• 72°

Getting ‘mushy’ for my Mom

Before you read any further, let me warn you that Sigler is again about to get “touchy-feely” with his weekly column. I’m sure a lot of y’all are tired of my seemingly never ending dribble about family or my personal life. To tell the truth, there are times I get tired of it also. But, I like to use my column to express what is on my mind and here lately it seems friends and family have been at the forefront of my thoughts.

I think maybe it has to do with the fact so many of the folks I hold dear to me seem to be passing away or those closest to me, such as my daughter, are growing up too quickly. Have I mentioned lately she got married?

But one person who is also growing older and I am so very thankful is still with us today is my mother.

My mom is turning 72 years old this weekend and to look at her, you probably wouldn’t believe it. She doesn’t get around like she used to and she says the aches hurt a little more than they used to, but most folks are astounded that my mom was born just months before the Normandy invasion. She just doesn’t look to be that old. She has told me on more than one occasion that in her mind she’s still in her 20s or 30s. And to see her roll around on the floor or play in a fort made of blankets thrown over dining room chairs with her 6-year old great-granddaughter, you would think she was acting like a 20 or 30 year old.

But that’s just “Nana” being “Nana.” She says it keeps her young.

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 lead 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.

I hope that wasn’t too “mushy” for all of you.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.