Today, March 16th, would have been my mother’s 100th birthday. She exited this life just two months shy of her 98th birthday, January 19, 2012. She lived a valuable and influential life, teaching prisoners, caring for the poor, and moving among high ranking governmental officials, even Presidents.
But her real value was at home, to my sister and me as “mom.” Just mom. We did not know her in her other, more public roles; nor did we know our father, Earl Carlton Davis, as the founder of our present-day mega-ton maritime industry. For us, he was just “dad.” Never mind that he drank with Presidents and stevedores alike, and ran the gamut from the FBI to the Mafia members. He was, at home, just dad.
Now that they are both gone, my sister, Carol, and I reflect on their lives often. What they gave us was immeasurable.
Dad gave me his horrible sense of humor; a malady I suffer even to this day. My mom simply mixed up the punch-line with the joke. We forgave them both for these gifts years ago.
My mother’s consistent tenacious character has formed my character in deep ways. It is hard for me to let go, to give up, or quit. My dad passed along his toughness to fortify my determination.
My dad’s meanness taught me how not to be a father. Although, I’m not that sure I was that great of a father anyway.
Dad’s congenial character taught me diplomacy. I learned to compromise and still get things done right. That was an art, his art, and I am glad I’ve inherited so much of it.
But it was my mom’s personal Christian faith that most informed my early years, teen years, and throughout college & graduate school. Though I had my father’s personality, I definitely had my mother’s faith. She rarely passed it along to us through words; rather, it came to us through her attitudes and actions; and through prayer— lots of prayer. She was the embodiment of Jesus Christ Himself for us! Her prayers even drew dad back to God, through years of disappointment & anger.
Has there been someone in your life who has had a rich, deep impact on you? Thank God for them! Get in touch with them. Thank them yourself, before you miss the chance.
We kids are a dumb lot, often unable to see the love and care of those closest to us. It’s probably time we tuned-in a tad more and appreciated what God has given us.
Thanks mom, for everything…, & Happy Birthday!
For what it’s worth,