A T ribute to an A mazing W oman
My Mother , Vi v i an I was raised by a phenomenal woman, my mother, Vivian, and although she passed away in 2002, I still take time every Mother’s Day to acknowledge the profound influence she had on the man, husband, father, and attorney I am today. She was and continues to be the impetus for everything I’ve become. When my parents divorced, my mom found herself in a difficult position. When she and my dad got married, she had dropped out of college to start a family. So, when she found herself with three kids and no professional job experience, she decided to go back to school at night, all while working full time during the day and raising my siblings and me on her own. Watching her unmatched work ethic is how my siblings and I found our own ambitions. When I was a teenager, she was working as a court reporter. In the 80s, there was some computer software, but nothing close to what we have today. Mom let me earn an allowance by reading and editing the depositions. In South Carolina history, there were a lot of cases that lasted a relatively long time, so going through the transcripts was more like reading a book. I fell in love with the characters. The attorneys in these “books” became my own personal superheroes, which encouraged me to pursue law. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I know I have my mom to thank for that. While she spent a lot of her adult life working and going to school, she still found a way to be remarkably nurturing. In fact, I remember that if
we got even a tiny cold, we were immediately in the doctor’s office. Now that I think about it, to this day, my kids’ pediatrician wants to kick me out of his office because I bother him so often. I don’t go there for unnecessary reasons; it’s more for peace of mind.
Now that I’m a parent, I realize how superhuman it was that my mom was able to accomplish all she did. My wife and I are frequently exhausted just trying to keep up with everything we need to do, and there are two of us! It was through my mom’s loving demeanor, unparalleled work ethic, and fierce independence that she was able to provide for us while simultaneously achieving her own goals.
IT WAS THROUGH MY MOM’S LOVING DEMEANOR, UNPARALLELED WORK ETHIC, AND FIERCE INDEPENDENCE THAT SHE WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR US WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY ACHIEVING HER OWN GOALS.”
The last time I saw her was in 2002. She had been diagnosed with leukemia, a blood cancer that is often considered a childhood illness. She was only 52 when she passed. At the time, I knew she passed at a young age, but now that I am 47 and closing in on that age, I understand how young she really was. Even through the cancer, she was still the strong, selfless person she had always been. I remember her constantly worrying more about how her condition would affect us than about her own health. I know everyone thinks that their mother is the best, but I have a hard time believing that anyone was better than mine. To my mom, thank you for everything, and Happy Mother’s Day. –Gary Christmas
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