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This Sunday is Mother’s Day when we honor our mom’s for loving us the way they do. I know not everyone had a great mom and that makes me sad. Life is not fair. I have been very fortunate, and my mom’s love and devotion have been an undeniable constant since June 9th, 1962 when I took my first breaths.

Brenda Wood grew up in Rockmart GA, a rural community, an hour west of Atlanta. She was the baby of five siblings born to Fred and Thelma Wood. After her dad had died when she was 14, her mom moved the family to the capital city to survive.

Mom met my dad in High School, and they married in June of 1961 when Dad was 18 and mom 16 years old. Twelve months later, I entered the world with my sister Tammy following in 1964. Because of my dad’s job we moved several times. Upstate New York (3 times), Saint Paul, Minnesota and Johannesburg, South Africa all were places where we relocated. And somehow while dad worked, mom made it all work for Tammy and me. Our lives were normal, healthy and fun.

Because dad traveled a great deal with his job, mom made sure we were at every practice and game from Little League through High School. After mom had got off of work, she took me to Cub Scouts. She sat through Band and Chorus Concerts that couldn’t have all been very enjoyable. She watched me act in drama competitions and sing in the Southern Gospel Quartets I would assemble. She also sat through teacher conferences that were sometimes good and occasionally, not so good. She also was doing the same thing for Tammy.

As I grew older and began to date, I would come home from a night out with my girlfriend and want to fill my mom in on where we went and what we did. She was in many ways my best friend. And today we can still get on the phone or sit around a table and talk for an hour or two about just about everything.

Mom and dad divorced when I was 14. Tammy and I were sad but understood things like this happen. To my parent’s credit, they never spoke ill of each other to my sister or me. I will forever be grateful that they did not fight by putting us in the middle. Both of our parents moved on and married partners much better suited for them, and they still are living active, beautiful lives.

On Mother’s Day, I am grateful for a mom who knew how to be tough when it was necessary but who also knew how to throw a ball with me and cook great meals for me and be there for me in every way while I was growing up. She also has never stopped being there for me as an adult.

The country girl from Rockmart is now a mature and still beautiful 73-year-old. She sings in her church choir. She helps prepare food for the needy. She loves her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. Her influence in Tammy and my life is immeasurable. Happy Mother’s Day, mom! We are unbelievably grateful to have a mom like you.

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