05/08/2009 11:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Countdown To Mother's Day: Tell Us Your Stories

What to get Mom for Mother's Day? How does one make it something other than a greeting card holiday, eliciting the standard flowers and bath salts? The meat of Mother's Day is in the stories - the ways our moms helped, influenced, and shaped us.

My grandmother died this past December, and my mom was faced with telling her mother's story. I sat with mom and my sisters after it happened, and as we looked through old photographs she told me about the Texas girl who married an Irishman (from Michigan), and moved to California where she raised my mom. Gram was an ambitious lady who worked first as a waitress and then became a successful accountant. She was a staunch Democrat to the end, always listening to the news for the latest political developments. It was this kind of influence that made my mom - an educated woman who took me and my sisters around the world, and is an activist in her community.

That's what gives Mother's Day it's substance, I think. Let's pay tribute to the women who raised us! Tell me an anecdote, an experience, a story about your mom and how she influenced you. There'll be a follow up post on Mother's Day with the best submissions.