My mother has been a central mentor in my life. When I go back to my childhood and start thinking about grade school, middle school, high school, and college, it’s my mom. Throughout my childhood, my dad was in the Korean War and in and out of VA hospitals. My mom provided for my sister and I, and we spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I think back to how she just took care of us. She would clean homes and babysit for people all the way from Cleveland County to Catawba County. And when I was in 5th grade, she started working for PPG. She worked there from morning to noon and from evening to midnight, and I never heard her complain.
I’ve seen her go through challenges in her life, but she always made sure we had what we needed for school (including the best encyclopedia), and not once did she fail to provide for my sister and I. At the time, I didn’t realize that that was unconditional love at a high, high level.
She taught us how to clean the house (the fresh smell of Pinesol filling the air), how to wash clothes (when I was in the 3rd grade), and how to iron, but the main thing she taught us was how to do things for yourself. That’s why now I’m a stickler for having jumpers learn to clean up.
She taught us how to be self-reliant and emphasized the importance of treating people the way you want to be treated. From her example, I learned how to work with people from all walks of life. During sporting events, even if the officials were unfair, she would say not to complain. Do your job and work hard for your team, it will always work out.
Things will always work out.
Now, I try to do everything I can to make sure she’s not wanting for anything. If I ever miss a practice, it’s likely to make sure she’s okay–whatever she needs, she gets. She’s special. There’s no one like mom.