Moms wear many hats. They’re more than caretakers who try to get us out of bed, keep us clean and fed, and teach us right from wrong. Moms are superheroes who inspire us to go out and be great. And they’re there to pick us up and put us back together when those attempts fall flat. 

Novelist Jill Churchill said it well when she wrote, “There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” 

The Florida Keys are filled with amazing moms and with memories of the ones who shaped our lives and now live forever in our hearts. Take some time to cherish the women who made us all that we are this Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9. 

The Keys Weekly asked readers to submit photo tributes of their moms. Some sent more text than we could fit, while others sent an image that says it all.  Enjoy this gallery of unconditional love as much as we enjoyed assembling it.

UPPER KEYS

GINNY O’BYRNE
Ginny’s nominator, Mary Carroll, says, “I call her my ‘other mother.’” From the Bronx, Ginny “is very funny. She enjoys doing anything, really. She’s always fun.” A life coach, Ginny is a mother figure and cheerleader for many. She has helped many people at turning points in their lives and shares her experience and hope. She is always cheering for the underdog! The best lesson from Ginny? Carroll says it’s “not to offer any advice unless asked.”

CHERYL MCBAY
Nominators Arlo and Rose say while they love to do anything on the water with their mother, they especially enjoy looking for shells. As for her superpower? Arlo and Rose say, “She can always tickle the bad mood out of us and make us laugh!” The best lesson they were taught from their mom is how to make the best tie-dye shirts. 

MARI NOVO
Originally from Miami, the Novos recently made their way to the Keys where they now live and adventure. Mom Mari said she loves to paint coconuts with her daughter, Lucia, and find adventures to go on. One of the best lessons Mari was taught by her mom? She says “passing it forward.”

DIANE RAGAN
Nominator Samantha Cockerham, daughter of Diane, loves to shop with her mom. From Miami, Cockerham says her mom is always there for her. “As a kid I don’t have a memory of mama not being present, and knowing how important that was to me, I’m doing the same with my own kids,” she said. She also has amazing grandma superpowers, with granddaughters Olivia, 4, and Ella, 2, who love to hang out every weekend. Cockerham says the best advice she’s received from her mom is “Everything is temporary, the good and the bad, so just enjoy the moment because one day you will look back at it and laugh.”

 

“DR. SHRIMP
From the nominator, the young, yellow-crowned night heron known as “Octopus,” Foster mother “Dr. Shrimp” is the best at hide-and-seek. Her camouflage makes it hard to find her in the shoebird enclosure. “Dr. Shrimp” is teaching the young bird how to be a yellow-crowned night heron so she can return to the wild.

 

MIDDLE KEYS

ANNY AMADOR
Marathon mom, Anny Amador, is pictured here with her daughter, Samantha, 7. She also has a 3-year-old son, Dylan. Happy Mother’s Day, Anny.

CLAUDIA JIMENA BARBOSA
Marathon mom Claudia Jimena Barbosa has two sets of kids — Angelina and Laura are 3- and 2-years old, and her son, Miguel Angel Goyes, is 18 years old.  

DEVON BECKETT
Devon Beckett is pictured here with her new son, Beau Beckett, born April 22, and her 2.5-year-old daughter Cora. She said her husband was alarmed to find everyone dressed (no PJs) until she explained the photo op for the Keys Weekly’s spread for Mother’s Day.

JESSICA BORRACCINO
Jessica and Nick Borraccino of Marathon are pictured with their daughter, Isla, born a week before Hurricane Irma and clutching the sonogram pictures of their newest baby, set to arrive in August.

CHRISTINA LLAMA
Marathon mom Christina Llama plays with her daughter Marianna, 4, in the pool. Happy Mother’s Day, Christina.

KRISTIN CARLSON
Kristin Carlson was one of the “quarantine” pregnancies featured in the Weekly back in December. And this is her new baby — Elise — who is now 3 months old. 

TRISH COX
Trish Cox cuddles with her two children — Micah is 8 and Norah is almost 2. “She’s a great mom because she does it all and always puts the kids first. From running her business (landscape design) to homeschooling and play dates, she is always on the go,” said husband Jeff Cox.

HEATHER GEANEAS
Heather and Adam Geaneas welcomed baby Kylo Charles to the world recently. He’s 3 months old now. 

CHAR HRUSKA
The Keys Weekly’s office manager, Char Hruska, reunited with her three children recently — the first time everyone was together in 13 years. They are Joe Hruska, left, Char, Chrisi Conrad and Dan Hruska. She is also the newspaper’s honorary mom and we adore her! 

MILEYMA JIMENEZ
Awww. Marathon mom Mileyma Jimenez snuggles with her daughter Analiyah, 3 years old. 

 

JEANINE MOTHNER
If there’s anything more special than having a granddaughter, it’s having your granddaughter named after you. This is Janine Mothner with her 9.5-month old granddaughter Kensley Janine Keller. Happy grandmother’s day, Jeanine.

ELBA ORNELAS
Another pandemic baby, sure to grow into a “quaranteen.” Elba Ornelas is pictured here with her daughter, Isla, now 4 months old. 

SILVIA RIVERA
Look at these cuties. Marathon mom Sylvia Rivera is pictured with her children — Valeria, 3, and her big brother Diego, 4. 

 

STEPHANIE ZAJAC
Stephanie Zajac welcomed Noah Kai to the world, her first baby, almost five months ago. Stephanie said, “He just started to really laugh, which just melts my heart. And he absolutely hates tummy time because he has inherited his father’s FOMO (fear of missing out).” 

KEY WEST

IRENE FERNANDEZ
Irene Fernandez and Emelia Cardenas are a mother-daughter nursing team in Key West, where they care for others and each other. 

PEG
As if raising six maniacs wasn’t enough to earn her rock star status, my mom, Peg, was an identical twin but truly one of a kind. She was the funniest and most irreverent human I have ever known. She was the coolest and most popular girl in high school – MY high school.  As a volunteer nurse, many students cut class or became unexpectedly ill at some point just to hang out in the clinic with her. She was warm and welcoming and spent a lifetime giving back and never asked for or expected anything in return. 

DALIANA GOINS
“My mom, Daliana Goins, is selfless and always puts the needs of others before everyone else,” says daughter Marina Goins. 

JENNIFER SEARCY
“My mom, Jennifer Searcy, works really hard all the time and gets no real breaks between my two younger siblings, me and her job as a nurse,” John Searcy said of his mom.

CHRISTINA McPHERSON
“As principal of Key West High School, my mom, Christina McPherson, is EXTREMELY  devoted to her job and she’ll go to extremes — even on weekends and holidays — to help teachers, students and parents,” said son Morgan McPherson.

KINGSTON MATTHEWS
“She is just always there for me,” Kingston Matthews said of his mom, Roslyn.

HELENA DOS SANTOS
Keys Weekly’s Chanice Dos Santos nominates her mom, Helena, as a rock star mom for a million reasons. 

CASSANDRA HOGAN
Jamie Olwell nominates Cassandra Hogan, mother of 2-year-old Rhys, as a super star mom in every way.

 

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