To all women who have had children, adopted children or simply children in love, no matter who gave birth to them, God bless you and thank you.
Sunday, March 8 is that special day set aside this year to honor and celebrate motherhood in particular. Mothers, as we know, come in all shapes and sizes. They are most often the first person to whom doctors give this new little life, the first kiss on the cheek or on the forehead, the first warm embrace, the first “I love you” pronounced close to the ears of a new -born comes from our mothers.
We simply cannot say enough to praise the role mothers play in our lives; nor are there enough words in the English language to describe a mother’s love for the little ones she gives birth to or adopts or the vital role she plays throughout the life of a child, regardless of lifespan.
Mothers hold us in their arms and on their knees when we are small, then they hold our hands when we are all grown up. They feed us when we scrape our knees or scratch chicken pox and they teach us daily to say “thank you” or “I’m sorry” or, more importantly, “I love you”. Women have babies by conception, others by surrogacy, others by adoption and many love children no matter how they got here or who their parents are. This maternal love can also be felt throughout our lives, often through a teacher, nurse, coach, mentor, or the friendship of a friend’s mom. ; this unique relationship is also warm, comforting and eternal.
A woman’s love for her children is precious, it’s that natural instinct to protect, cherish and always have (or make time for) her child, no matter what. She is the center of a family. She was the one who as a child usually sat by our bedside, checked our temperature, administered Vick’s VapoRub, and prayed to God for our healing. It is often to her that we impulsively cry out first when we are hurt or frightened and that we call for advice or comfort when we are sad and it is to her that we confide our deepest secrets. Mothers will always be a feat no matter how small their stature is during their last years of life. Mothers are the ones we tell our fears to, with whom we share our hopes and dreams. They are the ones who pray for our good health, safety and happiness throughout our lives. They stay on their knees when their children or grandchildren are deployed or in danger and in most cases, no matter how we stumble or fall, a mother’s love is unwavering and true, supportive and encouraging and, without any doubt, unconditional..
When I think of this beautiful day of remembrance, I think of my mother, Mama Eleanor L. Mann, who died in heaven in 1977 at the age of 52 of lung cancer. She was the first non-medical person to hold me in her arms and kiss my face. She was the one who took good care of my sister and me with love. She was the one who took me to church the very first time and showed devotion to the man she loved so much and whom I admired – my dad.
Mom was, fortunately, a stay-at-home mom until I was a young teenager. She created beautiful memories, always making life special for our family, always putting each of us ahead of herself, always wanting the best and making the most of what little we had: a simple home, with no fanfare or fancy but always warm, loving and unforgettable comfort, care and attention that let us know how precious we were to her. I am so grateful that God placed me in his loving arms.
Everyone loved Mom – the people she worked for, Dad’s sisters and the ladies of the neighborhood when she cut and permed their hair before church on Sundays just because it made them feel pretty. Everyone loved mom. Like many of you who have lost your mother, I think of her almost every day in one way or another. I remember her sitting her grandkids (my grandkids) on the kitchen counter so they could help her roll out daddy’s homemade cookies, buying them their favorite toy, cuddling them on the couch with a blanket, always showing them how important they are.
From her beautiful smile to her position in front of the stove preparing dad’s favorite fried fish, potatoes, coleslaw and pancake cornbread, to her shopping for the best surprises under the tree they could afford, she was telling me before I even knew it myself that Billy loved me with all his heart. I will love, cherish and cherish all my memories of her and they will stay in my heart forever.
She was a pretty lady with chestnut hair, brown eyes, and smooth, tan skin as a descendant of a full-blooded Native American; she was the mother every child wants and every child deserves. She cared deeply for her clients (as a respected insurance agent at the time) with WR Pierce Insurance, later with Kellogg-Morgan Insurance Agency and finally and before her death GR Little Insurance Agency in Kitty Hawk. His clients adored him and frequently complemented his skills and dedication to their insurance needs. I worked in her Kitty Hawk office for a brief period on the front desk and enjoyed meeting people every day who chose her as their agent and hearing the praise for her knowledge and expertise.
And your mother ? I can imagine how wonderful she is or was! They are all so precious, aren’t they? I bet you all have wonderful stories to tell about yourself mom too! And what about our daughters who have also become mothers? I still tell our beautiful daughter Bonnie how much she inspired me, having had and raised my grandson Jeffrey. Always putting him first, being involved in his education from kindergarten through college. She supported him and encouraged him to be the best he could be in life; doing what made him happy and enjoying his work; be responsible for your money and spend it wisely. She taught him so many wonderful things – she set the bar high for housekeeping; eat healthy; to be a good person; be considerate and kind; stand up for what he believes in, set high goals and work hard to achieve them. She was, is and always will be an amazing mother and I couldn’t be prouder of her, just like her dad.
She and I are close, but she was a daddy’s girl and after years of successful property management, following her daddy’s illness and death in 2016, she realized her genuine interest in a medical career and acquired his EMT certification, working full-time at Dare County. After that, she sought to obtain her paramedic certification in addition to operating her own business, The Fort Strength and Fitness in Frisco. Am I bragging? Without question! Beyond the long commutes between her Frisco residence and all the EMT and paramedic classes on the beach and out of town, she hung on and the final exams yielded impressive marks. Shile, she was studying, working, traveling and running her business, she decided to eliminate fast foods from her diet and instead focus on high protein, low carbs and sugar and, of course, owning a gym, she trained. . . a lot. The result of this effort? A loss of 120 pounds!
Through my mother and my daughter Bonnie, I learned that as a good mother and strived to be throughout her life and that of her brother Bill, I probably failed, but in between, I have witnessed some superb and wonderful examples of A+ Maternity. These two amazing women stir my heart. They inspired me, they are my “girly” heroes and I love them both very, very much.
This Mother’s Day, remember all the good times. Think about how your precious mother touched your life and made you a better person. If in some way she let you down or vice versa, forgiveness is the best way to turn things around – life is too short and none of us are perfect. Honor the mothers around you, whether they have had a child or simply have an irresistible love for the children in the neighborhood, because they too play an important role in the lives of children.
Finally, but so beautifully, consider the Mother of all mothers, the Virgin Mary, whom God our Father chose by immaculate conception to bear His Son, Jesus Christ. This exceptional woman gave the world’s most incredible gift only to see him suffer extreme torture and be killed at the hands of those who despised his kindness.
In closing, remember, folks, the month of May is special for another reason besides celebrating our mothers – it’s designated to honor and recognize all American military personnel! Hooray! If you want to call me, my mobile number is 252-202-2058 or email me at [email protected]. If you have questions about your VA benefits or need a duplicate DD-214, please contact our Dare County Veterans Services Officer, Patty O’Sullivan at her office number 252-475- 5604 or by email at [email protected]. Patty is a gem and truly dedicated to helping our veterans!
Every time I write Gig Line, I think of you, my reading audience. Sometimes I frequently talk about my family, especially my husband and hero Billy, but to be clear, I always consider you on the other end – your feelings, your opinions, and the ones you love too. Books on “how to write books” often tell you to write what you know, hence my column.
Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! Embrace life – it’s a blessing for all of us. Look for positive things to do with and for others and remember that it’s okay to love yourself. After all, you are the only you! As always, I love you! God bless you and pray for our troops, wherever they are. Stay tuned!
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