Realizing Mom had my back


To the Editor:

As I sit in my “man cave” staring at my computer, my mind is a bit cloudy, foggy and easily distracted from the task at hand and then I take pause …

The one thing I hope you remember at this times of the year is how important a certain day in May is — Mother’s Day — May 13. I hope you do whatever you can to make it special for your mother either in person or in remembrance.

In sharing my thoughts about being born and raised on a farm in the Midwest (Ohio), Miami County specifically, I thought at that time my childhood was a hard, unfulfilled life. I worked long hours on the farm for no or very little money and what money I made, I had to use to buy my own school clothes.

When I turned 16, I had to use my Dad’s hog truck to go out on dates. Seemed like every time I’d plan to go on a date, we had to haul hogs to the market the same day. Without a doubt my dates would always ask, really strong cologne your wearing what brand is it. I was so naive, I’d reply “I’m not wearing any cologne,” followed up with my immediate questions, “How come your turning pale? You need a barf bag?”

My Mom drove a school bus for over 30 years, starting when I was in the sixth grade. Boys sat on one side and girls on the other— no talking, no horseplay, and no shenanigans. She was as strict as a Marine drill sergeant, which is interesting since my Dad served in the Marines. She has long since retired, but when I visit home the kids — now adults — that rode on her bus back in the day, they treat her like an icon, tell stories and smile about how Mrs. G straightened their life out.

Back then, I just wanted my Mom to get off my back. Years later I realized Mom (and Dad) were the only ones that really had my back and truly respect Mom and am so thankful for my upbringing.

Regardless of how many yard sticks Mom broke over my buttocks to correct my undesirable behavior, she always reminded me of her favorite phases:

Some people make you laugh a little louder.

Some People make your smile a little brighter.

And Some people make your life a little better

And that’s what my Mom did for me, my brother and sister.

In closing, I hope you do something very special or something special in remembrance of your mother on Mother’s Day — May 13.

— Keith Gillfillan, P.E.

Long Beach, Calif.