Anne Meloni was the modern woman long before it was fashionable. She has always been strong willed, independent, tough, hardworking, dedicated to her family and above all a loving Christian woman. You could also call her the original "church lady" but in the best meaning of the term not the Dana Carvey caricature. She raised four children while running our church religious education program and worked equally hard at both.

She later went on to become the department head of the religious education department at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Massachusetts. She is retired now and enjoying the rest she worked so hard to earn. Yet even in her late 70’s she still teaches a class every now and then.

Yet for all that she did, all of the programs she wrote and executed flawlessly, I best remember her as a loving, caring, demanding, no-nonsense mom. You sat up straight, you didn’t talk back, you treated everyone else around you with respect, you worked hard at everything you did, demanded the best of yourself, worked hard in school and made certain you did nothing to stain the family name.

She was always watching and always one step ahead of us. She made certain we had fun things to do. She was an All-State softball player in high school, my dad was an artist. So, it was my mother who taught me how to throw a baseball, hit a baseball and made certain I was a good sport. It was my mother who guided me through Cub Scouts [she was the leader], through Boy Scouts and fed me and cared for me while I grumpily worked the overnight shift at a Providence, Rhode Island radio station paying my way through college and living in her basement. That required patience and a deep understanding of how badly her son wanted to succeed in his career.

And for all of that first rate parenting, she was a better grandmother to my children. She and my father would visit us wherever we lived, in Florida, in Saginaw, Michigan in Detroit. They lived in Massachusetts but always found a way to come see us several times a year and they spent hours and hours with my children helping them learn the same lessons they taught me. My mom is a widow now, and yet she is always happy.

We speak on the phone all the time and get together whenever possible [though it’s been less lately]. Still, I can honestly say I would not be where or what I am as a person without her guidance. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Will Jones

I know there is a God because he chose the perfect woman to be in charge of guiding me into the man I am at this moment and the man I will be in the future. I must admit it is hard to put in words how much my mom, Marlinda, means to me. Words cannot properly describe the impact she has had in my life. It is immeasurable. One of the greatest gifts my mom gave me is empathy and that has helped me tremendously as a journalist covering disadvantaged communities and people who are experiencing intense emotional pain. There's not a day that goes by that I don't talk to my mom. I don't want to take our time on this earth together for granted. I love you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day.

IMAGES: Local 4 family members and their moms

Published On: May 10 2013 02:52:57 PM EDT   Updated On: May 11 2013 09:17:47 AM EDT
Lauren Podell and mom
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Lauren Podell and her mother Sue