By NEMS Daily Journal
Thousands of miles of appreciation
By Kristen McClennan
Special to the Daily Journal
Sometimes it takes moving thousands of miles away to a booming metropolis such as Denver, Colo., to make you appreciate where you came from and the people who helped get you there. At least for me, that’s what it has taken.
I have never been prouder to have been born and raised in the town of Tupelo than I am today. When people ask me what it is I love about Mississippi, I simply reply, “the people.” The warm souls that reside in Mississippi truly make it a great place to have spent your childhood. My father, mother and sister are three of those people who have made the biggest impact on my life. This Mother’s Day I would like to take the opportunity to tell you about the special influence of my mother.
My mother sheltered both my sister and me from all of the negativity of this world for as long as she could, while still allowing us to experience the world. Looking back, I know it was my mother who taught me how to share with others and how to appreciate even the smallest things in life. It was my mother who taught me that it was acceptable to laugh and act goofy, even if the timing was completely inappropriate.
My mother encouraged me to always be true to myself and embrace my quirks by reminding me that no one else was made quite like me. It was my mother who gave me the courage to move thousands of miles away from the people I love the most, knowing I’d learn things here that school couldn’t teach me. She showed me by example how to teach others, and by watching her, I learned what serving others looks like.
Most importantly, my mother taught me, by example, how to love others and walk with the Lord.
In only the past few years, I have come to realize my mother is always right. If she says it’s going to rain, I had better grab an umbrella. If she advises me against something and I do it anyway, it’s guaranteed that I’ll regret not adhering to her advice.
Every day I catch myself doing something that reminds me of my mother. I am surely living proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In fact, if I can be at least half the friend, sister and hopefully, one day, wife and mother at the end of my life that my mother has been, I would have more than I ever imagined.
I have come to realize that nothing is better than the comfort of your own mother. I wish I could understand why it took me every bit of 24 years to grow such an appreciation for my mother. Perhaps it is because I am more aware of the world’s negativity that she so adamantly tried to block me from experiencing. Maybe it is because absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Possibly, it is because I am older and am finally beginning to figure out that people and relationships are really what make life significant. No matter the reason, I do know that no matter how far away from my mother I might be, she will always remain my number one fan and best friend.
In my life, I have seen people I love go through the tragedy of losing their mothers or daughters earlier than ever expected. This has only grown my knowledge of how blessed I am the Lord has granted me so much time with my own mom. I am and will always be eternally grateful for that.
This Mother’s Day I would like to thank my mother for being the wisest and most beautiful woman I should ever encounter.
‘Try again and I’ll be there’
By Arvin Mosley
Special to the Daily Journal
All of us should appreciate it when someone in our lives gives us unconditional love, the kind that is always there and will always be there. The love that is accompanied by a pat on the back for things done well, and when things are not going so good an exhortation that says, “try again and I’ll be there.” That person is usually Mom.
We should also appreciate it when the hand that so firmly guided us as a child is not present in its physical form but manifests its presence by giving us faith and confidence when we need a helping hand to guide us through. Even when she is not there, her presence still seems so real. That is the essence of Mom.
That personality molded so many years ago into a character that life’s many obstacles challenge on a daily basis can remember so much advice; the immutable response is nearly automatic because as memories grow dim that molded individual can always remember a parable or advice given by that ever-vigilant person called Mom.
In bringing forth our family of 11 children, dealing with and molding their varied layers of different traits, needs and desires, she was the most salient, yet strong and gentle person ever in our lives. Whenever someone asks her how she raised us all, her response is always, “I did as best I could.”
We all thought we were that special one, and when we compare notes we find out that we were; we were treated and nurtured as individuals in all of our uniqueness and we never felt left out and needing more. It’s as if she had a measuring cup of love with each of our names on our own to be dispensed in the proper amount at the proper time.
Mom’s steadying influence guided us as children, and instilled a belief of unlimited potential; she always said that only the use of our minds stood between where we were and where we wanted to be. When I find myself brimming with confidence I remember that Mom said it was OK “because you are you.”
Mom is in her 86th year and the family has grown to 60 plus and growing bigger; she is proud but knows she will never see them all together again. The albums are full of pictures; I sometimes see the longing in her eyes as she looks through dim memories, maybe some memories she never had. But even if they are just longings, it is all right to look through that prism and dream of her grandbabies, great-, and great-great-grandbabies hoping they are doing fine somewhere over there.
As Mom’s time grows long behind her and much shorter ahead, indicating that she has moved past that fulcrum point of life, she will step off and walk gingerly, take her seat and look at her extensive family and hope they will continue to proudly carry the Mosley name. Like a noble eagle my mom – our mom – has spread her wings and protects her flock, just the way I always envision Mom to be.
By Kay Coward
Special to the Daily Journal
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word mother has several definitions. I feel that my mother aptly fits those meanings.
Webster’s defines mother as “a woman who has borne a child.” Well, my mother definitely filled that task. She gave birth to my brother, Lanier, then she gave birth to me. After hearing about all the crying my brother did as a baby, I am quite surprised Mother undertook the task of having me.
Possibly, her woman’s intuition told her the second child had to better. Of course, she was right. I was the “sweet one.”
As a child, I remember my mother allowing me to crawl up onto her lap in the rocking chair until I was so big my feet almost touched the floor. I remember kneeling at her bedside, tapping on her arm to wake her and crawling into bed with her after a bad dream. Only a mother lets you do those things.
The next meaning of mother is “a woman having responsibility of something.” Most of my life my mother worked hard. Not only did she work inside the home, but she worked outside the home as well. She took on the responsibility of helping my dad take care of my brother and me. She saw that we had what we needed, and also those extra items kids always enjoy. By working outside the home, my mother made me realize just how much she loved me through the sacrifice of her time, because you see, she didn’t have a lot of time for herself.
The best definition the dictionary gives is that the word mother “is used as a title of affectionate respect.” When I say “Mother,” I am reminded of the lady in my life who has loved me, given up much for me and taught me ways that I gladly passed on to my children and plan to pass on to my grandson. My mother has always been the person I respect, because she has taught me to be respectful of others by speaking to other people and treating them with kindness.
Now at the age of 85 years old, Mother continues to fulfill the definition of the word “mother” with her life. Although Webster’s dictionary can give the meaning of this word, I find it hard. I just know I am so blessed to have my mother.