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Published May 12, 2012, 11:30 PM

Mother guides half-dozen with ‘unquestioning support’

FARGO – Life in a larger family can lend itself to a bumpy ride at times, according to Daniel Jacobson, self-proclaimed 50-year-old “baby” of six children.

FARGO – Life in a larger family can lend itself to a bumpy ride at times, according to Daniel Jacobson, self-proclaimed 50-year-old “baby” of six children.

But with mothers like his at the helm, the ride can turn not only tolerable, but enjoyable.

“She was always there with unquestioning support,” he says of his mother, Peggy, adding that she’s been a steady presence throughout his life, leading by example with a mix of solid morals and compassion for others.

Even in her role as stay-at-home mom, he says, his mother always made sure her kids knew it was her choice, and not an automatic expectation they should have of women. “She taught us to be responsible for ourselves.”

What’s most pronounced about his mother, he says, is how she has always put everyone else’s needs before her own.

When his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia, she assumed responsibility for all his medical appointments, driving and general personal care, as well as the usual upkeep at home, all while suffering from several ailments herself.

“My mom went through a major heart surgery several years ago and continued to be there for all the rest of us as well, and barely lost a step,” Daniel says. “When my dad passed away my mom finally went in and took care of her own medical needs.”

During this time, she had a complete knee replacement and suffered a heart attack, yet “fought through it all and still was up and walking well ahead of the expected time frame,” he says.

Because of the constant caring she bestowed on her children through the years, Daniel says it was easy to make the decision to give back when his mother, now 83, began to struggle physically about a year ago.

Currently, she lives with Daniel and the youngest of his three sons, 12-year-old Dylan.

One of the cool things about the arrangement, he says, is that his mother will sit down with her grandson and watch a movie that appeals to his age group, entering his young world in order to maintain a connection. “It forces her to watch something she wouldn’t have considered otherwise.”

Peggy just celebrated her birthday. “So combined with Mother’s Day I would like to send her a double-dose of thanks and love,” Daniel says.

“Without people like my mom and dad in my life I know I would have become much less of a person myself. My mom has created an atmosphere of caring and love that I can only hope my kids see in me as well and continue to pass along as a legacy to others in their lives.”

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