A Mother’s Love

Mom when I was bornI was not gifted with great health or an easy journey in life. However, when I was placed in the arms of my mother for the first time, I was immediately gifted with unconditional love. My mom, Pamela, was 26-years-old when I entered this world. Her first-born, my brother, was six-years-old and mom had just lost her mother from PKD six months prior. When I think of my mom, I think of strength, compassion, tenacity and love. All traits she instilled in me.

Mom loves animalsMy mom did not have an easy upbringing. As a child, she and her sister raised themselves for many years. I believe this is where she gets her fierce independence. She loves nature, solitude and animals. I feel her nurturing disposition comes from the fact she was meant to be a mother. I am grateful to be her daughter. We never know how life will unfold and when I was five-years-old, my mom’s role as a mother evolved into a caregiver when I had my first grand mal seizure. That health issue was followed by my scoliosis back surgery, PKD, countless surgeries, months and months in the hospital, dialysis, kidney transplant and many other health hurdles in between. She never left my side and her unwavering love and support remained steadfast.

Mom and me as a teenagerMom and I have always shared a special bond. I loved it when I was a little girl and she would cut the crust off my bread when I was sick. She helped me with all of my school projects. As I grew older, she was always there to talk to me about anything. She was my best friend and I knew she would do anything for me. I love her humor and when we get the giggles. We never argue. If I would give her a “typical teenage” tone of voice in high school, she would immediately make a joke about it and we would laugh. I could never be mad at her. I loved going shopping with her and being silly in the dressing room while trying on clothes. Whenever we heard other daughters and moms arguing about clothing, we would be reminded and grateful for our relationship. She would do anything for me. My mom continues to be a vital part of my life and makes my days brighter.

Without intention, my health struggles have put so much stress on my parents. They still worry if their phone rings at an odd hour during the day or night. We have endured so much hardship. It is our love that pulled us through and continues to propel us forward. When I wrote my mom’s Mother’s Day card this year, I thanked her for bringing me into this world, for her love and sacrifices. How thankful I am for her health and grateful to be able to share this beautiful life with her. Thank you mom for always letting me know how loved I am, for your strength, your friendship, guidance and endless support. I am proud to be your daughter.

Mom and me

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful moms out there! What does your mom mean to you?


  1. Rosemarie bartus

    My Mom was also my best friend and I still miss her so much even though she has been gone over 20 years. I knew I always had unconditional love. She always thought I was the greatest. We who had such wonderful Moms have been so blessed. So many wonderful memories.

    • Valen Keefer

      Thank you for sharing, Rosemarie. I smiled while reading this because I share those same sentiments and feel that special bond and love from my mom. We are so fortunate. I am thankful that you have so many wonderful memories to fill your heart after all of these years. Hugs!

  2. Berta

    I read through your IG often. So funny that when your life is filled with kidneys cysts, dialysis and lab checks how you somehow stumble along to find someone who has such a similar back ground. I lost my mom to complications of her kidney disease last July and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t consider texting or calling her. Now my brother and sister are getting to the point where they either line up living donors or plan their lives around dialysis in a few short years while I’ve decided to go to nursing school so I can learn everything there is to know about this damn disease. Glad I found your blog Valen.
    Love from WA.

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Berta,

      I’m so sorry that you lost your mother. It makes my heart hurt as I can’t imagine feeling the urge to text or call mom and not being able to. I hope your health is well and I admire your desire to continue to learn as much as you can. I’m glad you found my blog too. I wish you and your family all the best! Hugs!


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