Today’s Daily Thought is not intended to bring anyone down. In fact, it is the remembrance of my mother’s life that fuels me today. My mother, Rowena A. Jolly, was a different kind of mom. She wasn’t perfect by any means. She told real corny jokes (and she would be the only one to laugh at them). She often told my father that he couldn’t sing (while Pop was tearing up the stage at all of his gospel concerts). She formulated her own opinions about everyone. She overcame her addictions to alcohol and smoking. The tough part about the latter years of her life was that she knew she was experiencing pain and discomfort. She checked into a hospital where they kept her for at least a month or more. They finally discharged her and told her that they could find nothing wrong. After the discharge she went to another hospital where they immediately found she had ovarian cancer (and they had then given her about a year and a half to live). She did manage to beat the odds and lived longer, but the eventual outcome came regardless. We could probably have taken the previous hospital to court but none of that would have brought Mom back. We are one of those tight families that care about each other (we don’t care about money). When Mom died on this date it was so close to the Christmas holiday, and even though we still managed to celebrate it that year it just felt so empty without her. This happened in 2004 and each year it gets a little easier to deal with (but it never completely heals). When I talk to others about their losses I mention my situation with my mother. We are all on borrowed time and everyone has a date with destiny. The one thing that I know about my mother is that she would have taken on “anyone and anything” for her kids. When the gangs wanted to hurt me and my brother she went up to them and told them that they were not going to touch us. The gang members looked at her as though she was crazy to even confront them (but they eventually backed down and left). When you have loving parents it makes the biggest difference in a child’s life. I was so blessed to have the mother and father that I had. Now the best I can do is be just as great a parent for my own kids. I will remember my mother today and reflect on the positives that she instilled in my life. I am not posting this because I expect any sympathy. I am posting this simply as a tribute to the woman who made me feel what I feel today (“loved”). Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.