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SARATOGA SPRINGS –Mother’s Day: a holiday dedicated to celebrating motherhood and the unconditional love (and life) our mothers gave to us. It’s a joy when we are able to spend the day with our mothers, allowing us to show them how much they are cherished and appreciated.

For Joan Hoeft, she feels the Mother’s Day love three-fold. Hoeft, who lives in Woodlawn Commons at the Wesley Community, gets to spend her special day with her daughter, Kris Mikeska, granddaughter, Meg Porto, and great-granddaughter, Lucia, who is just nine-months old.

“It’s a huge blessing,” said Porto, who just became a mom last summer. “Family is everything to us.”

This four generation family is incredibly close and stays busy by spending a lot of time together. Though Mikeska and Porto live further north, they make the drive down to Wesley at least three times a week to visit and do all their favorite things – from enjoying meals together to shopping on Broadway.

“It’s pretty cute when we go out – Mom has her walker and Lucia’s with her stroller,” said Mikeska. “We always have people stop and say how special it is that we’re all together.”

Over the years, Hoeft has taught Mikeska and Porto a lot about what it means to be a mom, handing down traditions and values her own mother taught her.

“My father died when I was just a baby,” said Hoeft. “My mother had to take care of me on her own. It was hard on her. She rented out all of our house but three rooms, which is where we lived.”

Hoeft helped her mom a lot when she was a kid, for example going grocery shopping on her bicycle because they didn’t have a vehicle. Through her mom, Hoesk learned the meaning of hard work and sacrificing for your child.

“They depended on each other,” added Mikeska. “They worked as a team. A mother-daughter team.”

Unlike her mom, Hoeft had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, and Mikeska and Porto followed in her footsteps, making motherhood their full-time career.

“I’ve definitely learned my values from them,” said Mikeska about her mom and her grandmother. “Values like honesty and always being there for each other. Family traditions are huge for us. It’s all about being together.”

Porto feels the same way, knowing that if she has a question about being a new mom, she can always rely on her mom and grandmother for help.

“It’s very reassuring that if I don’t have the answer, one of them will,” said Porto. “From day one, I have always felt so supported. All of their advice is something I truly take to heart. It’s not always spoken either; I’ve learned so much by their example.”

This will be Porto’s first Mother’s Day with her daughter Lucia in the family; it will be a true celebration of a family’s growing legacy.

“Mother’s Day just makes you feel good – it’s a celebration of having children,” said Hoesk, looking lovingly at her great-granddaughter cooing in her granddaughter’s lap. “The most rewarding part is when they keep growing up, then they get married, then they have babies of their own, and you just feel a part of it all. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

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