Sunday, May 26, 2013


With Memorial Day on the horizon we should each be pondering the question, "What is a hero?"  A serviceman or woman?  Most definitely!  Policemen, firemen, paramedics, and EMTs?  Absolutely!  Doctors and nurses?  Sure.  But then there's the unsung heroes.  I call mine "Mama."

Don't get me wrong--I am so proud to be an American.  I am eternally indebted to the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that I can be here now writing to you.  I hold my head high:  I am the daughter and granddaughter of veterans.  Daddy and Doodle (my maternal grandfather) were in the Navy; my Grandaddy Jones served during WWII in the Army.  I have several uncles and even more cousins who have written a check to the United States of American in the amount up to their lives.  Saying my family is patriotic is kind of an understatement.

But unsung heroes...  

I've been a wife four years.  I think it's probably the most gratifying yet least appreciated job I've ever had.  And I love it!  I think being a mom is probably similarly underappreciated.

My mother is nothing short, no pun intended (she just is 5'), of my hero.  She and Daddy have been married almost 30 years.  She has raised 3 awesome children.  (No conceit in my family--I have it all!)  She has said goodbye to one child and four grandchildren she never knew.  She welcomed Jon into her home and treats him just like she does Jessica, John, and me.  She has buried a parent.  She earned her BBA at the age of 45.  She has struggled in life, just like everybody else.  She's just plain wonderful!

Last night my mother and sister happened on a less than ideal circumstance.  Somehow, like she usually does, Mama she managed to stay calm and do what she could to help the situation.  This morning as she was recounting the details to me my heart broke for her, yet I couldn't help but feel proud.  MY mama helped somebody she didn't know.  Somebody else's child.  Was she thinking, "I'm doing this so when karma comes around somebody will be with my children?"  I doubt it.  I feel like it was more about trying to keep the situation as calm as possible.  Kinda reminds me of the Good Samaritan.  She did what she could to bring peace to an unspeakable scene.  The last thing on her mind, I feel, was "this will be a learning experience for my children."  

But this morning as Mama was telling me about the happenings, I couldn't help but think, "Even though I'm mostly-grown, pushing thirty, married, and the mother of four, I'm still learning from my mama."  I expect to learn from her the rest of her life.  Somehow, though, today I'm just a little more in awe of her.

Mama has taught me a lot of things.  She taught me to walk, she taught me the alphabet, she taught me to draw hearts, and she taught me to be responsible.  Mama has been my port in the storm on more than one occasion.  She has been tender and shown tough love.  She has disciplined me (in most creative ways) and has laughed with me.  She taught me to be compassionate and to value life.  But the most beneficial thing she taught me was to love Jesus.  My mother led me to the Lord 22 years ago.  

If she never does another thing, and I doubt she'll stop doing until Gabriel blows his trumpet, my mama will still be my hero.  Mama doesn't need a lot of recognition.  She isn't fond of pomp and attention being drawn to her. (Not sure where the three of us get that.  Daddy maybe?)   She's a great cook and a ton of fun.  I'm so glad to know my hero personally.

Who is your unsung hero?  Take a minute to thank God for him or her.  Then pick up the phone and give him or her a call.  It'll do you good, and help you, too.