Sunday is Mom’s special day

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Her body is a bit more frail than it once was and most of her time is now spent taking easy, although that spark to get up and get busy still burns bright. To modify the Biblical passage, the spirit is very willing, even if the flesh is weak.

Mom turned 95 last month, a milestone I hope I can one day reach. She’s unable to get around as much as she’d like, but her mind is still sharp, and her tongue can be as pointed as ever when she wants it to be. In some ways, it saddens me to see her slowed by age, especially when I remember her in her younger days — an unstoppable force who refused to let anything stop her, and a small French woman who wouldn’t hesitate to stand up for her rights or those of her family.

Mom was a native of Alsace, an area in northwestern France that for years was source of dispute between France and Germany and changed hands several times until the end of World War II. She and her mother came to the U.S. in the 1930s, and when World War II broke out, she enlisted in the Free French Army and trained as a nurse. She became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in the early 1960s.

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As long as I can remember, she was always working. She never let up. Part of the reason was because we needed the money, but also because she tried her best to ensure that we had the childhood she never had. Even after my brother and sister and I were grown and on our own, she continued working. I remember when she turned 65, and told me she was retiring; that lasted a year and she was back at work, not “officially” retiring until well into her 70s. If she had the chance to go to work today, she’d do it, just to stay active.

Mom was never a sports fan, and never could understand America’s preoccupation with football and baseball, but when my brother and I played football, or baseball, or when I ran track in high school, she was always in the stands pulling and cheering for us. She was very involved in our education, serving as a room mother, talking with teachers, keeping on us about homework, and keeping up with our behavior in class.

But all that was many years ago. These days, Mom spends most of her time in the apartment she shares in Norcross, Ga., with my sister, not far from where my brother and his family live.

This weekend is Mother’s Day. I won’t be able to see her this weekend, but I’ll be calling her to wish her a happy day. We’ll talk about things in general, including an update of her granddaughter’s activities.

Sunday do your best, if you can, to call or visit your mother. Tell her how much you love her. It’s her day; let her know she’s special.

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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