I hope you enjoyed celebrating and honoring our mothers on Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my beautiful wife, Becca, the mother of our five wonderful children. I also reflected on my dear angel mother who passed away in 2005. 

Ana Pastor was an amazing woman, a single mom at a time when that was even harder than it is today (and it’s always hard). I was her only son, and she was my only family. Growing up, there were more than a few times she didn’t know how she was going to put food on the table. But she never made me feel poor.

20180513 Labrador mother

She was strong, smart and brave. She taught me the values of hard work, honesty, education, and loyalty. She taught me to believe in myself and to dream big.

She loved this country and everything it stands for. America has never had a greater, more passionate defender than my mother.

It was my mother who brought me to the mainland when I was 13, who helped me get through high school, and who paved the way for me to go to college.

It was in college that I met the love of my life – Becca, a daughter of Idaho – who introduced me to this great state when I was still a young man, ready to start my life.

Becca and I moved here and started a family, becoming a mom and dad of our own. With Becca’s love and support, I started my career, became a business owner, and then went into public service. All in Idaho.

I wish more than anything that my mom could be here today. As a Mother’s Day gift, I would introduce her to her first great-grandchild, Liliana Rae, who was born just one month ago yesterday. And I would tell her “thank you.”  

“Thank you for giving me life (even when other people were telling you that was a mistake, for a single woman to become a single mom).

Thank you for loving me (even during those times in my life when I might not have been so lovable).

Thank you for sacrificing for me (even when times were hard, and it was hard to imagine they could get better).

And thank you for raising me with the values to live life to the fullest, and to be grateful for all the gifts that I’ve enjoyed, including you.”  

This Mother’s Day, please join me in honoring the women who keep us safe, fed, clothed and loved; those who help us with homework, support us in our extracurricular activities and dry our tears.

Often, they give up professional ambitions for their families. They love us unconditionally. They uplift us when we’re down and remind us of the grace of humility when we excel. They make us better people.

On Mother’s Day and every day, I hope you remember your mom fondly. And if she’s alive, near or far, please reach out to her and let her feel your gratitude and love.