Carol Sue

I had an incredible weekend visiting some fellow queer Lee alumns in Atlanta so don’t forget to remind me to tell you more about that later.

However, this post is dedicated to my Mom in light of yesterday’s Mother’s Day festivities. I have to stop and talk about this human being who is co-directly responsible for my existence and for helping to shape me as a human being.

Carol Sue oozes with kindness and compassion – from the work that she does caring for the elderly folks as a nurse at a retirement community to the way she patiently soothes my screaming 20 month old niece. In fact, watching my niece respond with awe and affection at this tender, loving woman reminds me of how I feel towards her even as a 28 year old. My two very tough, very manly brothers are reduced to tender hearted boys as they stoop to let her kiss their hairy cheeks and tell her they love her.

When I came out to her on one December evening by asking if she would love me if I was gay, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked how she could ever not love me just the way I was. I knew then that no matter who didn’t want anything to do with me after I came out, I was absolutely safe in the assurance of this woman’s love. I hear so many horror stories about parents rejecting their lgbt children and kicking them out of their houses and I feel incredibly lucky to have the mother and family that I do. When I meet someone and fall in love, I can’t wait to bring them home to meet her because of the way that she makes everyone she meets feel like the most affirmed human being on the planet. I love it when she is able to meet my lgbt friends who have been rejected by their own parents because she steps in maternally and tells them how beautiful they are just the way God made them.

My Mom has M.S. which freaks me out in ways I rarely communicate. I read about the way people deteriorate as the disease takes over their brains and I worry that my Mom will turn into those stories and I will lose her too soon. I selfishly want her to be at my wedding, want her to hold my babies, want her to be a part of my life for longer than M.S. will allow her. I get so angry at the thing in her brain that has no concept of what it is taking away.

But Carol Sue is a fighter. She is the strongest person I know. She provided for our family when my Dad was sick by sewing and selling crafts. She went through nursing school as a mother of three (getting straight As the whole way through) and worked third shift at a nursing home to keep us from having to go without the basics. She never complained about not having fancy things, she just smiled and talked about being a simple country girl without want for much.

Whatever I am, it is because of who my mother is. I watched her give selflessly, watched her love everyone, watched her persevere under impossible situations and I resolved to do and be the kind of person. My weird sense of humor, my creativity, the way I smile and how I treat those around me- you can blame Carol Sue. I know I do.  

So- Happy Mother’s Day to the irrefutably best mother on the planet. I am damn lucky to be your daughter.

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