Thanks, Mom, for carrying me around for nine months! Thanks for my name, which I’ve always liked. Thanks for changing my diapers and for putting up with me when I was a squalling infant, and thanks for not slugging me when I was going through the “terrible twos” or being a jerky, insolent teenager. Thanks for being understanding when I wet the bed. Thanks for making me behave, but not coming down too hard on me when I broke my glasses for the thousandth time or goofed off instead of doing my chores. Thanks for buying the kinds of breakfast cereal I really liked, and for letting me flip the pancakes on Sunday mornings, and for giving me that great bowling birthday party with my friends when I turned 10.
Today is Mother’s Day. The states and Congress have formally recognized Mother’s Day for about 100 years, but people have been celebrating their mothers for a lot longer than that. Today I wanted to say “thanks” to my mother, Agnes Neal Webner.
Thanks for being patient as I went through the dreadful teenage years. Thanks for not laughing at my haircuts or my sad efforts to look cool or the weird outfit I wore for my high school senior picture in 1975. Thanks for being nice to my friends. Thanks for not worrying too much about me and letting me find my own way. I always knew you were there, ready to help, if I needed you.
Thanks for my brother and sisters, and thanks for giving me individual attention and support even though I was one of five children who vied for your attention. Thanks for cleaning my ridiculously dirty college apartment and for deciding, with Dad, to pay for my college and law school tuition. Thanks for being so welcoming to Kish and to the other people who have joined our family. Thanks for taking care of Richard when Russell was born, and for inviting the boys to come down and stay with you and Dad in your Florida condo. They really enjoyed those trips. And thanks for teaching me sayings that I still use, like “rise and shine” and “use a little elbow grease.”
Thanks for your generosity, and your sacrifices, and you unflinching love and support. Thanks giving me my dimples and helping to shape my outlook about things. Thanks for all that, and for so much more that you have done for me over the past 54 years.