(Leigh and Kitty Perry. I don’t know which one is the more mischievous. But thanks be to my wife, a mom. Thanks be to her mom, too. Thanks be to her mom’s mom and her dad’s mom. Thanks be to my mom. And, thanks be to her mom and grandma — who have gone on. Thanks be to all moms. God only knows, the world would be a better place with more moms.)
On this Sunday, perhaps the world will give us a break. Just 24 hours to breathe a bit deeper. Maybe just one day to sigh a little better. Hopefully, just one daybreak to daylight to dusk where we can forget the daily pokes in the gut, and tobacco juice spit in the eye. Just one day to celebrate.
Don’t need any more press conferences, thank you. Appreciate it much, but we know how awful life is right now. Don’t need anyone to tell us, or, for God’s sake, sign language it.
Don’t need CNN and ABC and every supposed news organization in-between to give us an update on COVID-19; another death toll.
Don’t need to know how we are out of toilet paper and meat.
Don’t need a sad description of how many of our neighbors are out of work and desperate for food.
Don’t need another report about the darn killer hornets; or anything else that Asia may want to send our way.
Don’t need it.
On this Sunday, we need a break.
We need some sunshine.
We need some hugs and kisses — even if they are just virtual. (For the record, I have already hugged my 90-year-old mom. Long and hard. For reals, too. Sorry, Andy. That’s just the way we do things in our home.)
And, we need some love.
After all, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right?
After all, Sunday is the one day out of seven — .14285714% of all the days for the mathematically inclined — to say grace. Seems like we can spare .14285714% of the days to do that, right?
After all, this Sunday is the one day out of the entire year that we set aside to give thanks to the one individual in all of our respective lives that deserve so much more. So. Much. More.
Thanks be to our Moms. Thank the Good Lord, I still have mine. And, she is a dandy. She is a beaut. Love her so very much. You can read about her here from time to time. She’s 90-years-old going on 40. And, not about to stop. Lovely.
Thanks be to our grandmothers, if you are ever-so lucky to still have them around and in your life.
Thanks be to any fine lady that took a moment to pull a splinter out of your finger; or bandage a wounded knee that lost a fight with a bike wreck.
Thanks be to those that took time to listen to our woes, even though they were not so woeful, and wound a heart that lost a fight with a lost love.
Thanks be to those that offered more comfort and solace than advice or words. Just a safe haven that was the closest thing to heaven.
Thanks be to those stood by our sides when we were really on the wrong side.
Thanks be to those that held us up, when the world shoved us around. Thanks be to those that carried us when we gave up.
Thanks be to those that cooked a hot meal and offered it on our table, even though we made no effort to help prepare. They gave. We took. And, “they” were still happy.
Thanks be to those that carried us around for 9 months, and they never once offered a complaint. (In my case, I stuck around for about 9 months, a couple of weeks and 24 hours of awful labor. But that’s another story for another day.)
Thanks be to those that understand love. Not the word, mind you. The emotion.
Thanks to be those that give love. Not to some. But to everyone.
Thanks be to those.
A few years ago, I was blessed to find the love of my life. When I spoke my vows to her in Mendoza, Argentina — right in the middle of the Cavas Wine Lodge vineyard — I said to her then:
“Leigh, when I found you, I found me.”
The words went on from there. I’m a wordy type, you know. But the meaning of those words have never stopped ringing in my ears. Most of all, those words have never stopped dancing in my heart. Not ever.
When I found Leigh Ann Sears, I found the one person in the entire universe that knew me better than I did. I found a beautiful person, with a gorgeous soul. I found my soulmate, who can give love without asking for anything in return; who can forgive imperfections without keeping score; who can hide disappointment without a frown; who can laugh without trying.
I tell Leigh all the time that nobody on this Earth loves me more than I do. We laugh. Both of us know that it’s true, too. But if anybody could, it would be her.
She is a mom.
(Debra, in the pink snow suit, is always surrounded by her family. Always.)
When I found Leigh Ann Sears, I also found a most wonderful family tucked away on a few thousand acres in Southwest Kentucky and a little town that you can’t find with a search warrant.
I met Leigh’s mother, Debra. And, to be honest, that was a bit intimidating. After all, Leigh’s mom is a school teacher. An old-school school teacher. And, I knew it would not take her long to do some simple math — which she can depart to the most difficult 3rd Grader on a bad day.
You see, I’m several years older than her daughter, Leigh. OK, I’m several years older plus several years older. OK, I’m several years older times several years older. And, I wasn’t the kind that most parents expect their child to bring home for dinner and to meet the family.
But to Debra’s most amazing credit, she never once brought the issue up. She never once made me feel uncomfortable or conscious about the “elephant in the room.” All she did was make me feel welcome. All she did was make me feel comfortable and accepted. All she did was make me feel loved.
To be honest, I don’t know if I could have been so gracious and loving. But, to be honest, now that I know Debra, I would never expect anything less.
She is a mom.
When I found Leigh, too, I soon discovered that she had two of the most remarkable grandmothers to ever walk on the sod that grows so rich and green in Lowes, KY. (Most of the sod is grown by Leigh’s dad and uncle, by the way.)
(Our son, Will, and Nana)
I met Barbara Brown, who is better known as “Nana.” She can cook a pie with a blink of an eye. And, it is so very good. She can spin a story with a twist and a tale. And, it is always a tie that binds. She will sit and play cards with her great grand-children for as long as they will sit still, and, somehow, she always finds a way for the little ones to win — big. She can give a hug that lasts forever. She can somehow find a way to smile, even in the most painful of circumstances, or after the 8th time she has undergone surgery on the same shoulder. And, the mailman never misses a birthday. Nana makes sure of that.
She is a mom.
(Nana, left, and Marian Sears, right, surround Maggie)
I also met Marian Sears, the mother of Leigh’s dad, Johnny. And, it only takes one step inside the home of Marian & Sonny Sears — which is about 100 yards from the church building that helped erect, as well — to understand what their life is all about. There are photos of their oldest son Johnny. There are photos of their two daughters Christy and Cathy. There are photos of the youngest son, Bill. There are photos of all of their children’s children. And, now there are photos of their children’s children’s children. One by one, Marian tells you who they are. More impressively, though, she tells you what they are. She has a proud story of each. She short changes not a single one. They are family. Held together by a hair-pin that fits snug and tight. Held together, without a single doubt, by Marian Sears.
She is a mom.
(Kelly riding her horse in Iceland, and with husband Bill at the Kentucky Derby)
And, of course, I would not be true to my heart if I didn’t mention one other Sears family member, whom I have come to know and truly love and admire. There is Leigh’s aunt Kelly. Even though she is younger than me (there’s that age thing again), I call her my aunt, too. She just loves when I do that. Just ask her about it.
Of all the people that I have had the pleasure to meet and know in my life, and I have been fortunate to count on many, I can truthfully say that I have found no one — not a single person — who is more caring; thoughtful; loving. There are two types of people in this great world of ours. Those that give. And, those that take. I have to admit, for the most part, I am a taker. Sad admission. But an honest assessment. I will try to do better. But Kelly Sears is a giver. Without any questions. Without any hesitations. Without any request for something in return. She just gives. Everything she has.
She can sing like a dove. She can mend a broken heart. She can brighten a dark moment with a brilliant smile. She can adopt a dog or a cat or a horse or a varmint with equal affection and love. She can do all those things. Most of all, though, she is willing and able to do those things.
No matter what anyone ever says, this gal is a mom. Right down to the core.
On this Sunday, let us not worry about what is on the news.
On this Sunday, let us not fret about tomorrow.
On this Sunday, let us give celebration.
For we have so many “moms” in our midst. And, each one is truly a blessing.
Every single one.