Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom and dad a man ever had

I just had one of my best days in a long time, yet somehow it feels empty.

Spending a sunny Mother’s Day at the beach with my wife and daughter and friends was a refreshing retreat from the cool and rainy weekends we’ve had all spring. But it was about the 10th year in a row I’ve spent the special day without seeing my mom.

Distance, time and the real world have kept me from visiting her in Tennessee, and I really don’t want her and my stepfather taking their annual vacation to Myrtle Beach in the middle of Bike Week. They prefer the early fall, which is the best time of year for peace and tranquility, but it also means another Mother’s Day without my mom.

She’s a special lady in so many ways, but what makes her such a great mother is that she was also a great father. After mine split when I was 5, she played the dual role of both loving mother and disciplinarian/provider. Only after becoming a father myself do I understand the difficulties she faced raising my two sisters and I alone.

And not just the basic stuff like food and shelter, which was tough enough for a single mother in the ’70s. Her ability to make a delicious home-cooked meal from an empty cupboard still amazes me to this day, and she successfully prevented us from feeling like we were poor. That was the maximum I would have expected from her.

But she went above and beyond, like some sort of Super Mom. She was  the leader of my sisters’ Girl Scout Troop, was the team mom for most of my sports teams and always delivered a plate of homemade goodies for the school parties. I must have played hundreds of games during my youth sports days and I can count the number she missed on one finger – one.

But that’s not to say she was soft, not by any means. We were raised to say “Yes sir” and “NO Ma’am,” “Thank you” and “Please” … but not much else. In fact, we weren’t allowed to say some things that aren’t even dirty words, like “hate” and “lie.” Break the code and she “will knock your head off in two seconds.” I never tested her timing.

As one of 12 children in her family, kids were to be seen and not heard, which is what made her job of raising me right was such a chore. Believe it or not, I’ve got a bit of a mouth (No, really). She had to endure my endless curiousity about everything. On church collection plates: “So how does God get the money?” We eventually stopped going.

Mom was loving and caring when she could be but tough and demanded when she needed to be. She expected our best at everything we tried. There was no reward for all A’s on a report card; that’s what you’re supposed to get. In sports, she didn’t care how well we played, only that we hustled and tried our hardest. Over the din of louder parents, I could hear her voice if I wasn’t hustling, and I still hear it today.

So even though I didn’t get to spend the day with her, I feel like she’s with me every day. I still try my best to instill the values in my daughter that Mom instill in me (although I’m a little more relaxed on the language). She is the best mother and father a man ever had.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you!

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2 responses to “Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom and dad a man ever had”

  1. Janice Turner says:

    Hey “BUZZ”…………You know that I am your BIGGEST FAN!!!

    Well, yall know I am just squawling………………….How precious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are such a good man and daddy…………..I think that Bodenham / Choates Creek blood is still running through your veins!!! ha!!

    And moma never let us say HATE or Lie or someone was a LIAR……….or a fool or foolish………….

    I still can’t say those words today without looking over my shoulder……………..I can just feel that “2 second rule” right behind me!!!!!!!!! Those Brown Girls mean what they say!!! LOL!!!

    Now I have messed up my glasses with tears…………

    Love you Cuz!!!!

    The OTHER Buzz……….

  2. Joyce Willoughby says:

    Terry, I cried reading your article about Nita. What a wonderful son you are and what a great Mother you have. She is the best. You make her proud .

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