Astronaut's Mother's Day message from space: 'Distance doesn't change' love
Astronaut Cady Coleman, shown here with a space station robot, has been in space for the past five months.
May 8th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Astronaut's Mother's Day message from space: 'Distance doesn't change' love

Cady Coleman is like many moms, unfortunately spending Mother’s Day away from her family.  But unlike the others, Coleman is an astronaut on the international space station, orbiting 220 miles above the Earth.

She’s the only woman on board.  Hopefully, the boys up there gave her Sunday off.  Usually each crew member gets one day a week to chill.

Coleman may be an astronaut, but first and foremost she is a mom.  Cady sent me an e-mail a few days back. I could tell she was just beaming while writing about how her 10-year-old son, Jamey, had struck out three batters in one inning in his Little League game.

She just sent me this message telling me what it has been like up there, the work she is doing and why it is so important, and her feelings on being so far away on this day.  So now, in her words:

“Being a mom is special, and distance doesn’t change the bond we have with those we love.  It never goes away, even when you leave the planet for a few months!  It seems like just yesterday that Paolo Nespoli, Dmitry Kondratyev and I strapped ourselves into a frozen and creaking Russian Soyuz rocket, and were launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.   For the past five months, I’ve made the International Space Station (ISS) my home in low earth orbit, circling our Earth 16 times every single day at 17,500 miles per hour.  From 200 miles above the earth, my husband Josh and sons Jamey and Josiah seem both close  and far.

"I get to talk to my family almost every day via an internet protocol phone, and once a week we get to see each other on a video conference.  I still miss lots of important events and occasions, but thanks to Josh, Jamey writes a short journal entry almost every day.  Josh sends it to me and I love to hear about life from the perspective of a 10 year old.  Jamey is fond of a cartoon where a small boy and a tiger share adventures and get themselves into all sorts of mischief.

"I brought a small stuffed tiger up here with me and I take photos for Jamey so that he can relate to what his Mom does on the space station.  From the tiger’s perspective, there is a lot of great trouble to get into here on the ISS!

"Life in our ‘zero gravity’ world on the ISS is fascinating.  We talk about floating around, but really we get to fly from place to place.  It is just like Peter Pan, except that we are grownups!  This place brings out the child in all of us, and it is a nice reminder to me to treasure the things and the people that touch my heart.

"I love looking out the window at our Earth  a fragile oasis in a busy universe.  When I see the places that I know – the places where my family lives  it makes me feel closer to them, although still a bit wistful and lonely when I see those places recede over the horizon.

"It was hard for me to go so far away, but I’m hoping that I set an example for my child and others to follow their dreams.  My family knows that I love the work that I am doing up here, and that I think it is important enough to be gone from home for so long.

"Today as I look down at our beautiful Earth, I think of mothers everywhere and realize that we are all of one family.  I am not the only one who is farther from their loved ones than they would wish to be.  Today we celebrate those women who are supporting their families, following their dreams and making a difference, and we thank all of them.

"I’d especially like to thank the women who serve our countries in jobs that keep them from home on holidays like this one.

"Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, step mom, mother-in-law and to moms everywhere.”

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Filed under: Shuttle • Space
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. bob

    wow that is harsh to say all of you guys that have posted nice

    May 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robby

      Another mom who isn't home for Mothers Day. Her CHOICE.

      May 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Melanie

    Many woman CHOOSE to drop their kids at the day care center instead of raising them. Pretty sad. There are also a lot of women who have absolutely NO CHOICE to stay at home. Who couldn't feel bad for them. I think these comments are directed towards the ones who HAVE A CHOICE to stay at home - and then decide (e.g., CHOOSE) to chase the almighty dollar instead of raising the child that they brought into the world. Pretty sad.

    May 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tony gay

    I think it's pretty cool that she's an astronout I wish my mom was one! And if u show this post on one of ur student news shows I could get a 100 on my final in my 3rd period amercan government class:)

    May 8, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wordsar


      May 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NS

    bad hair day?

    May 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linari

    Anne, you are spewing the most hating vitriolic garbage I have heard in a long time. I hope you are not teaching this kind of bs to your kids, because it sounds like they would take drugs just to escape your version of reality. Not to mention that you would never make a good lawyer, because you would argue YOUR pov and not the letter of the law. In a nutshell, you are a beotch. Although you may have seen your childs first steps, you are a person who would trip them just to keep them from running away from you. I hope you can keep your kids around, because I have the feeling that they'll be running away as soon as they can. Your inelegant arguments just show what a self-indulgent, self absorbed kind of woman you are. Do you by chance have a show on Bravo that's called "The Real Housewives Of...."?

    May 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robby

      Lenari - not sure where you get off thinking your POV is better than anyone else. She's just expressing her opinion. Suonds to me like you feel guilty yourself! LMAO!

      May 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Linari

    Robby: the name is Linari. And I'm expressing mine. I have nothing to feel guilty about, either, as I have done my job with my children, and done it well. Not sure where you get off lambasting me for giving my own pov, though I give you props for even knowing what that is. LMAO!

    May 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @Linari. Lambasting? Nice

    May 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Linari

    @Cesar: you like that word? I do.

    May 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    @Linari, excellent word

    May 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wordsar


      May 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar


    May 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
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