UNION COUNTY – The love of a mother is strong — and the love we have for our mothers is just as strong, if not stronger at times. In observance of Mother’s Day — which is Sunday for all the folks who haven’t picked up a card — The Union Daily Times asked our readers to submit memories of their mother. What follows is what we received. We hope you enjoy reading about the very special women as much as we did. So, from us at The Union Daily Times: Happy Mother’s Day!
Brenda Lanier — Angel in Mother’s Clothing
My sisters and I are blessed to have a mother such as ours. If you were to meet her, you would be drawn to her warmth and beauty. She is a rare composition of poise and grace, wrapped in a bouquet of golden hair and brilliant blue, smiling eyes.
Mom worked in the home while we were growing up. Raising the three of us was more than a full time job. Our childhood was rich with love and support. Mom would wake us each morning by gently rubbing our face and saying, “It’s time to get up baby.” When we arrived from school each day, she would be waiting for us with a snack. Our home was always warm and welcoming, because Mom’s presence was everywhere. From the aroma of comforting foods simmering on the stove, to the photos adorning every wall and table top, our home told the story of us.
Now that I am grown, with a family of my own, sometimes my only comfort is Mom. When she cradles me in her arms, like her little doll, I still know that everything will be alright.
Submitted by daughters Sandy Greene, Lexa Jones and Susan Clayton
Rev. Shirley Jennings Wheeler
My fondest memory of my mother is being a strong African American woman that believed in supporting her four children. She worked at Buffalo Mill countless hours in one day. She stood up and played the role of mother and father. I can remember when the Salvation Army was helping needy families, she applied for assistance just so we could have a decent Christmas. She would also go and get us skates and clothes from Sears on a credit card. We would have demolished the items before she would be finished paying interest on it. I remember this so well because I’m doing the same for my family. I am so thankful for the many beatdowns I received. If it wasn’t for that I don’t know where I would be right now. My mother always believed in discipline. Her favorite words were “it’s going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” That’s why on this Mother’s Day I would like to say that I love you, the Rev. Shirley Jennings Wheeler, to the moon and back.
Love, your daughter,
Mattie Sue Kingsmore
Two hundred words cannot adequately introduce Mother, but here are a few highlights.
At 92 years old, Mattie Sue Kingsmore is a pretty woman, spirited, fun-loving and enjoyed cooking, baking, canning, and gardening. Oh, and did I mention that she must have a crystal ball somewhere because she can read minds and predict the future — honest!
Before the term “Supermom” was used and Kelly Rippa performed magic in her Electrolux kitchen, Mother was the prototype for those models. She could juggle more activities in a day than a clown could keep balls in the air in a Ringling Brothers Circus. Three pressure cookers spitting on the stove, a beautiful cake on a white scalloped plate, vegetables prepared from the garden to the table, and voila, Sunday dinner was ready to be enjoyed. I might add that this took place before 10:00 AM Sunday School. Our family arrived on time in clothes that were clean and pressed, shoes polished and hair neatly in place.
Throughout the years, Mother did not whine or complain about what needed to be done. While working in the mill a hard eight hours in the weave room, she attended Keller’s Cosmetology College. Upon graduation, she opened her own beauty shop. With three children in college at the same time and a husband to care for, she was steadfast and always provided support, no matter what.
The family home has always been open to us, with an extended menu I must add. No reservations required.
On Mother’s Day, a red rose cut from a bush outside the front door was pinned on my brothers and me to wear to church. This year, I am pleased and proud to wear a red rose once more in her honor. Thank you, Mother, for giving your life to our family.
Much love and respect,
Dan, Don and Linda Kingsmore
My mama is the best in the world. She had a hard time providing for us, basically on her own. But she always made it through with a smile. I learned through her that gifts and money made items aren’t what being a good Mother is all about. A good Mother is one who loves unconditionally and provides care and compassion abundantly. My mama would go without her needs to give us our wants. She spent time with us having picnics, taking us to the creek, letting us have friends over who came to love her as much as we do. My mom didn’t have anything, not a car to drive, and no job. But by God’s grace and her ambition to make us happy, she did it all. She had four children all of whom graduated from school on a very slim child support check but she took that check and provided for us. She came to every event that we were ever in and cheered us on. She found a way, and as always God was the provider. I can remember being a teen though and wishing that I could leave and never come back because of her strict rules. But that made me who I am and I thank God every day for her being strict. As I am older she is the best friend I could ever ask for. When I need a shoulder to cry on she’s there. I just hope as I mature through motherhood that I can be just as a good of mother to my own and show them the same as I had. I love you Mama and I Hope Mother’s Day is very special for you.
My mother is Mable Vanderford-Owenby. She grew up on Lybrand Street in Union and worked at Union Mill until she retired. She worked so hard so we could have, she was a good cook and we had the best home cooked meals. She passed away Feb.13,1998. I have a lot of good memories of her. I will share some of them with you. She made the best macaroni pie that I have ever ate, I guess because it was made from scratch and with all the years of experience and with lots of love. I still have people wanting to know how she did make it. I try to tell them but it is never the same as hers. Mama took this macaroni pie to all of our Homecomings at Church and all of our Family reunions. I was the youngest child in our family and I was the last one to start to school. Mama worked the second shift at Union Mill in the spinning room and on Friday we would go to town to get her check cashed. We always ate lunch in town before we came home, she would tell me not to tell the older ones and that it was mine and her secret. I smile and cry at the special times we had together. She was a very good Mother and I miss her so much. Thank you Mama for being my mother. Happy Mother’s Day.
The fondest memory I have of my mother, Sandra Catoe, is that she was always a wonderful mother, was always on my side to protect me when I was growing up. One memory that stands out the most is on September the 4th 1983. I became a mother for the first time and my mother was there with me. She held my hand and talked me through the pain. She would let me squeeze her hand so tight, I am surprised that I didn’t break it. I love my Mother and if God allowed me to choose a mother, I would choose the same one. My Mother is my best friend. I talk to my Mother at least once every day. I love you, mama.
Thank you for all you do. You have always been there for all of us. You taught us so much. I have a lot of wonderful memories because of you. I couldn’t ask for a better mama. Happy Mother’s Day.
We love you,
Missy, Jerry, Lynn and David
In memory of Cheryl G. Harris
Thank you for all you did, Mama. You were always my biggest fan. I remember that you would always let me get back up after my bedtime to watch Monday Night Football and you would watch it with me. Thanks for always encouraging me to follow my dreams. I love you and miss you.
In honor of Linda Brock
Mama, I want to tell you happy Mother’s Day. I love you with all my heart. You mean the world to me. I look up to you. I remember when you used to put my hair up in two little pony tails. You talk to me when I need you. You’re always there for me and Brandon any time we need you.
Ashley and Brandon Brock
I would like to wish my mama (Louise Guyton) a happy Mother’s Day. My most cherished memory of you is when we were baptized on the same night in May 1972 at Fairview Baptist Church. I am just thankful you are still here to make more memories.
I would like to honor my mother for always being there to hold my hand, taking me places and helping me to grow up to be the fine man that I am. I remember you would always buy me cards for all the birthdays, Christmases and events in my life. That always meant the world to me. I love you.
Red, your favorite son
In honor of Cheryl Harris
I think about you and miss you every day. All my childhood memories are good. You were the best mama ever. You taught me so much and I wish you were here. I remember when I was young, I always went everywhere with you. Love you and miss you, Mama.
Always made me a part of your family
There whenever I need you
Beautiful inside and out
Every day was easier because of you
Whipped me when I needed it
Inside my heart and my prayers
Never left me
Got me out of trouble
Taught me alot
Oh, I know that I always kept you on your toes
Not my mother but always there for me
We would like to say happy Mother’s Day to our mother. You have always been there no matter what. You always had breakfast cooked and supper on the table. Not only are you the best mother, you are the best grandmother. Thank you for all you do. We love you always.
Mel, Crystal, Daniel from heaven, Red, Ashley, Brandon and Skyler
Ruby Waldo Rice
I would like to wish my mother Ruby Waldo Price a happy Mother’s Day. Even though you are gone, it’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I thank you for the values that you instilled in me. You taught me how to be a man and not to depend on anyone else. I am at peace because I know that you are with your heavenly father looking down on us. Once again, I love and miss you, Mama.
Martin Rice Sr.
In honor of Sherry Austin
I would like to say thank you for always being here when I need you. You always made sure that my needs were met and took good care of me, Thomas and Brent. You always pt us first, even before yourself. Thank you for loving me. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.
Love your son,
Chasity Gilkison is our mama. She takes us to the park to play and feed the ducks and to fish. She teaches us how to have patience of life, how to love ourselves and one another, the love of Jesus. We love Jesus for giving us a great and beautiful mama.
Tyre, age 5, Noah, age 4 and Poo, age 3
You are my friend and my beautiful mama. The year’s gone by so fast. I miss you playing with me and my little brother, how you would hang sheets up over furniture in the house and pretend we were camping out just to put a laugh on our faces and in our hearts. You’re the best mama, Kim McGowan.
Lacey and Drew
In loving memory of Sissy Sinclair McGowan
You are so deeply loved and missed by all of your kids and grandkids. You taught us the love of God, how to love one another and how to love ourselves. You were a single mama of three children and did a great job. You also were like a mother to your grandkids. You were the strongest woman I have ever known. I only hope that I am half the mama and grandma that you were. You are my hero and you are truly the wind beneath my wings. You are with us every day in our memories and in our heart. You may be gone but you will never be forgotten. RIP, Mama. We love and miss you dearly.
Sandy, Todd, Kim, Chasity, Brandi, Kandi, Matt, Lacy, Drew, Tyre, Noah, Poo
In memory of Cheryl G. Harris
The strongest woman I ever knew, you never let anything or anyone bring you down. You have always stared adversity in the face, even through the cancer. Every year that passes and as I understand a little more about life and I learn a little more about myself, I know you would want me to do the same as you and stay positive. You have taught me how to be grateful and not take life for granted. You have been the best mother and friend anyone could have. There’s not one day, one minute or one second that passes we don’t think of you and miss you. I love you very much.
Mark and Erica, Connor and Cierra
In honor of Beth Candler
I could look the world over a million times and not find as great a mom as you. You have been there during the brightest and darkest days. You have given me guidance, assurance, wisdom and knowledge through my childhood and even more now that I am a mother. There will never be enough time on earth to give back what you have given to me so I will do my very best to be a dedicated and loving mother to my children as you have to me. We hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Erica, Mark, Connor and Cierra
In loving memory of Cheryl Grady Harris
I have so many great childhood memories. You were the best mama in the world. I remember how everyone, cousins and friends, always wanted to come stay at our house because you always made it so much fun. I remember you playing hopscotch and roll bat with us all in the backyard. You would even jump on the trampoline with us and play badminton too. I remember when you made the homemade trophy for the badminton champion. I always had the coolest pajama parties. You would stay up all night with us, dancing and playing pranks. We would play hide and go seek outside. You taught us how to play rummy and spades. You would skate with us at birthday parties. You would let me and my friends jump out at red lights and dance around the car. You were the best mama ever when I was a child, a teen and an adult. You were always there for me no matter what. You are my hero. I love and miss you, Mama.
Michelle Harris Austin
Michelle Harris Austin
We want to tell you happy Mother’s Day. We love you very much. Thanks for always being a wonderful mama. Anything we need you’ve always been there, softball, dance recitals, cheerleading and much more. No matter what it is, we can always count on you even if it’s two o’clock in the morning, we can still call you and you will be there. Not too many have mamas like you. We never missed a birthday party, we never missed Christmas/Santa. Me and Carra are 18 and 20, Caylee is 13 and we still get Santa and gifts the night before. We love you and wouldn’t trade you for nothing. You are the best mama anyone could ever have. I remember when I was little, we always used to have sleepovers, play games, play four scare in the road and lots more, just a bunch of wonderful childhood and teen memories and wouldn’t trade them for nothing. We love you, Mama.
Carra, Cassidy and Caylee
In loving memory of Cheryl Grady Harris
You were the greatest Mama in the world
I am so honored that I was your little girl.
Wonderful childhood memories of pajama parties, dance contests and sports in the yard,
You always made it happy and fun, even if we were having it hard.
To our house, everyone would always come
They loved it because you were so much fun.
As a Mama and a Nanny you gave us all 100 percent, never less or even half,
You taught us all how to live, love and laugh.
We could tell you anything, with our secrets, you, we could always trust,
I know that you are our guardian angel, watching over all of us.
You are missed and loved dearly as a wife, daughter, mother, nanny, sister, aunt, cousin and friend,
We were all so heartbroken when your life came to an end.
Be happy in heaven with Meme, walking on the streets of gold
Because in our hearts and mind, wonderful memories, we will always hold.
We love you,
Michelle, Trey, Michael, Mark and all of your grandchildren