Excerpt: 'Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom'

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Wendy Walker

The authors of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" compiled stories about love, compassion and, most of all, mothers.

In the foreward, former "Good Morning America" anchor Joan Lunden writes about how it was her mother, not her globetrotting father, who brought out the adventurer in her, telling her to "hitch your wagon to a star."

Read the excerpt below, and then head to the "Good Morning America" Library to find more good reads.

Foreword

You can be anything you want to be: the word "impossible" isn't in our dictionary.

~Gladyce Blunden (Joan's mother)

For the first thirteen years of my life I lived an idyllic childhood in a small suburban community in Northern California. My mother was a stay-at-home mom to my brother and me, and my father was a prominent physician in the community. My parents had struggled to have children, and they finally adopted my brother Jeff as a newborn baby. They brought my brother home when he was just three days old. Mom's friends came to give her a shower; however she was in the bathroom sick to her stomach. Little did she know, she was pregnant with me! As soon as she stopped trying to have a baby, she must have become less stressed, and she got pregnant and carried me to term with no difficulties. So I was born less than eight months after my brother Jeff, and we were raised, essentially, as twins.

My dad was an avid private pilot, and we travelled a lot as a family in our plane. When I was thirteen years old, my father needed to fly to Southern California on a short business trip to speak at a medical convention. He had asked my mom, my brother and me to accompany him since it was a brand new plane. Mom said no, thinking we shouldn't miss school. She later changed her mind, picked us up and drove to the airfield (no cell phones in those days to call and say we were on our way). As fate would have it, just as we pulled up to the runway, my father's plane was lifting off the ground. We missed him by a moment. I stood and waved goodbye, totally unaware that this was the last time I would ever see my father. His plane crashed during a bad storm, in Malibu Canyon returning home.

I'll never forget the knock at the door in the middle of the night when the police officer came to tell us that my father's plane was missing and they feared the worst. My mom had been up all night waiting, worrying and was now weeping uncontrollably. Life can change in an instant, and that night would change our family forever. My mother became a widow at age forty, with two young teenagers. She had been active in the community but she was not a career woman; she had devoted herself to raising us. However now she had to take the lead in our family and had to support us as well. So while dealing with her grief, she also went back to school, got her license to sell residential real estate and joined the forces of working moms.

We were typical teenagers; we just wanted life to be the same. I was also a stridently independent young woman and challenged my mom every step of the way. When I grew up and became a working mom, and later a single working mom, I often thought of how I had challenged her and how tough I was on her. So this is not only a "Thanks Mom" but also a "Sorry Mom!"

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