Jake LaCaze

May 11, 2024 ↓

She’s just a mother—Celebrate the hell out of her

I can't help associating Mother's Day with another holiday: Thanksgiving. That's because, in 2011, my mother passed away on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the last holiday I spent with her.

I owe my mother far more than I can ever properly credit. For 10 years in my early childhood, she raised me as a single mother. When she passed away, my mother had worked at a garment factory in southeast Arkansas for 23 years. Her peak wage was $10 an hour. Thanks to the sacrifices of my mother (and my stepfather), I've never made as little as $10 an hour since I graduated college.

As a tired single mother, she prepared me for the future the best way she knew how. She made sure I understood early on that education was my key to getting out of the hometown I couldn't wait to leave behind. She taught me how to study for tests. She made sure I went to school every day unless I was sick. I didn't need a prestigious education. (Louisiana public schools have served me just fine.) I just needed an education. And she gave me the stability I needed to focus on being just one tier above mediocre so that I could take on the opportunities waiting for me outside of northeast Louisiana.

I shouldn't be here, where I am, a humble boy from Middle of Nowhere, Louisiana, making a good life in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for my mother. She is still the rock upon which I stand.

I was 26 years old when my mother passed away. I wasn't ready to say goodbye. Even in my mid-20s, I still needed my mommy. And I still do, as I approach middle age.

I often wonder if my mother would be proud of me and where I am. Sometimes, I want nothing more than to hear that sentiment from her. That will never happen. So all I can do is hope.

If you know you owe any semblance of success to your mother--and you know you can never put that fact into proper words--just try. Make the effort. You won't find the right words. But that's not the point. The point is in letting her know what you know you can never articulate.

These days, some women lament the idea of being nothing more than just a mother. But there is no such thing as just a mother. A mother brings you into the world. And she is most often the first person to ever love you. We should not discount this simple gift of biology.

So even if your mother is just a mother, let her know you appreciate her. And celebrate the hell out of her while you still can.

Jake LaCaze wants you to say hi to your mother for him.


Songspiration

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'Green Eyes' by Coldplay

Audio