This was posted last year in honor of upcoming Mother's Day.
My mother passed away a few years ago, leaving behind a wonderful tribute and family legacy. On Mothers' Day it seems appropriate to remember her.
When I was 8 years old, my father passed away after losing a battle with a brain tumor, leaving my mother a widow at age 32 with three children under the age of 8. Mother had been a stay-at-home mom and dad was an airline mechanic for Delta Airlines. Mom did not have marketable job training that would provide a living wage.
Unsure of what to do, she moved our family from Michigan to Ohio to be closer to her parents. She bought a small home and enrolled in college at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Her goal was to become a classroom teacher.
My brother, sister and I can still hear her late into the night, studying by reading outloud to herself. I can hardly imagine the stress and workload of a single, widowed mother of three young children taking a full load of classes at the university.
Mother graduated with academic honors in four years and got her first full-time employment as a third grade teacher at the age of 38. I can still remember how excited us children were that mom could finally afford to buy soda-pop for a family treat.
From my earliest memory, I knew that I was going to go to college because mom did, yet the greatest gift my mother left us was her spiritual example. She overcame all obstacles placed before her, and although her life could never have been described as easy, she was satisfied in what life had brought. She never complained, but set a solid example of honesty, integrity and work ethic that has remained a legacy, not only to her children but all who knew her. She never remarried, but chose to dedicate her life to God, her family and her elementary school students.
From her example of going to college and working hard, her three children continued their education as well. In her last few years while fighting cancer, she helped me finish my doctoral dissertation by entering all my data into spreadsheets. My sister completed her college degree and passed her CPA exams and my brother went back to school to finish an MBA.
The research says that one of the highest correlations for educational achievement for any individual is found by tracking the educational degree of the mother. It certainly seems true for our family.
Here in America, the greatest land of opportunity the world has ever known, let us be thankful for caring and dedicated mothers who model the values and work ethic that made America great. Especially those single mothers who must play many roles for their children.
Mothers, take courage, your children will not forget the legacy you leave them. May it be a positive one.
The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.
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