Gig Line: A mother’s love

Published 8:47 am Sunday, May 8, 2022

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To all the women who have had children, adopted children or just plain love children no matter who brought them into the world, God bless you and thank you.

Sunday, March 8 is that special day set aside this year to especially honor and celebrate motherhood. Mothers, as we know, come in all shapes and sizes. They are most often the first person that doctors hand that new little life to, the first kiss on the cheek or forehead, the first warm embrace, the first “I love you” spoken close to a newborn’s ears comes from our mothers.

There simply can’t be enough said to praise the role mothers play in our lives; nor are there enough words in the English language to describe the love of a mother for the little ones they deliver or adopt or the vital role she plays throughout a child’s life, no matter how long they may live.

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Mothers hold us in their arms and laps when we’re little, then they hold our hand when we’re all grown up. They nurture us when we skin our knees or scratch our way through the chickenpox and they teach us daily to say, “thank you” or” I’m sorry” or, most importantly, “I love you.” Women have babies through conception, others through surrogacy, others through adoption and many just adore children regardless of how they got here or who their parents are. That motherly love can also be felt throughout our life, oftentimes through a teacher, a nurse, a coach, a mentor or the friendship of a friend’s Mom; that unique relationship is also warm and comforting and everlasting.

The love of a woman for their children is precious, it’s that natural instinct to protect, cherish and always have (or make time) for their child, no matter what. She’s the center of a family. She’s the one who, as children, would typically sit at our bedside, check our temperature, administer Vick’s VapoRub and pray to God for our healing. She’s often the one by impulse we cry out to first when we’re hurt or scared and who we call for advice or comfort when we’re sad and she’s the one we tell our deepest secrets to. Mothers will always be a tower of strength no matter how their stature diminishes in their later, senior years of life. Mothers are the ones we tell our fears to, share our hopes and dreams with. They are the ones who pray for our good health, safety and happiness throughout our lives. They stay on their knees when their children or grandchildren are deployed or in harm’s way and in most cases, no matter how we stumble or fall, a mother’s love is steadfast and true, supportive and encouraging and, without a doubt, unconditional.

When I think about this beautiful day of remembrance, I think about my mother, Mama Eleanor L. Mann, who passed on to Heaven in 1977 at age 52 from lung cancer. She was the first non-medical personnel who held me in her arms and kissed my face. She is the one who took good and loving care of my sister and me. She is who took me to church the very first time and showed devotion to the man she loved so much that I looked up to – my Daddy.

Mama was, thankfully, a stay-at-home mom until I was a young teenager. She created beautiful memories, always making life special for our family, always putting each of us ahead of herself, always wanting the best and making the most out of what little we had: a simple home, no fanfare or fancy things but always giving warm, loving and unforgettable comfort, care and attention that made us know how precious we were to her. I’m so thankful that God placed me in her loving arms.

Everyone loved Mama – the people she worked for, Daddy’s sisters and the neighborhood ladies when she cut and permed their hair ahead of church on Sunday just because it made them feel pretty. Everybody loved Mama. I, like so many of you who have lost your mom, think of her mostly every day in one way or the other. I remember her sitting her grandchildren (my little ones) up on the kitchen counter so they could help her roll out Daddy’s homemade biscuits, when buying them their favorite toy, cuddling with them on the couch with a blanket, always showing them their importance.

From her beautiful smile to her standing at the stove making Daddy’s favorite fried fish, taters, cole slaw and pancake cornbread to her shopping for the best surprises under the tree that they could afford to her telling me even before I knew it myself that Billy loved me with all of his heart. I will love, cherish and hold dear all of my memories of her and they will stay in my heart forever more.

She was a pretty lady with chestnut colored hair, brown eyes and smooth olive skin as a descendant of a full-blooded Native American; she was the mother every child wants and that every child deserves. She cared deeply about her clients (as a respected insurance agent back in the day) with W. R. Pierce Insurance, later with Kellogg-Morgan Insurance Agency to finally and before her passing G. R. Little Insurance Agency in Kitty Hawk. Her customers loved her and frequently complemented her competency and devotion to their insurance needs. I worked in her Kitty Hawk office for a brief period filling in at the front desk and I enjoyed meeting folks every day who chose her as their agent and hearing praise of her knowledge and expertise.

What about your Mama? I can imagine how wonderful she is or was! They are all so precious, aren’t they? I bet you all have wonderful stories to tell about you mom too! And what about our daughters who have also become mothers? I still tell our beautiful daughter Bonnie how much she inspired me, having had and raised my first-born grandson Jeffrey. Always putting him first, being involved in his education from pre-school to college. She stood by and up for him and encouraged him to be the best he could be in life; to do what made him happy and to enjoy his work; to be responsible about his money and to spend it carefully. She taught him so many wonderful things – she set the bar high on housekeeping; eating healthy; being a good person; to be thoughtful and kind; to stand up for what he believes in and to set his goals high and to work hard to reach them. She was, is and will always be an incredible mother and I couldn’t be prouder of her, as was her Daddy.

She and I are close, but she was a Daddy’s girl and after years of successful property management, following in her Daddy’s illness and death in 2016, she realized her heartfelt interest in a medical career and acquired her E.M.T. certification, working full time in Dare County. Following up behind that, she sought to achieve her paramedic certification in addition to operating her own business, The Fort Strength and Fitness in Frisco. Am I bragging? Without question! Beyond the long drives from her Frisco residence to all the E.M.T. and paramedic classes locally up the beach and out of town, she hung in there and the final exams resulted in impressive grades. Shile she was studying, working, traveling and running her business, she made her mind up to eliminate fast foods from her diet regimen and focus instead on high protein, low carb and low sugar and, of course, owning a gym, she worked out . . . a LOT. The result of that endeavor? A loss of 120 lbs.!

Through both my mother and my daughter Bonnie, I have learned that as good of a mother and I strived to be throughout her and her brother Bill’s life, I likely came up short, but in between the two, I witnessed superb and wonderful examples of A+ motherhood. These two incredible women stir my heart. They’ve inspired me, they are my “girly” heroes and I love them both very, very much.

This Mother’s Day, remember all the good times. Think of how your precious mother touched your life and made you a better person. If, in some ways, she let you down or vice versa, forgiveness is the best way to change things – life is too short and none of us are perfect. Honor mothers around you whether they bore a child or they simply have an overwhelming love for the neighborhood kids, because they, too, play a significant role in children’s lives.

Lastly, but so magnificently, consider the Mother of all mothers, the Virgin Mary, who God our Father chose through immaculate conception to bear His son, Jesus Christ. This exceptional woman delivered the most incredible gift to the world only to watch Him suffer extreme torture and be killed at the hands of those who despised His goodness.

In closing, remember, folks, that the month of May is special for another reason in addition to celebrating our mothers – it’s designated to honor and recognize all U.S. service members! Yippee! If you would like to call me, my cell number is 252-202-2058 or email at If you have questions about your VA benefits or you need a duplicate DD-214, please contact our Dare County Veteran Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan at her office number 252-475-5604 or by email at Patty is a gem and truly dedicated to helping our veterans!

Each time I write Gig Line, I think of you, my reading audience. Sometimes I talk frequently about my family, in particular my husband and hero Billy, but just to be clear, I always consider you on the other end – your feelings, your opinions and those you love, too. Books about “how to author books” tell you often to write what you know, hence my column.

Until next time, be healthy, safe, and happy! Embrace life – it is a blessing to us all. Look for positive things to do with and for others and remember it’s okay to love yourself. After all, you are the only you! As always, I love you! God bless you and please pray for our troops, wherever they may be. Stay tuned!