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Dear Tom,

My mother lost her mother to gun violence at the age of 18.  Ten years prior (when she was 8) she lost her father the same way.  She met her independence early in her life faced with loss, grief and despair but my mom fearlessly pressed on and kept living her life to honor her parents.

She graduated high school and went to the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  She has been working as a medical technologist for over 27 years.  She met my father at her very first professional job in 1985 – he was an electrician at a hospital and I guess you could say he “turned her on.”

They dated and she soon became his wife and then a mom to my brother and me.  My father changed careers and became a professional truck driver and has been for over 20 years – which meant he was away from home a lot so my mom raised my brother and me primarily on her own.

She always wanted to complete her education but she sacrificed her academic advancement so that we could fulfill ours, allowing me to attend Tuskegee and, later, Howard for my masters.  I now work for the department of education.

Her only expectation of her children is to be the best we can be in all that we do…and to put god first in all things. She gives willingly expecting nothing in return.

My mom will be turning 52 on august 1st & she has always wanted to go on a cruise.  My brother lives in Orlando – so we could tell her we are visiting him and instead – jump on a carnival cruise from that port!  What do you say?

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Beverly Bellamy  was originally published on