Mother's Day time to reflect on all that is good
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- This is my 11th Mother's Day since my dear mother, Anna Marie Moreira Frederick, died. She was only 62, the victim of a bad heart. That was the physical heart. The spiritual heart was what drove her to raise seven children and be a loving wife of 45 years.
My father loved her with all his heart. He's now 73, a year ahead of her in birth. My mother died on my dad's birthday, Aug. 27. So that means two milestone dates in life that serve as reminders of what was lost and remains cherished.
My mother was a career woman. Her job was raising seven children, four boys and three girls, to adulthood, with formal educations and the start of families of their own. She made my dad's lunch every morning and his dinner, too, at the same time every morning, as he worked two jobs so he could provide for her and for us, his children.
My mom was good at her job, the bonuses being her children coming home with report cards showing they made the honor roll. She never complained.
When money was tight, which it always was, food was scarce, she found ways to re-make leftovers into meals that tasted just as fresh. People ask me where I got my interest in writing and reporting the news. I got it from my mom.
When I was 3, she taught me how to read and write. By the time I was in first grade, I was reading books. I remember show-and-tell that first year in school. While boys talked about their Hot Wheels and girls their Barbie dolls, I was showing the morning newspaper and giving highlights of the war in Vietnam.
Once I got into how Nixon might not have won had Bobby Kennedy not been assassinated, the Tet Offensive and the escalated bombing of North Vietnam, my first-grade teacher asked me to hold that thought.
She ran to the principal's and brought him back. He brought me back to his office and asked me how a 6-year-old could know all this. I gave him to sources: My mom and Walter Cronkite. I was the first in the history of my family on both sides to attend and graduate college. My three sisters all followed me to college and two of my three brothers got trades.
After my mother died, my father gave me a big box of things she had saved for me when I was growing up: Term papers, newspaper clippings and a professional wrestling magazine with ads for sea monkeys. When my mother suddenly fell ill in 2003, she wanted to talk about all of the journalism industry awards I had won with the Daytona Beach News-Journal, including a dozen or so that year.
Even as her life was slipping away in a matter of a couple of weeks, she let everyone know how proud she was of all her children. I'm sure she would be very proud of my continuing my career online with Headline Surfer.
Today, I will pay homage to my mother. I will wish my wife, Sera's mother a "Happy Mother's Day." While this holiday is a little tough for me, Father's Day is difficult for my wife. I love Sera's mother, whose birthday happens to be the same as my father's and the date of my mom's passing.
About the Blogger
Henry Frederick is editor/publisher of Headline Surfer, Florida's first 24/7 Internet newspaper, launched April 7, 2008 in New Smyrna Beach, and accessed via HeadlineSurfer.com, NSBNews.net & VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s.
View his blog archives here