by Annah Grace Morgan, Foundation Director

AGM&MomIt’s an overwhelming task to write about the positive impact my mother has made on my life and the lives of countless children in our community. The task feels impossible to limit to words.  My mother never thinks of herself and always puts others needs first.   I joke that I helped her find her calling in life. She was trained and worked as her nurse early in her career.  She certainly has the compassionate heart and caregiver instinct that would make her a great nurse, but if you know her, it is clear that she is called to work with young children.  When I went to kindergarten, I had a really hard time leaving my mom.  I liked school well enough for a week or so, until I realized it meant less time with my mom, so naturally, I cried every day for weeks until I got to go home.  Mom took a job at the school so I would stay there.  She worked in Headstart as a special needs aide then eventually went back to get her preschool teaching certification and taught 4 year olds for 20 years.   I often lovingly refer to her as the “child whisperer,” as I have never met a kid who didn’t fall instantly in love with my mother.  Children have a sense about who loves them, and my mama has so much love to share.

Although she struggles with chronic health concerns, she never lets those slow her down or make an excuse.  She doesn’t complain… she just loves and cares for everyone she meets.  She keeps my son so I can fulfill my calling in ministry and at Hospice of Marshall County – Shepherd’s Cove, which means MANY long hours with a very active 3 year old!  She has taught me EVERYTHING, but most importantly, how to love and the value of being loved.  Aside from the approval of my Heavenly Father, there is nothing I desire more than to make her proud and redeem the love she has so freely given.  She is strong. She is beautiful.  There is no limit to what she will do and sacrifice for those that she loves (just ask her for a “Flops” or mermaid impression one day!)  She is everything I want to be as a mom, and if I do it half as well as she has, my children will have it made.

One of my favorite funny stories about my sweet, mild-mannered, laid-back mother, is how you definitely don’t mess with her babies.  I played basketball when I was younger, and I was probably 11 years old playing rec league basketball. I was overly aggressive and (still am) ridiculously competitive, which made for a dangerous combination in the physical sport of basketball. In this particular instance, I fouled someone pretty intensely, and a mom in the stands started calling for a technical foul saying I’d done it on purpose. From the court, I watched in horror (seasoned with a little bit of pride) as my “quiet-as-a-church-mouse mama” who never peeped a word transformed into an overly expressive grizzly bear that could rival a scene from reality TV (a G-rated version.  Don’t worry. She did it all in the love of the Lord!) as she defended my honor and my (hopefully worthy) intentions!  Boy, was I proud.  My mama might seem timid, but I’m telling you today… she is a protector, and I wouldn’t mess with her babies if you know what’s good for you.

I often talk about how everyone has a role in fulfilling the mission of Hospice of Marshall County – Shepherd’s Cove.  My mom is no exception.  She is my biggest supporter in every endeavor. She’s always been my biggest fan.  She may no longer serve patients at the bedside, and she may not be able to write a check to eliminate the debt on Shepherd’s Cove, but I hope she will realize that when we meet that goal one day soon… she has had an enormous part of every penny raised.  She helps fulfill our mission every day, as she instilled a passion for service in my heart.  I am grateful every day for my mama and wish her the happiest Mother’s Day!