Today I celebrate my mother on her birthday. My mom is the woman I admire the most in the world. She is an excellent example of what someone can do with their lives. Raised in a family where both of her parents had very limited educations and worked outside the home, her greatest desire was to go to college. But situations put that dream on hold. She married my dad, had 4 children within 4 years, and stayed at home to raise us. When the last of us was finally in school, she got a job. She worked at various places until we had all finished high school and were on our own. Then, at 43, she began to pursue her dream. She and my youngest sister both enrolled in Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts. In 1986, after moving to South Carolina, she transferred to York Technical School and then to the University of South Carolina. She began her college years planning on being a computer programmer but after getting involved in adult literacy she became an education major. After receiving her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in 1987, she continued her education earning her Doctor of Education at the University of South Carolina in 1992. She worked for the Catawba Indians for quite a few years and programs that she created are still in use today. Through this all, her troubled health has made these accomplishments all the more impressive to me. Her persistence for excellence, hunger for knowledge and love of books have influenced my desire for learning.
My mom has always been a strong source of strength in my life. Through everything we kids put her through, she continues to love and support us in every way possible. It was my mom who helped me to receive Jesus as Lord of my life and she is the one of whom I seek spiritual guidance. I am very proud of my mom, who she is, and what she has accomplished in her life. Thanks, Mom. I really love you!