I am blessed to still have my mom with me on this side of Heaven. Mom has been a dear and wonderful blessing to me. I remember when I was very little, Mom would read me a story from one of my “Little Golden Books” every night before I fell asleep. I remember looking at the colorful pictures while my dear mom read the story to me. It was a precious time.
My mom always encouraged me to read, write and to do well in school. I remember when I was a Boy Scout, Mom encouraged me to go for the Reading Merit Badge. If I remember right, I had to read at least a dozen books but they had to be different types. Also, to fulfill the requirements of the Reading Merit Badge, I had to write a detailed report on all of the books that I had read.
My mom encouraged me to go to the library during summer vacations. I guess I was about eight years old when I discovered the Hardy Boys series. I remember devouring those Hardy Boys books. I simply loved ’em. Mom would often ask me about what was happening in the particular Hardy Boys book that I was reading at the time. My dear mother always encouraged me to read.
In my freshman year of high school, I took Spanish. I was having a rough time of it. I was very shy and I dreaded it when I had to stand up in front of the class and conjugate a verb in Spanish. I would know the verb conjugation forward and backward. But when I stood in front of the classroom, which the teacher required us to do, I would get so nervous that my mind would go blank. My dear mom helped me to get through this. After supper she would have me stand up by the kitchen table and conjugate the verbs, in Spanish, that were assigned to me that day. It sounds silly, but it helped me a lot to overcome my fear of standing in front of the classroom.
When I was in Cub Scouts, Mom was the Den Mother for our neighborhood. She was a great Den Mother and I am very grateful to her for taking such an interest in my being a Cub Scout. When I lost the annual Pinewood Derby in the big gymnasium at Chapel Hill School, Mom comforted me by telling me that there was always next year. By a miracle and the grace of the good Lord, I actually did win third place in the big Pinewood Derby the next year. I got a blue ribbon and all. A big part of my comeback was the encouragement that Mom gave me.
When I was a young man, about 25 or so, I was engaged to this beautiful woman. Long story short, the love of my life broke my heart. I fell into a deep depression. It was my beloved mother who would not let me get down. Mom encouraged me to take my feelings, even the painful and hurt feelings that I was experiencing, and to put them into words. I wrote some of my best poems and short stories during this time period. I actually got one of my heartbreak love stories published in one of those love confession magazines. I don’t think that they publish them any more. They used to sell them in drug stores and sweet shops. I got paid $50.00 for the story. That was nice pocket change back in 1978. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I would never have gotten that story published if it wasn’t for my dear mom’s encouragement.
I love my mom. She is very dear to me. Mom has been a great inspiration to me. I am dearly blessed to still have her with me, on this side of Heaven.
Love and blessings, Richard