Sunday is one of the most deserving holidays celebrated. I’ve known no one longer and I’m grateful to call you Mom. You not only gave me life (and a college education), you also provided the compass to help me navigate the last 54 years.
Jenny, Jamie, Jeremy and I want you to know how much we love and appreciate you. It isn’t said enough, but you did a wonderful job raising the four of us. You and Dad provided us the quintessential loving southern middleclass family life.
You gave us the opportunity to succeed. You were involved. Taught lessons by example. I’ve always so appreciated your support, encouragement and honesty.
Though it probably felt like refereeing a WWF wrestling match, you managed to keep our family on track and intact.
You’ve never met a stranger. You touched so many lives as a teacher; I couldn’t even tell you who my first grade teacher was, but as testament to your devotion former students from decades ago continue to reach out to you to this day. You are on a first-name basis with your garbagemen and used to have Mormon missionaries over for homecooked dinners.
You were there. Always driving a station wagon and shuffling kids to and from practices and Cub Scouts. Spending late nights helping with school projects and typing papers and worrying in the wee hours of a weekend morning because one of us has yet to make it home.
You were the mother of the groom several more times than you expected, but you took it in stride and I finally got it right. You’ve been blessed to be Nana to ten grandchildren and have a wonderful network of close friends.
Life growing up was rich, even if we weren’t. I have wonderful memories of churning ice cream in the backyard and family wiffleball games. A gerbil always loose in the house. The late nights at the baseball park and the first whiff of the Gulf salt breeze as we made our way south down a dark two-lane Highway 59 every spring break. We’ve been to a World Series and seen Elvis together. We’ve shared both laughter and heartbreak. We are mother and son.
One of my most treasured gifts is the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” that you gave me after a particularly difficult 1994 with the inscription, “A new beginning – the future holds great things for you! I love you! Mom”
The last few years haven’t been easy, but you have persevered and now I find myself telling you that it’s never too late for new beginnings – the future holds great things for you!
I love you!