We have so much in common.

We’re short.

We love desserts.

We’re a bit stubborn and, at times, overly sensitive.

But most of all, we love people, which may be the best trait Mom gave me. I appreciate that everyone has a story, as did she. My Mom taught me the art of understanding others and the fact that not everyone expresses themselves the same, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care.

People love differently.

Mom taught me that.

She was a friend to everyone and did so much for people that I’m still hearing about her thoughtfulness, almost an amazing 15 years after her passing.

Mom loved being a teacher and a child advocate. Still, she could have been anything—a senator, a top-shelf counselor, or a public defender—because she had the unique ability to converse with anyone. It’s amazing that at an early age, I noticed that no matter what my problem was, she had a comforting way of communicating an answer that made sense and put me back on track. She would deliver these messages without pause. That was her skill, the art of knowing what to say and when to say it.

She gave me and everyone around her a unique confidence that after talking with her, you would be ok.

Mom knew best.

Recently, I attended my first college graduation as a faculty member. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave.

It was great seeing so many students I had worked with, and it was fun meeting their parents and those closest to them.

Mom gave me that—the love of people and the joy of developing relationships. Her impact was felt by so many and is still alive and well today.

I should have listened better because she was and remains quite the fortune teller.

Mom’s crystal ball is almost always on the money regarding my future.

How about these beauties……

She would say, “One day, when you get older, you will have to watch what you eat.” I would laugh at her.

Of course…Mom was right.

When I graduated from college and knew I wanted to be a sportscaster, she repeatedly told me, “Why don’t you get your Master’s degree? It will give you more options.”

I respectfully told her I wanted to be a sportscaster and would never use a Master’s?!

Oh, how I was wrong; going back to school at age 50 to get my Master’s has allowed me to teach and has changed my life.

Mom was right.

When I was early in my sportscasting career, Mom told me, “Why don’t you just “sell” your stories?” That was a good one, Mom—nobody would ever buy my stories if I weren’t working for a select local TV station.

In the past 15 years, the heart of my income has been selling my stories to various networks and professional organizations.

Remarkably, Mom was a soothsayer in so many ways.

Growing up, I wasn’t a great athlete or student. Honestly, I wondered what the hell I was good at. Mom never wavered in her confidence in me, always encouraging me to try new things and have the confidence to fail and then learn from it.

She personified the old cliche—she believed in me more than I believed in myself—which is such a great lesson for all of us parents and mentors of the next generation.

Most are just finding their way—frankly, scared about what is to come. They fear which career to take, as it seems hard to fathom that you could get paid to do something you love.

I was lucky to have a Mom who fostered that belief in me. She didn’t just believe in me. She motivated me to be better. She pushed the boundaries to take chances and see what was out there in this crazy world.

My Mom and I had our differences when it came to competition. While I hate to lose, Mom was the least competitive person in the world. She was so sensitive. She didn’t like seeing anyone lose. It was a reason she never enjoyed board games??!

But there was one exception when it came to competition: her children and grandchildren.

My Dad tells me the funny story of my first athletic endeavor, a swim meet when I was around 7 or 8. The event was merely a 25-yard freestyle race. It was probably the first time in Mom’s life she rooted for anyone in any athletic competition!

My Dad tells the story that when we all left the starting blocks, Mom didn’t just yell my name; she was walking alongside the pool and seemingly swimming with me, walking while yelling my name repeatedly until I finished.

It’s ironic —because the support never stopped after that. Mom was always in my corner no matter how low I was or how futile life looked from my teenage years to when she passed in my mid-forties.

Mom was the strongest support unit a son could ask for—-she always passed on this unwavering confidence. It’s still with me today.

She taught me it’s ok to put yourself out there—-she led by example….


She taught me to stand up for myself. I’ll always appreciate how she didn’t seek confrontation but wouldn’t shy away if it was something she believed in.

She routinely went the extra mile for her friends and family. I remember when we were looking for colleges before my senior year in high school, we drove from Titusville, Florida, to Las Vegas and then back across the country to Washington, D.C., and then back home.

We never stopped discussing family, life, the future, and what it may hold.

Those great conversations, I miss them dearly.

She was a great mom, making my home the home for so many of my friends growing up. Amazingly, she never really got upset when I had parties when she and my Dad were out of town. (it’s true.)

Her faith in me will never leave. She was a respected teacher, an innovator in creating quality child care for everyone, and a champion for children. She loved kids and was a role model for many young teachers.

Amazingly, I had a teacher in my house growing up and never thought of teaching myself until the last few years. A teacher who taught me so many things I try to pass on to my daughters and students.

Mom always knew what was best for me even though I didn’t know it until much later in life.

She was wise and kind and a friend to everyone.

I miss her so much, but I firmly believe we will share a dessert again.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama, she truly knew best.


Mike Nabors




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