God knew that I would need many, many women to play the role of "Mom" for me in the last 44+ years....and in my small way, I want to honor them here:
My Grandmother Clara Hoover: She's been in Heaven now for almost 14 years. She is the bravest and most courageous woman I've ever known. She raised me when both parents abandoned me, and she had already raised ten children of her own. Having only a 4th grade education herself, she made sure that I had a "world class" education--in all the things that mattered. I miss her so much.
My Grandmother Kathy Fields: She's my only surviving grandparent, and what a treasure she has become to me over the years. I'm proud to be her grandson.
Mrs. Linda Turner: My blessed Fourth Grade Teacher (whom I wrote about a few days ago). This lady just exemplifies all that it means to be a godly, gracious, and good person. She and her husband Larry have raised three wonderful sons who make their parents proud at every thought of them. Linda has been that friend par excellent for more than 30 years now. She was a strong "mother figure" when I really needed one the most. Needless to say (but I'll say it any way) I adore her!
Mrs. Jane Pearson: Everything I know about class, style, good taste, and just "doing it right"--I learned from Ms Jane. Not only was she (and her family) wonderful neighbors, but they all became "my family" when I most needed them to be my family. They have remained in that "sacred place" for me...and I love them all dearly. I learned the important lessons of life from Jane, sitting at her kitchen table. I still enjoy our table talks--but they just aren't frequent enough for me. There is so much to say about her...and I just can't tell it all right now.
Mrs. Tereasa Rollings: This woman has played so many important roles in my life. She has been a teacher, a mentor, a confidant, a consoler, an encourager, an advisor, and most of all, my terrific friend now for more than 30 years. She has played every role SUPERBLY! Every person needs a friend like Tereasa. And I'm glad that I have "mine."
Mrs. Faye Hardin: One of the three women who inspired me to become the musician that I am today--limited though it is. She was the church pianist for many years, always faithful and always tremendously talented. She and her husband Ray are some of the dearest friends that I've ever had. She's been the "mom" for me in many situations when I've needed someone to listen with their ears and their heart.
Mrs. Georgie Timmons: My precious "mom" out in West Texas. She, along with her husband Howard, became dear friends during my Air Force stint in Lubbock, TX. Now almost ten years after my leaving that area, we are still in touch. Georgie has helped pray me through some very difficult and challenging times. Her encouraging words, her heartfelt humor, and her gentle touch continue to refresh and inspire me--and just when I always need it the most.
Mrs. Gail Lemmert: I went to Undergraduate School with her son, Randy more than 20 years ago. She and I became good friends when I returned to Tennessee for graduate school. In so many ways she has encouraged, mentored, exhorted, and instructed me for the better. Her very life is one of tremendous wisdom, instruction, and grace. She is a true "mom" to me in many, many ways. And she isn't aware of most of them.
The wonderful ladies mean the world to me.
I want to wish them all a very "Happy Mothers' Day"