My mother, my hero
Dear Readers: This column was originally published on May 9, 2017. It is one of my favorites and I share it again today in memory of my mom.
Sunday is Motherís Day. For some of you readers, it will be a day to celebrate and honor your mothers by spending some time with them. There will be flowers, special meals and time spent together.
For others, and for me, it will be a day to remember the mothers that we canít spend the day with ó weíll celebrate and honor our moms, too, but weíll have to do it more quietly, in our hearts.
My mother has been gone more than 12 years now, and still I think of her each day. Iím nearly 50 years old now, a grandfather, and still there are times when I wish I could ask her for guidance.
My mother was the smartest person I have ever known. She was book-smart, despite having just an eighth-grade education. She loved to learn new things and she learned them quickly. But Mom was also smart in ways that were often more practical. She understood people and had a keen sense of which ones shouldnít be trusted.
Mom also had a razor-sharp wit, which ironically she displayed most often when she was angry. I can remember many times when my brothers or I would be in trouble for some sort of mischief and Mom would say something so sarcastic and so funny that we wanted to burst out laughing. We learned pretty quickly not to do that, though, because she didnít find it amusing.
She could be tough, and she was not a believer in sparing the rod. I wasnít there to witness it, but one of the enduring legends of my mother was the time my brothers, horse-playing in the back seat, hit her in the back of the head with a Frisbee while she was driving on a busy city street. Justice was swift and severe: Mom pulled the car over and administered what some folks refer to as corporal punishment. Iím pretty sure my brothersí backsides are still a little tender.
More than anything, though, my mother was the glue that held our family together. And there was absolutely nothing she wouldnít do to protect and provide for my brothers and me.
When I first got the idea that I might be interested in writing for a newspaper, it was my mom who took my handwritten stories and typed them into neat, double-spaced pages. It was my mom who made a 50-mile round trip each week so I could deliver those neatly typed pages to the editor of the little weekly newspaper where I first got paid for my work.
It was my mom who encouraged me. It was my mom who believed in me. It was my mom who was there for me, always.
My mother was three months shy of 15 years old when I was born. She was three weeks past 50 when she drew her last breath on a cold January morning in 2005.
Iíll remember my mom on Sunday, like I do every day. Iíll think about what it might be like if she were still with us. Iíll think about how much she would adore her great-grandchildren. Iíll allow myself a few minutes of sadness that I canít celebrate the day with her.
But then Iíll remember how blessed I am to be her son. Iíll remember that as long as I have precious memories of the kind of person she was, sheíll never truly be gone. Iíll remember the inscription at the bottom of the headstone she shares with my dad: ďIn our hearts, youíll always be.Ē
Brenda June Cullum Loftis
Dec. 30, 1954-Jan. 19, 2005