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Dear Tom,

My mom is 56 years young and she raised my 2 sisters and me all by herself while she worked rotating shifts for the state of Arkansas department of human services.  She retired after 20 years and even helped my sister and I get jobs there and we are still there 8 years and counting.

My older sister and her husband got busted on some serious drug charges and are both doing time in Texas. So after raising 3 daughters on her own, my mom has assumed custody of her 3 grandchildren – ages 3, 5 & 6.  She took them out of a bad situation in south Dallas and gave them a better life living with her in Little Rock.

She is doing the “mom thing” all over again: she takes the kids to school, attends parent/teacher conferences, checks their homework, gives those chores, throws them birthday parties and takes them to church every Sunday.

This might sound mean but she also makes them watch the Dallas cowboys play.  She is a diehard cowboys fan and she never misses a game, despite their losing season.  She even got to attend a game at AT&T stadium last year.

My mom is the strongest woman I know and I admire her so much.  About 7 years ago, she came out of retirement.  She just loves helping people so much that she got a job at a doctor’s office.

This woman is so humble that she would never ask for anything.  I know for a fact that she could use a new refrigerator – one with an ice maker and water dispenser would be nice.

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THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Karen Johnson  was originally published on