Theresan Guiney’s children still have a hard time believing one woman could raise a family with the love and compassion she did.
A pediatric nurse by trade, she took care of each and every one of them with unconditional love, unwavering support and an uncommon patience over the course of their decades worth of shenanigans.
She stuck by all five of them through the inevitable hardships along the way and gave them the leash they needed to be the best, most independent versions of themselves they could be. She and her husband Bob fought together for the same cause and succeeded because it was their biggest priority in life.
Bobby, Choquette, Therese, Christy and Stephanie now have families of their own and a grand total of 13 of Theresan’s grandchildren.
They can appreciate now more than ever how difficult it was for their mom to strike the balance she did. She was tough but supportive, hands-on when she needed to be while also giving her kids the freedom to make their own choices.
“I learned from her to 100 percent support your children, not try to make them something you want them to be, but let them grow into themselves,” Christy said. “It took me 40 years to realize that. When I had children, I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe what she’s done for us.’”
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The same can be said for her husband, Bob, her grandchildren and all her friends.
Theresan maintains a focus on faith, family, friendships and a balance to life where they can all coexist. Though the menu changed over the years, she always had dinner prepared for her family, a nightly tradition for time to share stories.
She was always the mother and wife who would do anything for her family, but who also sought an identity of her own through tennis, gardening, golf outings and spending time with friends.
Choquette can think of no better phrase to sum up her mother’s belief that working hard, being healthy and doing the right things all set the stage for life’s best moments. She even sees herself borrowing her mom’s words once in a while.
“I have learned so many things from my mom,” she said. “The first thing that comes to mind is one of the things she would say: ‘Sometimes you have to push yourself to have a little fun.’ It was always said with love and encouragement and usually when I was tired or lacking self-confidence. Of course, she is right every time. My friends, husband and children now all know the saying and typically help me finish with ‘… to have a little fun.’”
Stephanie points to another favorite line of her mother’s that points to how well she walked the line between supporting and empowering the kids. She was there to help, but trusted them to make their own choices.
“She teaches us to be independent and is the best role model for how to listen,” Stephanie said. “My favorite saying of hers is, ‘You will figure it out.’ She is the mother of four very strong women and always supports our decisions. She is patient as a mother and friend and is always so sweet and angelic.”
That patience is beyond Therese’s comprehension, and so is her ability to guide them without judging or criticizing. Her mom’s support in times of need has meant the world to her, and it’s a gift she now tries to share with her own children.
Theresan continues to be a huge part of her daughter’s parenting journey and is a sounding board any time Therese needs guidance.
“Mom, you are such a great role model,” her daughter Therese said. “You have helped me become the mom I am today by sharing your love of babies and your love of family. I am so thankful for you listening to me through my tough times raising a family. You have given me advice, strength and the love I need to be the person I am and to help me raise well-rounded children.
“You were there for me when I needed someone to listen and to promise me everything will be OK. You have helped me become the person I am today, and I am proud to be your daughter.”
Theresan made sacrifice after sacrifice to raise her family and always took that responsibility seriously.
Life hasn’t always been easy, but she has plowed through it with a positive attitude and an ironclad work ethic. In doing so, she has made a huge impact on her family and taught her kids with her own shining example.
Bobby has come to appreciate more than ever how rare and special his mom is for all she does for her family. He knows she could have done just about anything with her life, but instead chose to be an incredible mother.
“I am unbelievably lucky to have such a loving mother,” he said. “ I was fortunate to receive her love, compassion and friendship that at times I did not deserve. She has been a fantastic matriarch to the family, guiding us when needed, resolving disputes and making sure that we all knew family is No. 1.”