Time more valuable than ever
My Mom turned 75 Tuesday.
I had the chance this past weekend to visit with my parents on a trip home to Lizana, a suburb of Gulfport.
I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like with living three-plus hours away and life in general getting in the way.
It was nice to chit-chat about this and that and catch up on all the happenings.
Dad turned 75 in December and as I sat there on their couch talking, it occurred to me that we might not have as many of these talks in the future.
Our next breath is never guaranteed, but the reality of time and age is sinking in as both my parents get older.
I asked Mom how it felt to be 75 and her response was one I expected.
“Up here (she pointed to her head), I’m still 19, but the rest of me tells me I’m not.”
Both my parents have had health issues in the last few years and those surgeries seem to be more frequent the more they age. Dad has been dealing with a heart that had bypass surgery a couple years back and Mom has hip and shoulder surgeries the last two years.
Despite those body problems, they’re both still in fairly good health and sharp as ever, but I can’t help think that time together is against us.
My parents will be celebrating 56 years of marriage in April and I appreciate that union the older I get, especially the trials and tribulations that they have endured and overcome as a young married couple from the Mississippi Delta.
They did all of it together and are just as in love today as they were April 13, 1963.
But my mom has, and will always be, the backbone of my family.
Growing up, dad was the breadwinner of the family and mom was there to make sure me and my two brothers were led down the right path. More often than not there were times when our direction needed to be changed and she was there to make the adjustment.
But she was also there to show support in whatever we were involved in doing at the time. She wasn’t the “rah-rah” Mom at the ballfield everyone dreaded sitting next to, but was the mom who ironed on the Little League emblem on our hats or jerseys, worked the concession stand and helped organize the team party at the local pizza parlor or picnic in the park.
When I decided I wanted to go to college and make writing a career in journalism, it was my mom who showed the most support. She took on the job of working in a school cafeteria to help pay for my education. But hard work is nothing new to her. She grew up one of 15 children in the Mississippi Delta, picking cotton and later working in a textile mill.
When I dropped out of college for more than a year to “work in the real world,” it was my mom who encouraged me to go back to school. Not by her words, but by her actions.
You see, my mom dropped out of high school her junior year and I think she always regretted it. So much so that she decided in her 40s to earn her GED and even took some college courses.
But what really sets my mom apart is that she is not only a mom to her family, but so many others look at her as their mom. I have so many childhood friends and friends from high school who, to this day, look at my mother as if she were their mom. To me, that speaks volumes to the type of person she is.
Mom, you are truly an inspiration. Happy Birthday and I love you.
Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at Rob.Sigler@VicksburgPost.com.