Athens — "Mother" is such a simple word, but to me there’s meaning seldom heard. For everything I am today, my mother’s love showed me the way. I’ll love my mother all my days, for enriching my life in so many ways. She set me straight and then set me free, and that’s what the word "mother" means to me. Thanks for being a wonderful mother, Mom! -Karl Fuchs
Mothers worldwide will be honored this Mother's Day with handmade cards, flowers, and Dads may even purchase gifts for mom. Is all that really enough? How could one day thank these women for all the little things they have brought into their children's lives? Could you ever really repay your mother for all she does?
On this special Sunday, Susan Bates of Gun Barrel City remembers her own mother. Nova Lee Beesigner Pardue, Susan's mother, passed away in 2009. Susan, with a small tear in her eye, remembers the struggles her mother faced while raising her as a single mother.
Susan was born in the 1950s – during the time Ozzy and Harriet and Father Knows Best were the top-rated shows on television. But Susan's life was not patterned after the television shows.
Susan was 6-months-old when her mother was left to raise her by herself. Pardue often blamed herself for the breakup of her marriage.
“We didn't have many conversations about her marriage,” Bates remembers. “She just said she didn't know how to be a good wife.”
With the help of her six sisters Pardue was able to go to school and complete nurses training. Her sisters would take on the job of babysitting, so she could study nursing. Pardue, a quiet, kind woman, knew that an education was her only option to support little Susan.
Pardue lost her own mother at the young age of 16. She had her own share of difficult times, growing up during the 1930s and 1940s without a mother. Susan says, “My mother had a lot of integrity. She taught me to treat people the way I want to be treated. Maybe she learned that from her own mother.”
Susan, a normal rebellious teenager, today wishes she had been more like her mother.
“Mom was quiet but wise,” said Susan.
All Susan ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. Today Susan is the very proud parent of five children and 10 grandchildren.
“I love my kids and grandkids very much. I want to spend as much time as I can with them,” Susan said.
Susan smiles and says, “I don't think I was the same mother as my mom, I just wanted my children to be happy, and get a good education. If you asked the kids what they think about me, they most likely might say I am bossy and meddlesome. Nothing like my mom.”
If Susan could talk to her mother one more time, she would tell her all about her grandchildren. “Mother would just sit and listen. That's the kind of person she was.”
Susan will spend Mother's Day with her own children and grandchildren. But she will always cherish her memories of her own mother.