Yesterday was a sad and eye opening day for me. I kept thinking about how I am lucky to have my mom around while others are dealing with the loss of theirs. It seems like just yesterday being at the mass for her mom and watching a family fall apart. I had been to several other funerals for loved ones, but seeing her lose a mother was unbearable.

But this sadness also made me think about how grateful I am to have my mom and grandmother here today.

When I was 7 or 8 years old my parents divorced and I was left with so many questions. Mom became the disciplinarian and provider while dad became a part time fixture in my life. I know this situation isnt unlike many other people’s childhoods, but that doesnt lessen the pain it caused inside of me. Early on in the divorce, I played mediator and go-between for all the hateful things that my parents needed to say to each other. They may not have realized it at the time, but every time I was given a “message for my father” or a “you tell your mother”, it drew me farther away from each of them and caused me to close off the world. Hence the reason I needed counseling.

As I grew into my teens, these experiences made me resent them and filled me with anger. Since mom was the more prominent figure in my life, she caught the brunt of my angst. It wasnt until I joined the military did I start to appreciate all the hard work she did to keep my brother and I together in the best situation she could. We didnt have much in the way that other kids did as we grew up but there was always food on the table. That food may have come from food stamps or brown bag donations from nearby churches but either way, we never went hungry. New clothes were hard to come by at times. But if we ever really needed something Nanny was sure to make us something. Something like neon colored shark shorts for instance. (imagine fabric with neon sharks and lightning bolts on them all ties together with a white background so they pop. Im talking Great Whites with their mouths open and lightning crashing behind them because this was the manly fabric ever conceived. Now you kind of get the picture of how cool I was) The same neon shark shorts that would rip as I was running around the playground desparately trying to kiss girls.

Mom kept us in sports, she kept us in the house we grew up and she kept us around the friends we had known forever. Mom took me on “dates” so I would know how to treat a lady. I remember going to Bobs Big Boy, do they even have those anymore, and having to do everything that a man would do for a woman on a date. When we arrived I had to open her car door, open the door to the restaurant, pull out her seat, order for her and engage in witty banter. (I of course was a natural for the witty banter) I think back to this and realize that this is a huge reason for the way I have turned out. Its a giant part of the man I am today. I know that I have been far from perfect with some of the women I have dated, but for the most part, I know that I have been a good person. Through her morals and teachings I have become the person I am today.

My grandmother has also been a huge part of my life. She has always treated my brother and I like we were the only grandkids in the world. Besides making us amazing clothes, she has always spoiled us and has very rarely said no. “No” only came when we were acting selfishly or when she knew that our request wasnt appropriate. My Nanny is the one that funded my investment in Bustin Boards. When all other avenues failed, she was the one that believed in me. When other family members dismissed this as a pipe dream, when banks and credit card companies laughed at me, she was the one that came through. For that I am eternally grateful. She is another shining example of the person I am today.

For all these things I am thankful. For these beautiful moms in my life, I say thank you. You have given me so much in life like:
– the Lion King soundtrack so that I could take it on a middle school field trip with me and have Kevin still harass me about it today
– a bouncing Tigger on my 18th birthday because I liked him when I was 5
– a remote controlled car when I was 22 that I converted into a beer holder (cody you remember that one rolling around Euclid)
– a Slanket for Christmas this year
– and Smurf kites for Easter when I am 29.
Who could ever want more in a mother and grandmother? I dont know anyone that would ever pass up these two. I love you guys.

To all the other moms I know out there, congrats on who you are and what you are doing. You are singlehandedly the reason that we are on this planet. I know you knew that already because you are women and you know everything, but I mean it. Without you, without mothers, us men would be lost in a sea of testosterone waiting to kill one another other. You keep us sane and insane all at the same time (women and moms). Most importantly you help to guide our way. Take special care of the children you have and will have. You shape most of what the next generation will become.

Amy, that Bear is going to be trouble with the boys, but what an amazing little kid. Too smart for her own good and I can see you in her eyes even though we didnt play on the swingset as kids. I wish we would have. Joe can come too.

Ayesha, I dont know how you do it but you do. One little barbie doll running around and twin boys that are going to be linebackers or professional wrestlers. And Troy. You get my vote for woman of the year, every year, forever.

Toga, what can I say? You have to be my long lost sister the way that we used to fight and makeup. Kaleb is lucky to have you as his momma. Your moral backbone will help in shaping a great man.

Leslie, your little Pnut is a gift from heaven (or the other place depending on what time of day it is or if you cant find her kix). I cant tell you how much I enjoyed being around you guys before leaving for Oki. You are a trooper. A Marine wife is one of the hardest things in the world to be and you do it without missing a beat. Tell them to give you a medal, you deserve it.

Glo, so many rugrats and look at what amazing gentlemen they have become. I remember changing stinky diapers when you were away working to pay the bills. I am so proud to call you my sis even though we dont see as much of each other as we should. I love those kids more than you know.

Amanda, I hope your first Mother’s day went well. Im sure you will make an incredible mommy. I cant wait to feel that feeling…not pregnancy, just being a parent. Congratulations on this next adventure.

Tammi, Kenzi is all grown up and quite a woman. I love how much you love them and how cool you help to make them. I cant wait to be there for Kenzi’s grad party and I cant wait to hold my first conversation with young Chaz. Thanks for getting caught up with one of my best friends, he loves you for making that little ginger monster.

To all my “other” moms; Aunt Char, Momma Daughtridge, Momma Lowe, Momma Koop, Kelly Koop, Momma Showman, you all helped to shape me too. Thanks for providing guidance, cleaning up scabby knees, and just being there.

Last but not least. To all you wannabe moms out there, call me. Jokes

Categories: Back in the Day Tags: , , , , , ,
  1. Tammi
    May 10, 2010 at 17:48

    Thank you!! Your an amazing person and your mom and grandmother should be PROUD! We love you.

  2. Jenny "Toga"
    May 10, 2010 at 19:31

    I’m left speechless, yet once again Matt. Thank you for your kind and precious words. You truly have humbled me, and every other mom by the way you put things into words. We’re all blessed to have a friend like you in our lives!

  3. Deb Piper (Ayesha's Mom)
    May 11, 2010 at 16:25

    You are obviously wise beyond your years! What an incredibly nice post!

    • May 11, 2010 at 16:32

      Thanks for the compliment. You have an incredible daughter and that obviously stems from your teachings as well. Thanks also for reading my babbling! Cheers

  1. October 30, 2010 at 11:29

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