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Thank you, Mom, on this Mother's Day
As many of you know, my Mother, Barbara Yelton, passed away in 2007. She was my best friend, and the only person who could make me do what I had to do. She loved everybody she knew, and everybody who knew her loved her as well, but now, on this holiday for all mothers out there, I would like to say a belated thank you to my Mother for all she did for me and my sister, Sherry.
Thank you for not running out on us and keeping our family together despite many issues, personal and financial. We didn't have a lot, but Mom made sure we got by.
Thank you for your sacrifices, your long hours of working so we could have an extra pair of pants or go out to eat every once in a while. And thank you for treating us kids like we were the most important people in the world.
Thank you for setting down rules and making us follow them. (And for not allowing F-bombs in our house, unless my Dad showed up for some reason.)
Thank you for believing in us, never letting us think we didn't matter to the world at large. We knew we were safe and loved at home, if nowhere else.
Thank you for your smiles, your laughter, and your positive attitude despite all the negative stuff we had to deal with.
Thank you for the Atari 2600 you bought us for Christmas in 1983. I still have it.
Thank you for giving me space. I was a difficult child (No, really?????), and sometimes just liked to be in my room listening to music or playing sports board games.
Thank you for passing along a work ethic that stays with me and my sister to this day. We believed, as Mom did, that you don't miss work with the sniffles or because someone hurt your feelings. I always say that Mom said, "If you don't have the flu or a broken leg, go to work!" (I'm paraphrasing here, but it echoes her feelings.)
Thank you for loving me despite how I acted, or how other kids treated me, or how self-centered and detached I could be. You didn't have to love me, but you did.
Thanks for not kicking me out of the house when I deserved it. I eventually started working, and could pay my own bills.
Thanks for supporting my writing. She was as proud as I was when I was first published in the Baltimore County Community Times in 1980.
Thanks for being both a mother and a father to us kids. I know it was difficult, but you did it. Thank you.
Thanks for cranking out dinner after a hard day of taking care of your patients at the nursing home. You didn't let eight hours of work stop you from making sure your kids had something good to eat.
Thanks for taking me to Little League games, even though you wouldn't stay. You allowed me to get out of the house and mingle with other guys my age. I am grateful.
Thanks for playing games with us, and all the day trips to Pennsylvania to be with our cousins, and the trips to the Maryland State Fair. Thanks for letting us have fun being kids.
Thanks for taking us to church, allowing us to be around good people, and instilling good values in us. (I don't care for church, but being around good folks made us act better.)
Thank for for allowing us to have pets when we could. Even today, both of us love animals, and we thank you for that.
Thank you for being grateful when we gave you anything unexpected, no matter how small. One year for Mother's Day, I bought her a digital clock radio (this was 1993, I think), and she loved it!
Thank you for the good manners you taught us, and how to act with restraint when needed. (I overdo this, but,...)
And finally, thank you, because you didn't have to do all that you did for us kids. I today marvel at what conviction and drive you must have had to keep going. I have days where I don't feel like getting out of bed (like today), or facing the world. But you did. I'm sure you were depressed many times. In fact, I'd seen it. But you never let it stop you from doing what needed to be done. I couldn't have done it. I wasn't strong, like you. I am irritated when the least little thing comes up that messes up my day. But you, you just rolled with it, put on that smile, and kept on going. I know your Christian faith saw you through a lot of tough times, and that had a lot to do with it. But Mom, I am in awe of what you were able to get done.
Thank you, Mom. For everything.