Meet Nana. Now, that’s not her real name, but that’s what we all call her now. With 5 older brothers and a younger sister, Nana never really got rid of us. By the time my sister was graduating, my older brother was already having kids. She didn’t seem to mind, she really enjoys being Nana.

Like most kids growing up, I really took what she was teaching me for granted. Well, I now know it was teaching… back then I just thought she was using me for slave labor. But it really was mom who taught me how to take care of myself when I finally moved out on my own.

Outside of everything she did for me growing up, the thing I will always remember about her is how she was my rock when I really should have been hers. (She’ll tell you I was… but it never felt like it to me)

Joey Dee

I live with Crohn’s Disease. It’s been an ongoing battle for me since 2005. Fast forward to October 2009. After throwing everything imaginable at the disease, doctors came to the conclusion that the only course of action was for me to have surgery to cut out the disease.

My mother drove me to the hospital that morning and sat in the lobby with brother and father while I was under the knife. While sitting there, she pulled a pink rubber ducky with a pink ribbon on it out of her pocket and set it on the table in front of my brother. That’s how she told my brother. Just 2 days before, her doctor told her that she had breast cancer. She didn't wait, scheduling her surgery for the earliest point she could, just a week after mine. I was in the hospital for 3 days with that surgery. During that time, she told the rest of the family, but not me or my wife. She didn't want anything to distract me from my own recovery. I found out a couple nights after getting home.

My family is very competitive. If there’s a way to turn it into a competition, we’ll do it. There’s rarely a game that doesn't end with someone screaming some expletive at the other, then laughing. We've always driven each other to success. It was out of that competitive spirit that we laid down the ultimate competition with each other. We would race each other back to health.

Joey Dee

It wasn't even close… Nana is now cancer free, and I still battle. But I know I’m doing better than I would be because we kept pushing each other, and she still keeps me in check with keeping on top of what I should be doing.

I’ll always remember that. The one time that a mother should have her son to be her rock, she was still being a mother.

With Mother’s Day this week, I wanted to take each day to tell you about the mothers that mean the most to me. Each day, I will talk about one of the many Mothers in my life, and just how much I appreciate them