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I want to share with you the words that my brother once wrote about our mother on this Mother’s Day: Happy Mother’s Day ya’ll! I miss my mom but I’m pretty sure these two are having a heck of a celebration now that they are together for the day and my stepdad’s birthday (albeit one day late)! Or at least she is visiting him if he went to the place she always told him he could go when he got out of line ;) Here’s a little something I wrote when she passed. Have a great day from myself, my family and the good people of Texas! Mom, As a child growing up, I often thought that when your heart stopped mine would as well – that the world would grind to a halt in mid-orbit and we would all fly free of its grasp, as the rule of gravity no longer applied. Now you are gone. The world continues to spin around the sun and the dream of unassisted flight remains just that for man. My heart, while broken, still beats. Over the years they called you by many names, Mom: Shirley, Cookie, Mrs. Garrett, Mrs. Cook, and sometimes in Austin, Big Momma. But to me, you will always be Duck. After all, if it was good enough for Grandpa Rob, it is more than good enough for me. Now they still call, but the anguished wails of the grieving land fall on deaf ears. Your long, painful fight is over. You have earned eternal rest. And as much as I would like to close my eyes, lie down, and join you, it is the bit of you that remains with all of us that compels me on toward the future, despite this grave loss. It is the lessons: Make sure your friends are smarter than you, excel, don’t get a big head, never quit, know when to stop, never stop learning. It is the love and acceptance you gave to, not just your sons and husband, but to everyone around, and the example you set simply by living: defy the odds, help those who can be helped, try to help those who cannot, and bask in any praise you might have accumulated along the way in the afterlife.

Mother’s Day post continued below: But most of all it is the greatest gift you gave both James and I — besides the best spaghetti in creation (in my humble opinion)– words, that comfort me now. They have been the key to your sons’ success, written, spoken, read aloud since you gave them to us as a child. We each in our own way became a reflection of you. They’ve helped us through school, find work, and gave us the means to give back to you when the time came. Sitting and looking through old assignments you’ve graded and commented on, or the letters I wrote you in college, thinking myself a young man of some importance – the kind who writes letters so they can be put in his archives later – begins a crack in this sad façade, and I can feel the possibility of future happiness seeping in oh so slowly. That’s when I realized that the thing that bothered me most is that the greatest gift you gave me could not mend your heart, kidneys, or withered frame. At best it seemed to sometimes ease your pain, when I wrote something you thought was great in the newspaper or James brought a smile to your face with his distinct form of verbal wizardry on the radio. Good, but it seemed so insignificant. So, now that I have regained the voice I was afraid I would lose permanently when you passed, I would like to use these words to assure you your sons are okay. We know how stubborn you are, and if there is any possibility you can guard and watch over our every step until we join you… well, can you at least stay out of the bathroom?

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