Moments before the memorial service for my mother began, my sister D’Anna handed me a box with some items in it she thought I might like to have. In an envelope in that box was a letter I wrote to my mother just days before Mother’s Day, 1999. This was during a low time in my life, a time of transition, adversity, disappointment, and regret.
Honestly, I did not remember writing the letter and do not remember it to this day. The words, however, express as well as I am capable of doing how I feel about the woman I call Mom.
If you have someone like her, I urge you to make sure they know how you feel. Don’t assume it. Express it.
May 6, 1999
Donya, the girls, and I want you to know that we love you more than we probably show. There is no person in this whole world we would rather have for a mother/mother-in-law/grandma.
I was thinking about my life the other day, the places I have been, the things I’ve done, and I realized that every good thing I have ever done, every good decision, and every accomplishment has been the direct result of your influence on my life. I also realized that the stupid mistakes I’ve made, the things I wish I could take back were the result of not following your example and instructions.
You are a wonderful mom and an incredible person. I am always amazed at your strength. I think that we kids, because of your quiet, strong constitution often fail to recognize when you might need us. We are so accustomed to leaning on you, and drawing strength and support from you that we take you for granted.
Now that I have a child approaching adulthood I think that I would like to be the kind of father she can take for granted, the kind she can lean on and run to, even if she never comes to the awareness that she’s doing it. To me, that’s what makes a great parent. And that is what you have always been. Never once have you uttered a complaint about having to be our hiding place. You have never thrown a pity party or accused your kids of not
appreciating you enough – even though you’ve had every right and plenty of opportunities to do so. I am so used to taking you for granted I’m not even sure I can do differently.
You’re my Mom. You are the one who has told me over and over that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to. You are the one who has run to my defense when I was indefensible You are
the one who stood up for me when I didn’t leave you a leg to stand on. You have been my advocate, my coach, and my biggest cheerleader. I have never once in my whole life had to wonder if you would be supportive I have never once in my whole life doubted your love, loyalty, and undying commitment to my happiness.
Mom, one other thing: I love the way you and Donya love each other. I’m so glad she is able to come and spend a couple of days with you. I wish I could come with her. I hope y’all have a great time. Also, I am so glad you are finally getting the house you want and deserve.
I love you with every fiber of my being. Happy Mother’s Day.
We Love You,
Following is the video of Mom’s memorial service. My wife read the letter for the mourners gathered to honor Mom and her beautiful life.