It was a tough couple of days here in the Advertiser. Reading through all the letters for our Mother’s Day competition brought a mixture of tears of joy and sadness.
There were stories from young children telling us how much fun their mum is, how selfless mums across Westmeath drove their kids from football training, to piano, then back again to swimming. There was plenty of glitter and colour used by our younger readers, who told us that their mum, by far, gave the best hugs, and cooked the best dinners. Sons and daughters happily bragged about their fun trips with mum to visit their granny or the zoo, how she always smiles and buys the best birthday presents, and isn’t a bad singer!
More grown-up children told harrowing tales of mums who have come through tough times, fighting illness and hard times to come out the other side even stronger.
But - we could only pick one mum to win our prize. It was genuinely hard for us to select one winner, with so many lovely stories, but in the end we picked Maura Walsh from Athlone. Her children Caroline, Yvonne, and Sean as well as her grandchildren Alan, Gary, and Richie nominated her. And here’s what they said:
“She was always the best mum in the world but it really showed us how special she really is when last year we were given the most unexpected news - that she would have to undergo open heart surgery. There were no obvious symptoms and we surely were shocked. But mammies being mammies she took it all with such bravery, from being poked and prodded from this test to that she always greeted everyone with a smile - even in intensive care after hours of surgery.
It has been a long road since her operation last November but she has come out the other side stronger than ever and we don’t think we heard her complain once. She really is one in a million and did it all with a smile on her face.
We would love to surprise her with a shopping spree for a new post-op wardrobe and some pampering which she surely deserves. She really is the best mum and nana in the world and we are so proud to call her ours.”
Maura has won a gift card worth €150 for Athlone Towncentre along with an indulgent spa treatment from Sirana Spa.
We have no doubt this prize is well deserved and we’re thankful for Athlone Towncentre and the Sheraton for their generosity.
“We were absolutely blown away with the number of entries received and the genuine, heartfelt reasons behind the nomination of each mum,” said Shirley Delahunt, marketing manager of Athlone Towncentre. “There were some incredible entries but unfortunately there could be only one winner. We are delighted for Maura Walsh who was nominated by her children and grandchildren - and we hope that she has a fantastic shopping and spa day with us at Athlone Towncentre and the Sirana Spa at Sheraton Athlone Hotel.”
Thanks to everyone who entered the competition, and we hope your mums realise how much they are loved.
Maria Daly, Editor