Mother still one of the true greats

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

My mom is the greatest mom there ever was and I love her just a whole lot. Well, I know there are lots of folks who think their mom is the best.

I’m not exactly happy about where my mom is. She’s 88 years old and spends her days in bed or in a wheelchair at a nursing home in Florida near my brother’s house. It’s not a bad place; it has good food, friendly staff and valet parking, which isn’t of much use to my mom. But it’s still a nursing home.

It’s kind of tough to see the way she is now. I still see that twinkle in her eye though and, when I do, I know my mom is still there.

Mom has some trouble talking after having two strokes, but when she does speak I still hear that same voice I knew as a kid. When I visit her and she has trouble talking I lean over, lightly tap on her head, smile and say, “I know you’re still in there! It’s just this pesky biomechanical suit that won’t work right.”

I tell my mom she’s the greatest and how much I love her. I also tell her I’m sorry for all the stupid things I did and said when I was younger. If you were a rebellious teenager you know what I’m talking about.

Mom laughs when I say these things and tells me it’s all OK, it was all part of growing up. It’s good to hear her laugh.

I got my habit of laughing during odd times from my mom. When others thought things were serious or whatever, my mom would laugh and explain why they weren’t.

I once saw my mother cry. It was when I had given up on everything after totaling my car, losing my job and hitting a particularly nasty point in a bad divorce all in the same week. I had resolved I was going to put what I could into a backpack and just wander across the American landscape.

After I made this profound announcement my mom turned to walk down the hall. As she rounded the corner I saw she was very sad. Seeing my mom in such a state was something new, something that made me uncomfortable.

She turned around, came back in the room and pointed at me. With a shaky voice and wet eyes she said, “You NEVER give up, NEVER.” At that moment I resolved to dust myself off and get back in the game.

There are so many stories to tell about my mom from every point in my life. I tell people that 80 percent of who I am comes from my mom. Somehow, everything she shared with me gave me an open mind; some might say too open.

When I had a question she would say, “Look it up.” This evolved into an appreciation of encyclopedias, dictionaries and the ultimate question answerer … the Internet.

Somehow everything mom taught me all came together and developed into an appreciation for this life. She also showed me that no matter what crosses your path, deal with it and push on, survive.

Moms are the greatest, and my mom is the best. I hope you feel just as strongly about your mom wherever she is. Mom is just a visit, a phone call, a thought or prayer away.

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: