We have been thinking a lot about Moms lately.  That person that carries our children to birth, a painful episode that man cannot fathom.  Moms are then called on to provide that unconditional love to a baby that determines, for the most part, the baby’s ability to love and enjoy other humans for the rest of their lives.  A Mom is asked to shepherd a child to independence, with some help of the father, one certainly hopes, a period that is the very longest as human beings compared to any and all other species on this earth.

Our Mom is the mother of three children.  She was kind enough to make us every meal, provide love and affection every day, take us to school and to hire people like Lucile, who helped around the house and would tie our big brother up with dish-washing rags when he, Mike, was too mean, so Patty and I could tickle him until our hearts content.

Our Mom drove me around the new elementary school when we moved to England until I could get the courage to go in and face these new students and this new environment.

Our Mom cooked the best chicken and dumplings on this earth.

When you were tired of sandwiches, our Mom knew just when to offer the grill cheese sandwich.

Our Mom boldly followed our father from Pine Bluff to Lonoke back to Pine Bluff, to England, to Batesville, to Little Rock and then to Harrison where I was still only entering the 8th grade.  By then, our Mom helped us understand we could move anywhere and adjust, as she did it so gracefully.

Our Mom baked chocolate sheet cake, by the time we all were in junior high and high school every Friday afternoon and left it out for us to cut a square and eat all weekend, every weekend.

Our Mom dedicated herself to the local library, not just a year or two, but for a decade or two.

Our Mom wasn’t trying to be interesting but rather redefined the term, interested.  She could tell you a person’s children, where they attended college, what town they lived in, what careers they were involved in and how many children they currently had.

Our father acted as the public address announcer for every junior high and senior high game for every major sport from 1971 to 2003 and our Mom attended almost every one of those events and supported him for that same 30 plus years.

Our father acted as master of ceremonies for almost every event in this little town of Harrison and for every event he did this, our Mom invested an hour or more helping him get prepared for the night’s event.

Our Mom was only talked back to once by the oldest child and when our father came home we all understood that this would only happen once.

Our Mom, as college aged canoeing enthusiasts gathered at 14 Westwood Drive on our way to Ponca for a two-day canoe trip packing and trying to hide the beer, would come out to offer us one more additional food item to take with us.  While bothered by her late gesture at the time, it would always be that last item that we were eating, starved as we got within a couple of hours of Pruitt, the end of the canoe trip.

Our Mom was first to visit our apartment in Fort Smith, our house in Albuquerque and our condo in Phoenix to see what else we could use to make it a fitting place to live.

Our Mom, as we helped her move out of her last home, presented each of us with a box of photos and newspaper articles and special items, many of which we had wished we had kept ourselves and now we had the copies of those activities that we thought we never would have.

Our Mom was amazing as just about every mother is.

When we think of amazing Mom’s, we think of Patty Methvin McFarland, Genie Moffett, Lynne McPeak, Betty Lou McFarland, and Ejaye McFarland and our other mother, the amazing Katherine Nance. Also, Melissa Thomas, Pier Flemming, Gindy Myers, Grace Gladden Nance, and Ann Rosso.  We think of Grace and Ann carrying on as the Mother of their children after the loss of their Father at a relatively young age.

We love you Betty Gray!