Heart Led Health by Coach Donna

Monday / May 02 / 2011

My momma is “mom” to many: like a great big hug personified

Growing up, my Mom was “Mom” to many. Still is. She’s so special, so precious, so loved. Mom has an innate knack for making you feel as though you’re the most cherished person in the world. She’s like a great big hug personified. And it’s because she cares… genuinely cares. She can’t help it. Her heart is bigger than most and I strive to have a heart half the size of hers. Mom doesn’t ask “why?”, she asks, “how can I help?” …and then she delivers. If you know her at all, you know precisely what I’m talking about. I just happen to be blessed enough to call her, “Momma”.

To give you a ‘for instance’… Mom doesn’t “just” show up with her amazing homemade lasagna (and when I tell you her lasagna is amazing, I mean it is Aye.May.Zing!! nom nom!) — she shows up with a full-faced smile, a warm, enveloping hug and more than likely, a story about how your son or daughter is the most precious child in her Kids Choir, and then she’ll expound on ‘why’.

Mom where she’s happiest… surrounded by her family (May 2013)

Mom is like the Pied Piper. People are drawn to her and they don’t even know why. They just know she’s one of those people they want to be around. Children, puppies, adults alike. She accepts you for who you are and encourages you to be all God created you to be. What a gift.

Today we celebrate the day Mom was born. May third. A day I’m forever thankful for. I’m not going to tell you how old Mom is… that’s her little secret… true to the ways of her own Mom. And even if I did, you straight up wouldn’t believe me. Seriously. But I can guarantee you I’m using the same Oil of Olay she does in hopes of getting just a tiny piece of Mom’s Fountain of Youth!

I adore this woman!! xo

Momma… you are all things beautiful. I love who you are and I’m blessed beyond measure to share life with you.

Happy Birthday from one of the many who love and adore you.

AUTHOR’s NOTE: read the “Mission Accomplished” post I penned once Momma read all your love notes!

61 responses to “My momma is “mom” to many: like a great big hug personified”

  1. Debbie says:

    Happy birthday, Mom!!! You are so loving, caring, generous, and fun-loving!!! I’m so blessed to call you mom and for my kids to have you as their beloved Babcia. Xoxo. Thanks for being all that you are!!

  2. Brittany says:

    Brody and I are so happy to have you in our lives! You make my heart smile! Even though you’re far away.. you always are here for us. Happy Birthday to YOU! Couldnt imagine life with out you Grandma. Hope this birthday is the best one yet. We love you, can’t wait to see you soon!

    Brittany and Brody

  3. John says:

    Happy Birthday Aunt Elaine! I hope you have a wonderful day! Sending much love and wishes for many more your way.

    Love ya,

  4. Kim Saheim says:

    To the woman who inspired me through God and Music! Happy, Happy Birthday! May God Bless and keep you for many more years. I love you.

  5. DICK KOPRUCKI says:


  6. Skip Smaldone says:

    From day one, you’ve never been a Mother-In -Law, always Mom. Thanks for loving me as your own and for raising such a wonderful Daughter for me to marry. You are such a sweet and loving person, full of grace, and your family loves you more than you could imagine. Happy Birthday Mom!

  7. Dianna Bolton says:

    Mrs Racette,
    As I reflect back on the days that you lived across the street from me; many memories depict in my mind! I recall some of my most memorable and cherished childhood memories were made, right there at your very own home. I remember anticipating opening of your pool for summer, oh how I loved that pool, so that my sister and I could drag my mom over for the afternoon to plunge into the crystal clear water. I cherish the memory of the expression on your face as we wondered over; it was an expression of glee and openheartedness. It was that same look and welcoming I received every time I wondered over, whether it was to borrow some sugar for my mom, sell you girl scout cookies, or just come over to ‘hang out’ with you and Mr. Racette. ‘Hanging out’ at your home was never dull; there was always something to play, help out with, learn, etc… I can reflect about all of the memorable times I was able to spend with you and how you inspired me to become a terrific neighbor, friend, and role model for all that surround me, as you were to my family and I, but birthdays are for celebrating so go out and celebrate! I wish you a very happy and youthful birthday on a day that the world was truly blessed to welcome you into this world!

  8. Mary Durham Backus says:

    A very happy birthday to a woman with the most infectious laugh and beautiful smile!

  9. Dad says:

    I have been blessed to be married to mom for 50 years this year.
    From the moment I first met her I knew she was God’s gift to me.
    Over the years she has been the most precious wife and mother anyone
    could dream of. Her heart goes out to all those in the family and her
    concerns and cares are second to none. When we all get to heaven in the
    future what a marvelous time it will be …. we will all be together and
    forever it will be one superb family of closeness and love. Elaine, thank you
    for being you and your love and caring.

  10. Julie says:

    Dear Mrs. R,
    I don’t even know where to start!

    My entire life, you have been there for me… I don’t ever remember a time when you were not around. The first 6 years of my life… I probably literally spent half my time at your house. When my family moved to 3rd Ave., Donna and I schemed as much as possible to play together! We both took many bike rides across the Bow bridge and the golf bridge!

    You kissed my boo-boos, gave me band-aids, snuggly hugs, and advice. Every single time I see you, you tell me I am beautiful. (Even when I was gawky and awkward).

    I remember countless sleepovers with Donna… in each and every bedroom in your house! I even remember you scolding me to brush my teeth, wash my face, and use more soap in the shower. ♪♫ Wash and wipe together, we’ll be friends forever ♪!

    I remember sharing MANY wonderful meals with your family… and your lasagne IS outstanding! I remember putting a slice of american cheese under my spagetti… and my favorite, cheese under the broiler!

    I remember wearing one of your special dressed to my prom, and how excited you were to share it! I was excited to wear it!

    I remember all of the homeade birthday cards you made for me… and how you always were singing.

    I remember knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you loved me… and I still know that. I am so grateful for facebook… because we are “connected” again…. and you can watch my children grow, even though we are so far away.

    Have a wonderful Birthday… and remember that I love you and that YOU are beautiful!!!

    All my love, your Julie

  11. Christine Martell Cook says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine. Your gentle loving ways have left an indelible mark on my life. I could never forget all those happy Sundays at Holy Infancy. Thanks you for showing me so much kindness and love. you will always be a wonderful friend and role model.

  12. Louis Maurais says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine,
    We wish you the very best. I also send wishes from my mom who I know has cherished knowing you and having you as her dearest friend.
    My many memories of growing up have you in them and I’m blessed because of it.
    Love always,
    Julie & Louis

  13. Mary LaFountain says:

    Sweet memories from Lake Luzerne….HLSC, Fall Festival, and the joy you brought to Holy Infancy with joyous music. May this be a great birthday. …and many more.

  14. Sheryl says:

    Happy birthday, Mrs. R!
    WOW…I’ve known you “forever”…from the day my parents bought THE CABIN…and yes, I do remember that far back.
    I remember dinners at your home, all holding hands and saying grace and going around the table each saying something personal and special.
    I remember you taking me to church and putting me in the choir. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? It made no mind to you that I make dogs howl when I sing, you had me up front in church singing my heart out. To this day, my favorite, Lamb of God makes me smile a special smile.
    I remember your hugs when a scared young girl had her life turned upside down. I never forgot that kindness and still appreciate you “being there” for me.
    I wish you a very happy happy and many more. Sheryl

  15. Annie Racette says:

    Wow! How do I sum up how fantastic mom is? I love how she is so selfless, she is always making sure to keep up with the girls. She comes out for several days a couple times a year. There are so many acts of pure love I have seen from this fantastic woman. I will never forget when my twin sister died, and we had to burry her. She showed up on my door step, to help with Ella, and run errands so I could go to all the scheduled events. What she doesnt know, is that her being here with me helped get me thru the hardest time of my life. She helped pick me up from a deep depression, and was there to comfort me. I will never forget the love I felt in my heart just knowing she came all that way to help me on a moments notice. I just hope someday, I will be able to be there for her like she was to me. Happy Birthday to my mom, and my friend! I love you so much!

  16. Sue Koprucki says:

    Well, It’s your birthday! Ok, we know you’re older than me because I prefer to hang out with people older than me so that I appear to be younger… 🙂
    Anyway, I was blessed with you becoming part of my family when I married your cousin…. Now, some people have a terrible time feeling like a part of a family… not me… because I was blessed with you and a whole host of my hubby’s family who has always made me feel like I belonged. I remember the first time we went up to visit you and we stayed up till all hours talking at your kitchen table…… And we didn’t even really KNOW each other then! If your number comes up on the caller ID, I know not to grab the portable, but to get the phone near the sofa because it will be a time of sharing and love….. Love you, Cousin-In-Law…. Happy Birthday!
    P.s. I still remember when Matt was MORTIFIED that a GIRL was going to a BILLS GAME!

  17. David and Lisa Dean says:

    Happy Birthday Ms. Elaine. I want to add a note of thanks for the blessing you were to our family when you lead the Children’s Choir at CCC. Our daughter Cassie really fell in love with the Lord during that time and was encouraged that she could serve Him with her voice only because you took the time to praise a little girl. Love you and have the best Birthday Ever.

  18. Laura Goode says:

    Mrs. R.,

    No matter what mischief Debbie and I got into (which was plenty), you always forgave us, and always let me come back to your house, even after I almost burned it down putting a blanket over the light bulb. I have many happy memories of playing with Debbie and when you took us to the circus, but my most important memories come from you comforting me and treating me just like your own. I remember when I fell on the pitchfork at your house and you took me to the emergency room and took care of my foot until my parents came back. I also remember the terrible forest fire near my house and how scared I was and how Ward brought Karen and I to you and you comforted and reassured us until it was safe for us to go home. Thanks for always loving us and taking care of us as your own. Happy Birthday! I hope it is a great one!

  19. Nita Sycuro says:

    What to say about Elaine Racette? what is there NOT to say about Elaine!! What a big influence in my life. I was not one her students at school, but I was fortunate enough to have her as our choir director at Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne. What a great women she is. She really taught me alot. I love this woman like she was my own Mother. I think about her often & really enjoy seeing her when she gets back up north here to visit. elaine has a heart of gold. there is nothing this woman would not do for anyone. I thank God for her. I am so very fortunate that I know this women. I also used to babysit for her & her husband Don, who is also a wonderful person. their kids are great too!! Thank you, Elaine, for all the wonderful years we had together, I wish they never stopped!! I’m also sure you never found anyone who could play a tamborine like I did!!! May you have a great Birthday Elaine, you definetly deserve it. Just wish I could celebrate it with you!! thank you for being you!!Love always, and respectfully, Nita J. Sycuro

  20. Mark Petrie says:

    Happy Birthday to a woman that I always remember as having grace, being in style and always wearing a smile!

    PS You are no slouch in the child raising department either! You have raised a wonderful, strong and God-loving family!

  21. Nita Sycuro says:

    I would also like to say, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Elaine, Happy Birthday to you!!! and amny mmmmooorrreee!!!
    Enjoy the day…it’s ALL about YOU!!!!! !!
    Happy Birthday, Elaine!!
    Love ya, Nita

  22. Lisa Piercy says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine!! There are so many times I want to thank you for your time with the kids when you taught them to sing. I look at Madi (who is taller than me now) and think back to when she would sing in the choir and how wonderful all that was. Now she is wanting to sing on Broadway. What a cool thing for you to have imparted to our daughter, this love of singing. Thank you for all that you did for the kids and have the best Birthday ever!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Susan buczkowski says:

    Happy birthday Aunt Elaine! I love to think of you always up for an adventure, whether it be a road trip to visit your family or a Bills game with which ever die-hard fans in the family agree to go. Although I miss seeing you as frequently as we did years ago, it only makes getting together that much more special.
    Have a wonderful birthday! I send you hugs and kisses!


  24. Bob Koprucki says:

    Happy 25th birthday, Elaine!!! Haha…no seriously, you’ve seen and experienced so much in your lifetime: the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, the Civil War, just to mention a few. You are so loved, so have a wonderful birthday. You deserve the best.
    We love you,

  25. Nancy Kennedy says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine, Have a wonderful day and year. David and I will always remember you were one of his first music teachers with the children’s choir at church. Thank you for sharing your love of music with them and the Lord. It’s a blessing to see your smile on Sundays. I love you!!! Nancy

  26. Dave Covey says:

    Dear Mrs. R. . . .!!
    While I never had the opportunity to spend much time in your company, I have always felt as if I actually had. Now, that feeling must have radiated through Donna and Don as a result of your profound positive influence on both of them [and so many more], since they were the only links to you in my life. What amazing contributions you have made, Elaine! I can only hope that the love, understanding and guidance you have so selflessly given has come back to you many fold and that it will flourish within you forever. As they say here at Hedges Lake, “What a Girl!” God bless you! ….and, Happy Birthday! May you have many, many more! Dave

  27. Christine Doyle says:

    I want to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I have known you just about my whole life and you have always made me feel loved and welcomed in your home!! I’m so glad I was able to see you last year for your birthday!! You look absolutly wonderful and I’m so happy I’m able to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY after all these years!! Have a wonderful day!!!

  28. Denise Foster says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Racette! Growing up with Donna, yours was like a second home to me. I am forever grateful for the love, acceptance, and encouragement you gave me through those years. Your influence helped me become the person I am today. Enjoy your special day!

  29. John Manley says:

    Happy Birthday, Elaine! I hope that you have a wonderful day filled with the joy and happiness that you spread to everyone. Your birthday is a special day to enjoy! My best wishes to you on this special day!

  30. Dianne (Lama) Johnston says:

    Mrs. Racette;
    I have such amazing memories of you and growing up in “the villa”. You are an amazing woman of God & an amazing mom….Thank You so much for inspiring everyone who comes in contact with you to be a better person… Happy Birthday & God Bless !!!

  31. Monica Trella says:

    Happy Birthday Aunt Elaine! For as long as I can remember you have always been a loving, caring, joyous presence in my life, even if we didn’t get to see each other as often as we’d have liked. I’ve always cherished your great big hugs and your great big smile and your great big heart. I’m so glad to be a part of your family! Love you and miss you tons! Hope you have a great birthday… you deserve it!

    Love always,


  32. Karen Ulrich-Dekkers says:

    Hi Mrs. Racette,
    Happy birthday! I remember my mom being on the phone with you for hours (that was before I discovered my gift for gabbing) and thinking, let’s just go to their house, there was always something to do. I remember trick or treating with Donna when Heidi and Debbie were little- it was the best candy haul I ever had! And I remember your beautiful voice ,wonderful smile and pretty blue eyes. There were always hugs to be had. I wish you the best birthday and many more.

  33. Edie says:

    Happy Birthday!! You were always there and always opened your home to me when I was young. It meant everything to me. Now I’m all big and can really appreciate what you guys did for me. Mahalo for everything, and Aloha.

    Love you-

  34. Chuck Trella says:

    Dear Aunt Elaine – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Just a quick note on my way out to work to let you know that we’re thinking of you and wishing you the very best birthday ever. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you. Hope all is well and that your day will be a wonderful special day today. I’ll get Theresa and the kids to post something today.

    Love & Prayers,

  35. Donielle Bolton says:

    Mrs Racette,
    First and foremost, Happy Birthday! I still remember it like yesterday when you packed up and left the neighborhood. What a sad day-everyone should of been able to have a neighbor like you. You were always so welcoming and caring, no matter how many times my sister and I were in your back yard swimming in the pool. I think you for that!! I always wanted a pool and you gave that to me! haha. I still miss that smile you always gave when you walked outside and I was playing or the times when I knocked on your door for who knows what.
    I just want to say you deserve this speacial day for you! Happy Birthday!!!

  36. Kris says:

    I love you a ton, Babcia. Thank you for making me feel like a son since the day we met. You are the best! Happy Birthday!

  37. Mary Racette says:

    Although it been many years and many miles since we last met, you continue to be an amazing person. Enjoy your birthday!

  38. Nancy Carle says:

    Happy bithday Elaine!!! You are such a wonderful lady. Thank you for all the love you have given me over the years. Also thanks for all you have done with the kids at Christ Community Church!!! Have a great birthday and many more wonderful years. Love from Nancy.

  39. Pat Liebl says:

    We’ve so many happy memories of your life back here in Hadley. the most important ones of the prayer meetings at your house – so many lives were touched with the love of Jesus there! I absolutely loved singing in the choir – while I did not have a real singing voice and couldn’t even read music – you plunked out the alto part for me on your piano and I recorded it a played it all day long so that I would know my part. You probably don’t even remember that, but I do!
    Our daughter Wendy and her husband have just purchased a retirement home in Myrtle Beach, so I am going to say that we will see you one of these days when we get down there. Have a blessed and happy birthday
    Love, Pat!

  40. Ken Tubbs says:

    Mrs. Racette – Happy Birthday from a fellow Villa neighbor who used to love coming to your house to play basketball with Mark and friends. Thanks for your hospitality and providing us a safe place to have fun. Kenny Tubbs

  41. Angel Frantz McAllister says:

    Hope you have a very happy birthday and enjoy the surprise Donna created for you. She is an extraordinary lady (must take after her momma)! I know you are proud of your entire family. God Bless You Always!
    Live, Love & Laugh,

  42. Lainey Joy :) says:

    “Happy Birthday, Babcia!! I miss you and love you. I like playing games with you, like when we do the “My Name is Annie and my husband’s name is Albert game”. I like going to the beach with you. Thank you for visiting us and when we need your help.
    “Happy bee-day, Baba” (from Caroline)

  43. Enya says:

    Mrs. Elaine,
    You are truly a remarkable woman. I can remember back in the days when I was in the kid’s choir. You always made me feel so amazing and talented. I would hate to think of going through CCC without knowing you. To this day when I come home from school you always greet me with a hug and ask how I’ve been. I am blessed to have you in my life!

  44. Ella and Colleen says:

    We love our Babcia so much! We love to follow her around and “march march march” We have the best Babcia in the world and hate it when she has to leave to go home. Happy Birthday Babcia! We love you

  45. Dot says:

    I remember your Mom teaching music & we had the largest chorus ever because of her. Because she was so beautiful on the outside as well as having such inner beauty the guys swarmed to join & the girls loved her for her humor & sweetness. She is one truely sweet, funny, beautiful lady! Happy Birthday Elaine 🙂 Many great memories of you in HLCS!!

  46. Kelli Barron says:

    Happy, happy birthday, Mrs. Racette! I hope your birthday is as nice as you are!

  47. Peter Pete Peterson says:

    You are a very very lucky Mother to have a son like Mark! He is out working hard and wanted to have Me drop a few nice words to You on this special day. I could go on and on about how great a Mom and Babcia You are but the bottom line is the greatest gift that You and God bestowed upon us all was Your son Mark. The sacrifice that You gave day in and day out dealing with Donna and Debbie and all the headaches that came with them, only to come home to such a charming and delightful son like Mark puts You in the same class with Mother Teresa. I’m sure if He was writing this He would want say How great a Mom and Grandmother You are on a daily basis. God bless Your Pal Pete.

  48. Michael Kokoski says:


    You are a very special person as well as a very special Aunt, and Godmother, you will always be special in my heart, God loves you because of that.
    May your Birthday this year be a time never to forget.

    Mike K.

  49. Grant says:

    Happy birthday Grandma! I’m so happy you’re a part of my life. I’m so thankful for all the time I’ve spent with you and all you’ve taught me and I look forward to many more years to learn from your example about how to be kind, gentle, and open-hearted. I look forward to seeing you soon.

  50. Mark & Jane Burlinson says:

    Elaine – you are a remarkable example of the love of God, and we are honored to wish you a Happy Birthday. Just reading all these tributes is inspiring – we hope you know God’s affirmation and encouragement through the voices of your many friends and family. Have a great day!

  51. Nicole Barcomb says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Racette!!! You are such a special lady & truly deserve to have a special special birthday today! Best wishes from all of the Barcombs!

  52. Patti Polunci says:

    Hi Elaine,
    Can you believe that it has been 45 years since you, Don, Fran and John chaperoned my senior trip? Where have the years gone? I hope your day is filled with happiness and joy. And that you share the same warm memories of Hadley-Luzerne that I do. Happy Birthday!

  53. Denise Carella says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine!!!
    Just want you to know you are a special lady and I am so glad my mom had you for a friend for so many years!!! You are such a blessing in her life, unfortunately, now with her Alzheimer’s, she may not even remember your birthday so I am sending you a happy birthday from her, she would want that if she knew. I know that she loves you!!! and so do I!
    I’ll never forget how precious you ladies were at my wedding, you, Mary Lou and my mom singing and playing instruments, it was beautiful!
    Have a wonderful birthday filled with blessings, family and laughter!!


    Denise & Tom

  54. Shelly Ross says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Racette! You were such a nice teacher when i was in school. I had my ups and downs throughout my high school career however you never judged me. You were always so supportive and very caring. i always felt comfortable with you in the classroom. Thanks so much for that!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday, enjoy your day. take care

    Shelly Ross

  55. April Dyche says:

    Mrs. Racette,
    Thanks for giving birth to your daughter, Donna. She has turned out to be a wonderful woman and that doesn’t happen by accident. You sure did something right! I hope you have a blessed birthday! ~April Dyche (Donna’s old friend from Evangel)

  56. Shelly O'Keefe says:

    Happy Birthday Elaine, Dear Friend. I cherish the precious family we share and our friendship. Love you!

  57. Theresa Trella says:

    My mouth is watering thinking about that lasagne. You always made it for us whenever we came to visit – SO GOOD! Not as good as you, though. Your smile and sparkling blue eyes betray the joy of the Lord that just exudes from you. Your love is magnified because you are such a clear channel for His love and we all know it every time we see or talk to you. Thank you for being a light in my life and Happy Birthday, Aunt Elaine!

  58. Kate Spilllman (Grimes) says:

    Mrs. Racette (Elaine)
    We had to call you Mrs. Racette all the years you and I were at Hadley Luzerne School. You and Mr. Racette were a great inspiration for me when I was there. MORE THAN YOU KNOW. It would take a couple of pages to list all the wonderful things you did for me. Your smile and hugs were the best and I am truly grateful that you were part of my life and that we have connect again after all these years. Hope you had a wonderful day with your sweet family.

    God Bless,

  59. Elaine Racette says:

    Yesterday, May 3, (which is my birthday) my daughter Donna arranged for 59 wonderful people to post birthday wishes for me. You all have no idea how overwhelmed I have been. So many family members and friends posted the most touching messages. I have been in tears of joy as I remember each of you. How can I ever thank each and every one of you for being such a vital part of my life. Many messages were people from many years in my past and many were from people that I have met in the last few years. Thank you so much for loving me sooooooo much.

  60. Diane Barr says:

    Hi Elaine,
    I spent a lot of time with your daughter in the past. You once told me some very special things about your relationship with her, that I used in mine and my daughter’s. Those words made our life together, what I think it ought to be. Thanks to you. You touched our lives in a very big way! Thank you for those words of advice.
    You’ve probably forgotten that conversation, but maybe one day we can talk about it.
    I can tell that you were true to those words in raising you own.
    You are a very special lady and…
    it’s good to know that we share the same birthday, May 3rd.
    You are a beautiful lady and have a beautiful family. I’m glad to be a part of it.
    Happy Birthday, Elaine!!!

  61. David Philips says:

    To my first “Second Mom”,

    I am so sorry that I am late to add a note, but you mean too much to me to let this week go by without saying something. I don’t even know where to start – so many memories and emotions that are overwhelming in the best way possible. All the time I spent with Mark & Donna, Ruffles, Mr. Racette, Debbie and you. The climbing set, swing set, the wooden fence, garage roof, and later the pool. Who can forget the “spot” in front of that side fence where Mark and I played so often. The sleepovers, weekends, and many, many dinners. Didn’t Mom get the “Sausage Surprise” recipe from you? The famous “Wizard of Oz” showings, and watching movies in the basement. The school events and times at Holy Infancy in the Seventies. Through the numerous good times and the bad times too, you were always there. I never will forget one night you comforted me because of a nightmare while sleeping in Mark’s room, or your beautiful rendition of “Ava Maria” at my grandpa’s funeral. You will always remain in a special place in my heart! Love, David

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