Letters regarding Mom, May 12

May 11, 2013 

Mom’s strong example

My Mom taught me to perserve and never quit.

She was a cosmetologist, homemaker and the neighborhood “go-to” person. She was always giving. When my dad was stricken with a massive stroke, and forced to recover in a rehabilitation hospital for eight months afterward, she never missed a day, nursing him back to health with her love.

Her five children are all successful parents, educators, entrepreneurs and community leaders because of the strong example she set to trust in God and take care of your family. Her favorite saying was “tough times don’t last, tough people do!”

Lenora Helm Hammonds

Durham

Mother’s genius

From my mother, I learned that even geniuses need nurturing.

My brother was a genius… well, arguably so, but in any case, my parents thought that he was. Perhaps all parents believe at some point that their child is a genius in some way, or if they do not, they should.

Children are geniuses because they can be creative and learn at a rate that is totally genius compared to adults whose previously steep learning curves have long since flattened out.

My mother read fairy tales to my brother: sweet animal stories with good moral values and valuable life lessons. Her idea was that letting him play chess, build electronic circuits, and learn to solve advanced math problems – all of which he was doing by age 3 – -was not the point.

The point was to prepare children for a lifelong journey of kindness, friends, and contribution to the world, and that these concepts could be conveyed to children by reading and discussing fables.

My mother spent a lot of time with us when we were young, reading, and allowing us the freedom to create and construct our own little worlds with blocks and crayons and original stories. My brother is a genius, but not because he graduated magna cum laude from Ivy League schools with several advanced degrees nor because he made significant medically useful discoveries and became chairman of a research department in his medical school, (all of which he has done), but because he now spends much of his time reading with, and to, his children.

My mother was a genius too, in the way we all can be, by spending time reading to children.

Joyce Pardon

Chapel Hill

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