Strength is a funny word. Typically we think of muscled dudes arm-wrestling or carrying a piano up the stairs. But strength can also be a quiet word. Someone can be described as having quiet strength. That's my mom.
Mom is one of those people who not many people know very well. She grew up with an opportunity to have every person in town know what she does. And this was before Facebook. For all the philanthropic things she has done, she could have had her name attached to dozens of buildings and organizations. But that's not her deal, that's not how she rolls.
Mom's great-grandfather bought The Forum in 1917. I have a letter in my office in which Norman B. Black wrote to his brother:
"I have picked up the best newspaper property in the United States."
Mom is the fourth generation of the Black family to own the company. Sure my dad received the accolades, which he deserved. But Mom's influence in our organization has been profound. A deal or major decision would not have been made if it weren't for her support. My father is a smart man.
You might think I am writing in tribute to Mom for Mother's Day. But truth is, my mom won't like this. She has never liked the spotlight, and it drives her a bit crazy when my wife, Chris, and I share stuff about our personal life in Forum columns. You won't see my mom posting on Facebook any time soon.
Mom comes from a simpler time. She loves her grandchildren. Loves time at the lakes. Some of my best early memories in life are my mom and me floating on the lake, soaking up the sun. Just she and I, peace and quiet. To this day, sitting in the sun brings back those wonderful memories for me.
But time moves on. Now I have three daughters of my own. My mom has made me a better dad. A better husband. I am blessed that I get to thank my mom in this public way. I am blessed to know she is on the porch, at the lake, reading this now.
I hope everyone who reads this will think about the wonderful things their moms have given them: the blessings, the strength, the support and love. Sometimes it is hard to see, but with age and time, we usually can see through the fog of youth and learn appreciation for our moms. If your mom is alive, call. If not, pray. Either way, she will hear you.
A column on moms would not be complete for me if I didn't mention a few moms in my life who helped raise me. Gerry Kennedy, Lois Briggs, Rita Lindemoen and Raye Colliton, who passed away this past year. Wonderful influences in my life, and I hope they know they have helped me in my life and I am grateful for the time they spent with me when I was a younger man.
Happy Mother's Day.
Marcil is publisher of The Forum and president & chief executive officer, Forum Communications Co.