go. Like Marsha, Carol Hayduk has watched one of her daughters leave the nest and enter the big world of college.

“It was hard to watch her go,” said Carol about the day her oldest daughter left for Clemson University in South Carolina.

Carol is a mother to three daughters – Vaughn, 18; Jordan, 9; and Jamie, 5.

When she learned she was pregnant with Vaughn, Carol felt it was time to make a career change. She went from being a full-time tennis club manager and buyer in Palm Beach to a full-time mother. She never looked back.

“I feel blessed everyday I get to stay home with my kids,” she said. “It is the greatest thing in the world.”

As a mother, Carol hopes she has taught her daughters some of life’s most important lessons. And like any good mother, Carol will always be there when one of them need advise or a shoulder to cry on.

“It is hard to be a parent and give your kids the freedom to make mistakes, but that is how you learn,” she said.

Children are also a reminder of how quickly time passes. Carol has tried not to take a moment for granted. Carol has made family time a priority. They sit down to a family meal each evening, even when they are going several different directions the rest of time. It has become a time for them to reconnect and learn about each other’s day.

“Having kids has made my life richer,” said Carol. “I wouldn’t change a thing about my life.”