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April 30, 2013

“Celebrating Mom: The Life, The Love, and The Legacy” May 4

By Sandra J. Pennecke
Virginian-Pilot correspondent


While some people are still blessed with the presence of their mothers for the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, many locals must instead take the time to remember them.

Thanks to Brenda Cobb, an event now in its fourth year will allow people without living mothers to share their memories from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4.

“The role mothers have in someone’s life is so impactable on life’s journey,” said Cobb.

A social worker and community liaison for Interim Healthcare, Cobb works with hospices and has watched firsthand how the loss of a mother – or anyone – affects those left behind.

Cobb started “Celebrating Mom: The Life, the Love, and The Legacy” in 2010. She said the idea came to her from nowhere one day.

“I was shocked and thought I won’t be good at this,” said Cobb, whose mother is still living.

The event has turned into a much-loved and well-attended one by many in the community.

The first year, Cobb said there were about 55 attendees. Last year, more than 100 signed up.

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” said Cobb. “It’s a celebratory place and time where they can feel safe to talk about their mothers.”

Each year, Cobb incorporates a symbolic theme people often relate to mothers, such as pearls, a mirror-shaped purse, old-fashioned clock and others.

“I try to give them something to remember the event by,” said Cobb, who has also collected many door prizes.

During the event, which is held in the Tradewinds room of the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Convention Center overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, participants are welcome to share in “tea time stories” or memories of their mother, moments of gratitude, songs, poetry and more.

Last year, Cobb also incorporated celebrating fathers into the event and plans to alternate each year.

Diane Carvalho, of Town Center, experienced both sides of attending the event – while her mother was still alive and then the year after she died.

Carvalho, who has known Cobb for many years, supported her friend and colleague. She suffered the loss of her 84-year-old mother, Lucy Siebert, two and a half years ago.

“She was an amazing mother; very loving, always putting her children before herself,” Carvalho said.

Admittedly, Carvalho said walking into the event after her mother’s death was extremely difficult.

“But, people spoke from the depths of their heart, they laughed and they cried together,” she said “I left with happiness in my heart and realized that I needed that event even more than ever after she passed away.”

 “Celebrating Mom: The Life, The Love, and The Legacy,” presented by Interim Healthcare, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4 at Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Convention Center, 2800 Shore Drive. The cost is free, but registration is required by April 27 to Brenda Cobb at 646-2891.

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