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In the past I've written about my grandfather and dad. Never my mom. In hindsight that is strange. My mom kind of rocks.

My mom would often take me into the backyard and throw the baseball around with me. Heck she tried to teach me how to throw a curve ball (she wasn't successful). As a military brat we moved around a lot. New schools every 3-4 years. She was in a room where the teachers once suggested they flip a coin for which home room I'd attend. That was a mistake. My education wasn't a flip of a coin. The "beat down" that followed was epic.

Maybe my most fond memory is as a kid in the mid-80s. I was one of the best golfers in the nation. We drove all through the Midwest for me to play. I played each day, on my home course, with an African American guy. Andy. Andy came from a household that well, wasn't the best. Most days my mom gave me extra money to buy him lunch.

I asked if maybe he could come with us to this or that tournament. She said of course. More then once or twice in the early 80s we were told a ni++ger wasn't allowed on that course or this course. My mom beat those folks down. Once she lost the conversation and we just were told to load up our stuff and left. I think she said it was a "teachable" moment.

She is 67 years young today ..... happy Birthday mom!

I think this is about my favorite pic of my mom. 1963. Taken by my dad on their first date.

Joyce On First Date

My dad's folks didn't like mom, she was just a "common" women. The daughter of a factory worker. My father a person of "means."

Well years later they connected again. Been married 47 years. After my grandparents passed away, and he got their "means" my dad tracked down the EXACT car that pic was taken in and bought it. If that ain't romantic I don't know what is.

'55 Ford Thunderbird

On most weekends they cruise around in the car. My mom doesn't know it is "that car." It is a secret just my dad, myself, and brother know. He likes it that way.

I was born on July 12, 1969. My father was working on his PhD at LSU in Civil War military history. Cause he married my mom my grandparents cut off paying for his school. No problem, mom just went and got a job to pay for his college. I am not sure how exactly, but my mom raised me and went to a job each day at the Louisiana capital where she was a secretary. Somehow she also had time to type up his dissertation, which was 663 pages. I also got a nice bath or two :).

Tommy & Joyce II

Later in my life when I went to grad school at LSU the first thing I did was go to the library and check that darn thing out. Heck a few weeks ago my mother got her first computer, in her first email to me she said, "wow the delete key is easier then white out."

Eventually my father went to teach at Texas Tech and then work for the government. We moved a lot. Mom was always there.

Tommy & Joyce

Many years later I got a brother. That was kind of strange cause I am the 4th in the line of single males. Heck I have a IV after my name. He was 12 years younger then myself. At 11 the doctors said he had the bone structure of a five year old. There was this test thing, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), that could help but it was expensive.

My mother started a craft business almost overnight and worked non-stop to be able to buy those drugs. Tens of thousands of dollars.

Did I say this yet, my mom rocks!

She and my father are retired now. All the money that was once used against her as a "common" women my folks now have. They spend pretty much all of it on myself, my brother, his wife, and daughter.

Did I say a daughter (Katie). This was the first time in five generations a women in my family ever had a girl. My mom and I did a little happy dance in the waiting room :).

Easter '90 (Family)'

Here we are as a family. Mom with Katie in hand. Me to the far right.

My mom is a life long Republican. But voted for Obama cause she felt Palin was shit all stupid. Works as an election judge in her town. Spends her free time working at a women's rape crisis center and the local hospital. Did I mention my mom is my hero.

Happy birthday mom .... may you have many, many more of them!

Originally posted to webranding on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 06:06 AM PDT.

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