"Mother is the one we count on for the things that matter most of all."
- Katherine Butler Hathaway
I have been blessed by many noble women in my life, starting with my mother, Gracie Mae Moody Farnsworth. Before succumbing to throat cancer when she was 32 and I was 8, she wrote each of her six surviving children a letter. Mine was delivered to me when I turned 12. It contains an expression of her undying love for me and some sage advice for a young man about to face the challenging teenage years without a mother. Her letter is unquestionably my most precious earthly possession. It is the inspiration for everything I have done at SunBridge.
I remember my mother as bright, cheerful, and fun-loving, even in the face of profound difficulty. She showed me how to smile and keep my chin up through the loss of our house and all its contents to fire with no fire insurance; later, the death of her oldest son at the hands of a drunk hit-and-run driver; and then the gruesome years of surgery and cobalt treatments that left her thin, frail, and disfigured. In her extremity, she perfected the art of crushed glass pictures, made our humble home beautiful, and organized fun family outings. As her strength waned, she received assistance with gratitude and greeted visitors with warmth and love. She was a ray of sunshine to all who knew her.
What mattered most of all to my mother was the absolute conviction that families are forever. That buoyed her up and gave her hope in those dark days. She and I both believe deeply in the eternal nature of the family. She will always be my mother and I will always be her son, and we will live as a family in heaven. This week we celebrate Mother's Day, but the real Mother's Day celebration will occur on that future day when I see her again and hug her and thank her for giving me life and love and faith. I love you, Mama. Happy Mother's Day.