In loving memory of Roberta Ann White- August 12, 1945 to September 27, 1995
Mother’s Day is bitter sweet for me. Smiles and tears play tug-of-war with my mind and emotions as I remember the woman who gave life and motivation to me.
My mom was the female version of the Renaissance Man. Wife, mom of 5, housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, but this is common for most moms, right? This is where the truly amazing part begins.
Without even a high school education, my mom, along side my dad, built a successful paving company. Paving many miles of road in the fierce Texas heat, most would think a woman couldn’t handle this kind of physically demanding work, but my mom was not most women. She shoveled base material, ran a roller and drove a dump truck, while managing to hold many tempers in check in order to get the job done. To no one’s surprise, mom was the financial brains of the operation, maintaining the payroll, paying the bills, and most importantly, collecting past due payments. One of my grandest childhood memories is a statement made by a local CPA who trained my mom. He bragged “this woman would be dangerous if she had a degree.”
Only he didn’t know how dangerous she was—at home, that is. A secret he may not have know, but one all my friends were well aware of. She was the disciplinarian of the family. Like a 6th sense, she knew intuitively if you had done something wrong. And, she was not the easy parent who let you off the hook in a few days or a week. If you were grounded, you would serve your entire allotted time. No early release program at our house.
Looking back though, her discipline, determination, and shear grit made me who I am today. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. I remember how she’d come home exhausted, covered in rock dust. At the time, I didn’t understand the depth of her sacrifice for us. I would give anything to wrap my arms around her and say thank you. But deep down inside, my heart understands that she didn’t do it for the thank you or anyone’s accolades. She did it out of love—the love of a mom wanting the best for her children and doing whatever it takes to care for her family.
P.S. After a shower and just a dab of make-up, my mom was a knock-out!