Who influenced you most?
I have no trouble answering that question at all.
It was Nellie. Nellie Mae, as a matter of fact.
Of course my Dad was also an influence. But my Dad was absent during much of my formative years. His influence on me was mostly by example...
He and Mom had difficulties, yet they handled them together.
He worked hard, both at home and away, and our family was never hungry or cold.
He was never physically abusive. Inclinations toward mental abuse were so trivial as to be unworthy of examination.
He didn't find another woman and leave my Mom to raise Sis and me.
So through his example I learned much about how to be a man.
But my Mom taught me how to be a human-
She taught me about honor.
She taught me about honesty.
She taught me to treat others as I wanted to be treated.
She taught me that reading was not only important, it could be fun.
She taught me to be curious.
And she taught me the importance of doing a job well.
I am Harlie and Nellie's son, but mostly I am a product of Nellie's gentle coaxing.
She raised two kids who have turned out to be productive, caring citizens, and she did it mostly by herself.
Happy Mother's Day Mom...
I'm proud to point you out and say "That's my Mother".