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Mother's Day Blog, Embracing Motherhood Beyond Bloodlines: Finding Guidance in Unexpected Places

RC Blog May 2024


As we delve into May and approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the profound impact that mother figures and role models have had on my own journey. While my path may not have been paved with the conventional presence of a nurturing mother, I was blessed to find solace, support, and guidance through my grandmother and other remarkable women who crossed my path, leaving an enduring mark on my heart and soul.


One such figure is my first mentor in government, Donna Reynolds—a beacon of light in my life, whose unwavering belief in my potential transformed the trajectory of my career. From the moment she took me under her wing in 1990, Donna became not only a mentor but a maternal figure whose wisdom in family, guidance for my career and life, and unwavering support overall, early on shaped the woman I am today. Under her care and coaching, I learned the intricacies of HR, honed my skills, and discovered the depths of my own resilience. Donna saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself—an innate ambition, drive, and thirst for knowledge that she nurtured and cultivated with boundless love and encouragement.

RC and Donna Reynolds

Through Donna, I also found a glimpse of maternal love and compassion that I had long yearned for—a guiding presence that steadied my spirit and fueled my determination to soar. Her belief in me was unwavering, her faith in my abilities unshakeable. She not only opened doors of opportunity early on in my government career but also took the time to guide me in all things marriage and family and instilled within me the confidence to walk through difficulties and shortfalls with my head held high. I dedicated an entire chapter in my book LostGirl to Donna. To this day, she remains in my life as someone that has journeyed with me and deeply cares not only for me but for my family. I am eternally grateful for her presence in my life, for the countless lessons she imparted, and for the love that she so generously bestowed upon me.


And then there was Kay Bailey Hutchison—a towering figure in Texas politics whose strength in leadership and style changed many of my perspectives on powerful women. From her tenure as Texas Treasurer to her illustrious career in the Senate, Kay exemplified the power of perseverance, resilience, and tough-as nails approach under pressure. Watching her in one of the toughest races for the US Senate where attacks were on every side of her path, she showed me that strength knows no bounds and that true leadership means blazing your own trail —a lesson that has stayed with me throughout my own journey.


RC and Kay Bailey Hutchison

Then there is my “Mom Keta” as we called her, my loving, steadfast grandmother.  Grandmother didn’t have much; no money, no education, no prestigious career. She was a cook at the local bus depot in the border town of El Paso where I grew up. I watched her get up at 5 am to take the bus for the long journey to work every single day. During the years we lived with her, after mom abandoned us, she often worked two jobs during the Christmas holidays to ensure that she could buy all four of us little things and put up a small tree in our tiny house in the hood. Grandmother didn’t display much presence, but she was a quiet giant.  Even though her daughter was on the streets addicted to drugs and none of us knew where Mom was for years, I never saw her cry or complain in front of us.  I am sure she shed many tears for her lost daughter behind closed doors, but in our presence she just showed resilience and strength.  She was the only steady love I knew and even in my adult years after I established a strong relationship with my mom, I still called her “Mom Keta."


RC and Grandma Keta

In reflecting on the maternal figures who have shaped my life, I am reminded of the boundless capacity of the human spirit to nurture, inspire, and uplift. Motherhood, in its myriad forms, transcends bloodlines, encompassing the countless souls who lend us their wisdom, support, and love along life's winding path. It is a testament to the power of connection, compassion, and community—a reminder that we are never truly alone on this journey called life.


Today I have the honor of not only being a mom to amazing, beautiful, and strong adult children but also Nana to my grandchildren.  In every step of my journey I have invested my own unconditional love to my babies.  It is the biggest and most important role I play, outside of any personal success, accomplishments or accolades, being just “mom” and “Nana” brings me the greatest joy.


As we celebrate Mother's Day and honor the women who have touched our lives in profound ways, let us remember that motherhood knows no boundaries—it is a bond forged in love, nurtured in kindness, and strengthened by the collective spirit of humanity.


To stay in touch, be sure to subscribe to www.rebeccacontreras.com or find Rebecca on social media through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. 


RC and Girls of Legacy


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