MY MOTHER IS A FORCE OF NATURE
David Gibson and his Mother
Texas State with a 4.0 GPA, the highest in her class. She gave the valedictory address to a crowd of thousands, literally the day after my daughter was
My Mom is a force of nature. As a business owner, college valedictorian, ex-mayor of New Braunfels, and woman with a list of accolades so long that I can’t fit them in this article, she’s one of the most impressive people I know. She’s also been — most importantly — an amazing Mom and a great role model and confidant for me, my daughter, and anyone else lucky enough to have her in their lives. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it seemed the perfect opportunity to tell her story and remind her just how grateful I am for everything she’s done for me and my family over the years. My Mom, a Navy brat, was born in Washington, D.C. Even from a young age, she had a keen intelligence and naturally driven personality. When she had me just three months out of high school, she had to put her ambitions on hold for a few decades to focus on the business of being a great mother and, as was expected in those days, a housewife. From the beginning, though, she was a vital part of my life. Though she and my Dad got divorced when I was 11, and I no longer saw her every day, she remained one of my most important influences. I always knew I could count on her for a sympathetic ear or some tough love, no matter what I was going through. And she never let us win at games; we had to earn it. Just about the time I graduated from high school (one spot below where mom graduated — as she likes to remind me), Mom was finally able to kick her ambitions into high gear. She and her awesome husband (now of 35 years) started a real estate business and later an appraisal company and quickly gained a reputation throughout central Texas as expert appraisers. Mom became heavily involved in the politics of real estate, serving a term as president of the New Braunfels Board of Realtors and National President of the National Association of Master Appraisers, among other awards and prestigious designations, including Realtor of the Year.
born. I have no facts to back this up, but am pretty sure she was the first grandma to be valedictorian at the school, and maybe anywhere. A few years down the road, she ran for the City Council of New Braunfels, getting elected at the age of 58. After serving two terms on the council, she ran for mayor of the town and won — in her mid- 60s. If she hadn’t suffered an aortic aneurysm a few years later and needed open-heart surgery, she would no doubt have run for higher office as soon as she could. Of course, she claims that politics were interfering with her travel schedule. Mom has always been unstoppable, well-liked by almost everyone who meets her, and remarkably skilled at whatever she puts her mind to. Today, all the awards, plaques, and trophies (including several for public speaking and ballroom dancing!) are relegated to the walls and shelves in the garage, as she and my stepdad are too busy cruising the seas and taking road trips to Vegas, Branson, and the far corners of America (no kidding — Alaska to Florida) to see kids (six in all, plus spouses and grandkids). Fortunately, we travel well together and have had the joy of introducing them to Australia, while they introduced us to cruising. When I look at my Mom’s life and accomplishments, I realize that if she’d had the opportunities at 18 that she had at 58 — and I say this with all sincerity — she could have been the president of the United States. She’s the queen mother of our clan, an inspiration to everyone around her, and the very best role model that a father could have for his 24-year-old daughter. It’s impossible for me to express just how grateful I am for her presence in my life, even at 53. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Somewhere along the line, Mom got restless and went back to school to secure a degree in finance. In her late 40s, she graduated from
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