Words do not express how much my mother did for me or the life lessons she taught me. She was comfortable with where she was, who she was, and the choices she made. If she made a bad choice, she lived with it and moved on.
My mother was born and raised in far southwest Virginia; she was a twin and the youngest of 4 children born. Her parents had both served in WWII, her father in Europe and her mother as a nurse here in the states. They didn’t have much money or did they have much in the way of opportunities. The struggled along and stuck together. One day her older brother brought home a friend. She fell in love and quit high school in 9th grade. This turned out to be my father. After a couple of years my parents moved to Williamsburg followed by Richmond. My father had taken a job in accounting and they were living in the “big city.”
Over the years, my parents had three boys. My dad worked long hours and then ran a business on the side. My mom worked from the house doing small jobs, whatever she needed to do to make ends meet. I know it was hard taking care of the house, three boys, and trying to work on the side for a little extra money.
I remember her taking a job doing phone surveys. It didn’t pay well, but she could do it from home at night or while we were at school. She hated that job; people were rude to her, said terrible things to her. She never lashed back at them and only showed compassion to others.
One Sunday morning, I woke up to find my parents and older brother sitting at the breakfast table. I knew something was wrong when I entered the room. He had gotten into trouble with the police. I could see she was furious with him. But instead of screaming and passing judgment on him, she calmly asked questions to find out what had happened and what he had done.
When I was a very rebellious teenager, she was able to balance the fine line of supporting me but also pressuring me to do things to get ahead. She often told us how she wanted us to have a better education than she did. She talked about a lack of opportunities she had due to her lack of education.
I think she was so well liked by all of our friends because she really was a big kid. All the kids the neighborhood used to hang out at our place and even the kids at school all liked her.
When my mom passed away suddenly in 1997, it was devastating and still is today. I miss her so much and wish I could have had her guidance during good and bad times
There are so many amazing women out there, thank a mother, step mother, god mother, grandmother, your aunt, or a woman who made a positive impact on your life. Cherish the time you have together.