Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Mom, the Mayor

The first call I made today was to my mother. Mom lives in Colorado, so I had to wait until at least 8:00 a.m. my time to call her. Of course, she was already out of bed by the time I called. She had already greeted the day with the words with which she begins every day, "Good Morning, God" or "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

My mother is a remarkable woman. She is quite easy to celebrate on this day. I cannot thank her enough for the sacrifices she has made for my sister and me. I cannot thank her enough for the self-confidence she instilled in me or the lessons she has taught me.

When my parents split, Mom did everything she could to make sure that my sister and I were not impacted any more than we had to be. She not only taught a full course load at a local college, she taught an overload of courses and then worked at a clothing store at the local mall so that we could enjoy a 40% discount.

I have no idea how Mom afforded to send me on a trip to England in the 9th grade or how she afforded the sorority bills when I was in college. I am not sure how she did it all - but I do know that she always put the needs of her daughters before anything else.

When I graduated from college in 1993, Mom decided it was time for her to do something new. It was time for her to start life over again. She had gotten us both through school with free tuition and room since she was a professor. She had worked as hard as she could. Now it was time for her to get a restart on life. She did a nationwide job search through a national publication on education and ended up getting a job as a dean at a community college in Southeastern, Colorado. She moved to what seemed to me the middle of nowhere, taking a job in a town where she knew no one. And, she has flourished. She made a difference on the students at the school there just as she had done before. She developed friends immediately. She got involved in a church. She met an amazing man and remarried. She opened a small business. And she ran for mayor.

People sometimes wonder where I got the courage to do what I do. They wonder how I have been blessed to have so many opportunities in life. They ask where my independence comes from or my motivation to take on any challenge.

Thanks, Mom, for all that you have given to me, all that you have taught me, and the ways in which you have always loved me. I am so proud of my mom, the Mayor.

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