I was invited to speak last week at the Muffins for Moms breakfast at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus in Sarasota. I talked about how my mom has been my role model and what moms mean to us. Since my mom wasn't there to hear it and she's one of my most loyal readers, I decided to share it here on the blog.
Photos: Cliff Roles
Even though she wasn't the mom who brought homemade cupcakes, she always volunteered at our school and with our swim team. But now that I'm older and looking back, one of the most important things to me is that she never lost her own identity. She wasn't just Mom. She's a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator who earned her master's degree while raising two kids, with the help of my dad, of course. She worked as a nurse in the hospital, counseled diabetic patients and taught college nursing. Many times she brought me and my sister to campus at Houston Baptist University and with her in the car as she drove all over Houston to supervise her students on their clinical rotations. She also took us to health fairs in under-served communities, which allowed to see how we can help those who need it most.
My mom never directly said to me,"go to college, go to graduate school, get good grades, and have a career." Nor did she try to force me to take one path or another. But since she and my dad are both very accomplished academically and in their careers, I learned by example. And I did all of those things with their support.
Although my mom has no experience in my field of broadcast journalism, my job aspirations began very early in life with a love of writing, which I inherited from her. She has always encouraged me through the toughest days of the demanding television news business and is my most loyal viewer. Even though my parents live in Atlanta, she watches the news every night via online streaming.
I am lucky to have my mom as my role model and cheerleader. Mothers come in many different forms, not all are biological. Some are foster mothers, step mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, even mentors, teachers and friends who are like mothers to us. Almost all moms are alike in the way that that they accomplish amazing feats, yet they are unique and special in their own way. Everyone I know, including myself, says they have the best mom in the world. And they're all right.