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Realizing that in the great shift of how we were doing things as a company over the last week caused me to overlook more than one thing that I should not have, the one that stands out the most is that I failed to write a Mother’s Day column.
It wasn’t that I actually forgot; I didn’t. The right frame of mind just wasn’t there with everything else chaotic we had going on in our lives.
The blending of the papers, the moving our residence from the farm to next to my mother, where to put several years worth of accumulated “stuff” in a smaller space, end of the school year stuff and a Sweet 16 party — all rolled into two short weeks — now that is what you call chaos.
So as I sit here surrounded by boxes waiting to be unpacked, there was a knock at the door. It was my mother, who asked if we needed help with anything — on Mother’s Day.
Wait a minute; shouldn’t I be the one asking that question? Yes, I should have been the one asking that question, but if your mom is anything like mine, then you know why it was the other way around.
Every generation of mothers in my family who I have been privileged enough to know have all been the same; caregivers, listeners, advice givers, snack makers, chicken cookers, cleaners of the laundry, shoulders to cry on, drivers of the family taxi, and oh, yeah — the driving force that stands behind us when we fall and yells over the crowd in a voice only we can hear: “Get up and finish the race!”
While the other mom stuff is great, it’s that last one that truly makes us who we are and dictates how we handle life. Not the snacks or the laundry, but the support system that says “I’ve got your back no matter what,” followed by “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”
Don’t get me wrong, dads are great for teaching the grit of life, how to survive, how to provide for a family, work ethic and so on; but Mom teaches us how to live life, how to devote your life to God and how we are supposed to treat our significant other when times get rough — and she is there to put us back in line as adults if we fail at any of it.
From “Clean your room” as a kid to “You need to get yourself right with Jesus” as an adult, Mom is always there for us through thick and thin. When we are at the top of the mountain in victory, hers is the voice we hear over the crowd. When we are on our knees in defeat; her hand is the one that pulls us to our feet.
Even when moms have gone on to the next life, they are still here, cheering wildly for us. Sometimes I swear I hear my grandmother’s voice on the wind giving me guidance, so I know she is still here. Moms are our biggest cheerleaders and our biggest fans. Without them we crumble and fail, period.
So to all the moms out there, albeit a few days late; whether you have one child or 20, whether they have two legs or four; know that we appreciate you and what you went through to give us the best life possible as children so we could do the same for our own families as adults. Happy Mother’s Day.
Mark Cone is founder of the Southern Nash News, whose print edition merged with The Enterprise this week.