Mother’s Day is coming up…as if one day to honor our mothers is ever enough. For many of us, our mothers were the ones that gave us the courage to pursue our dreams and supported us when the struggle to reach those dreams seemed overwhelming.
My mom was my number one fan. To say that she was influential in my career is like saying Bill Monroe was influential in bluegrass music! Back when I was just a little kid, she used to sing Carter Family songs with her sisters and was always urging me to join in. That’s how I learned to sing and harmonize. The words of those old songs still take me right back to our home in Kentucky and those summertime singalongs.
When I moved to New York City to see if I could become a professional musician, she tried to talk me out of going, but gave in when she saw my heart was set on it. She wasn’t much for phone calls, but she sent me care packages from home so I wouldn’t become, in her words, “a starving musician out on the streets.”
And boy was she proud when I sent her my first album, you’d a thought I was the President! But when I was nominated by the IBMA as Emerging Artist of the Year in 2002, she said, “I’ve always believed in you.” And that meant more to me than any award.
She’s been the inspiration behind many of the songs I sing, heck, she’s the reason that I even sing at all. Just last year, I took her a big bouquet of spring flowers for Mother’s Day and her whole face lit up. She so loved bright, pretty flowers. This year, she’s gone. I know she’s still my number one fan up in heaven and that she’s now able to make it to every show. But, I still miss hearing her voice and that feeling of love that comes from a mother’s hug.