Words fall short in praising moms, but let's try

Mother’s Day may have changed a bit in the way it’s commemorated since it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. But the special place moms hold in our collective heart has been steadfast as reflected in recorded thoughts on maternal virtues across the generations. Here is a selection of quotes from past and present observers:

• Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all. — Oliver Wendell Holmes

• Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. — Oprah Winfrey

• If evolution really works, how come mothers have only two hands? — Milton Berle

• Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. — Unknown

• A mother is clothed with strength and dignity, laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness. — Proverbs

• There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. — Jill Churchill

• A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. — Washington Irving

• The bond between mothers and their children is one defined by love. As a mother’s prayers for her children are unending, so are the wisdom, grace and strength they provide to their children.” — President George W. Bush

• Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had. — Linda Wooten

• A mother’s hug lasts long after she lets go. — Unknown

• The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother. — St. Therese of Lisieux

• My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind. — Michael Jordan

• Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. — Robert Browning

• Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” — Tina Fey

• All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. — Abraham Lincoln

• Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me. — Lady Gaga

• A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. — Cardinal Mermillod

• If you’re a mom, you’re a superhero. Period. — Rosie Pope