Alice Petro The Woman I Most Admire
March is Women’s History Month, and I can’t help but think about the woman I most admire: my mother. My mom, Alice Petro, is 87 years old and the most amazing, kind, and loving individual I’ve ever known. She grew up in the country in south Mississippi, and it was common knowledge that she longed for nothing more than to get out of the country and live in a city. When my momwas a young girl, there wasn’t much to do on a farm except work and go to school. When my grandparents were growing up, education wasn’t something that was seen as an essential part of life —once you came of age, you simply started working on the farm. While my grandparents were salt-of- the-earth kind of people, they wanted the best for their kids, which included a higher education. My grandparents made sure that my mom and her three sisters graduated high school with good grades and that they could go to college if they wanted to. My mom went to a junior college in Mississippi before leaving for Washington D.C., where she got her first job working as a secretary for the FBI. My dad use to kid with her that she was J. Edgar Hoover’s “girl Friday.” She lived there for a couple years before returning to Mississippi and meeting my dad in Jackson through a mutual friend. They obviously hit it off really well. After they got married, my dad’s job brought them to Birmingham, where my siblings and I were all born and raised.
her so much more than anything words could describe — she has always been there for me.
My mom had five children within eight years — four boys and one girl, with me being the youngest. As the baby of the family, I was pretty spoiled. I didn’t have to make my bed, and I wasn’t held as accountable for the chores my sister and my mom performed. By the time my four older siblings were out of the house, I was a senior in high school and a pretty straight kid. I could have gotten away with a lot more than I did, but I never tried to push that boundary. While we were all growing up, my mom’s role was, for the most part, to be a homemaker. She was always there when we came back from school, took excellent care of my dad and all of us, and was (and still is) a great cook, to boot. She has always been a loving mother and grandmother and a loving wife to my father — who passed away a couple of years ago. I owe
One of the memories I have with my mom is back when I was playing little league baseball. She would come to all the games and eventually picked up the nickname Saint Alice. Everyone at the games — the kids, parents, and even the coaches — started calling her Saint Alice because her attendance at the games always seemed to determine whether or not we won. Whenever she was late to the game we’d be losing, but when she showed up, we would start to win. While my mom was never an athlete, I always appreciated her being there for me, even though she probably didn’t know much about sports. My mom has always been a sweet, gentle, caring soul and the best mother I could have ever hoped for. There’s a quote from St. Francis that has always made me think of my mom: “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words only when necessary.”
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www.petrolawfirm.com | 1 -Mark Petro
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