Mother’s Day Memories

Lola MagazineLola Shreveport, Louisiana Ladies, Wallace Lee

All about my “mommy”
Alexis Valenti • Shreveport, Louisiana
It takes a very strong woman to raise a child without the father, and that’s what my mother did since I was a year old. We always had help from my grandmother and great grandmother who impacted my life in many ways, but my mother was always the one who knew exactly what I needed, when I needed it and how to do it.

It all started at a very young age where I had to learn to grow up very quickly. When I was 15, my mother had a brain bleed which required she have a craniotomy. The doctors didn’t know if she would survive, and my nana and I had to make the decision whether to leave her on life support or not. At that moment I realized how much my mom truly meant to me. Sometimes it takes a close call in life to truly realize how much someone means to you. We said yes to leaving her on life support where later she woke up, but it took a while to get back to the way she was before. It took patience and it took love to help her every hour, every day to get her back to the woman we once knew.

Two months later she returned to work and everything went well until my senior year when she suddenly had to have a liver transplant. She had been first on the transplant list for several months and those months were the hardest since you never knew when that “call” was going to come. In that time my mom and I grew closer and closer. She showed me how to love and how to grow. She had the transplant and everything went smoothly. After a month she once again returned to work. Through all of this, she never gave up, and most importantly that’s what she continues to show me daily.

I moved away to attend college but always planned to come home because I don’t like to be far from my mom. I always heard that your mother will always be your best friend, and I completely believe that now in my adult years. My life growing up was anything but normal, but without the love and help from my mom and grandmother, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Ashlyn Jordan • Sheridan, Arkansas
I do not believe there was any other woman destined to be my mother other than Rachel. There is no better friend than my mother. I can’t seem to make it through the day without a single text, or phone call to her. Some people want to avoid their moms, or maybe they have mom where they do not feel comfortable talking to about everything with, so I consider myself lucky to know nothing is off the table in our conversations. My mom is one of the only people I could watch a movie with and share an ugly cry while feeling zero shame, and also someone I uncontrollably lose my laughter with. She never had to beg me to come home in college, because she was a refuge from all the crazy emotions a young woman goes through in such a vulnerable state of life. When I met the man of my dreams she was the one I went racing to, and when I had my baby I could not wait for him to meet my mother, his grandmother. She truly shares joy in all the great and wonderful, and important times in my life. She is truly always there. She has survived a lot in her life, but she has always strived to make things wonderful for me and my brothers. No one in this world is perfect, but I believe people are perfect for each other, and she is the perfect mother to me.

 Brennan Mullis • Ruston, Louisiana
I have shared my mother my entire life. She has either taught or been a principal to an extremely large portion of students that have come through Lincoln Parish schools. If she did not teach you, then you might have had the pleasure of sitting at our kitchen table eating one of her home cooked meals. When I was in the fourth grade, mom went to night school to obtain a Doctoral Degree all while teaching full-time and raising three children. She instilled her work ethic and dedication in me at a young age; something today I still treasure. By going back to school, she was able to become a principal which further extended her positive impact on others. All who know her appreciate her loving smile, big hugs, and huge heart. If you have ever encountered her, then you know that she soon considers you one of her own. After a year of retirement, she missed her bear hugs, sweet faces, and daily “Hey Mrs. Dr. Wiggins!” so much that she returned to school. She has now served as principal at Our Lady of Fatima School in Monroe for three years. Recently I asked her what she loved about her current job. Her response brought a tear to my eye—“Every day I know I make a difference in the lives of my students.” If you know her, then you know that to be true. She knows every student by name and how to make him/her feel loved and appreciated. How blessed I am to have shared such a role model in my life; one who brings out the best in others, loves unconditionally, works hard, and makes the world a better place. My teacher. My best friend. My mother.

Lessons from my mother
Donesa Walker • Shreveport, Louisiana
Best friend, true believer, faith walker and angel describe my mother perfectly My mother is the best woman I’ve ever met on every scale measurable. She was a middle child who barely attended college before marrying my dad and becoming a career pastor’s wife. She has been the shoulder to cry on for so many and yet borne so many burdens herself without complaint. After birthing four children within four years and taking in four young adults off the streets to raise, my mom suffered a nervous breakdown when I was a small child. As she recovered, she glorified God for her healing and giving her the ministry of that experience. I saw this same faith carry her through so many burdens and disappointments that I often wondered how she was still standing. When I was 18, my brother was killed by a classmate, and I thought surely then she would waver, but she stood stronger believing Proverbs 3:56 that her path was ordered of God. Then in 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast cancer and when medical professionals didn’t know if she would live, she knew. That journey was one of the toughest of her life, and yet she still inspires me with her firm foundational belief….faith isn’t knowing that God can but knowing that God will! I salute my mother this Mother’s Day because she truly is a woman after God’s heart!

Christie Donatello • Shreveport, Louisiana
The word “Mom” to me means “Love, Faith, and Life.” My mom taught me at an early age to always love one another, always try to see the good in everyone, always be respectful and do for others. The word faith comes to mind because she has always believed we can do anything, and she always prays for the best for her family. The word life because without her I wouldn’t be here. Also, she wants me to live life to the fullest, to always be happy, and to share with others all the good she has taught my sisters and me. She’s pretty spectacular to be honest. I look at her and see straight into her soul and yearn each and every day to be at least half of what she is. I’ve been extremely fortunate being the youngest sibling to get lots of one-on- one time with my Mom. She and I have been through it all together. After learning she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2002, it was my goal to ensure she had proper care, and to this day that is still my goal. I never want her to fear missing anything this life has to offer- I didn’t! We’ve shared so many wonderful memories together, but the one that strikes me as the best is seeing her light up when she experienced New York City at Christmas time. That was probably the happiest I have ever been for her. She looked like a child on Christmas morning. My mom is just simply AMAZING!!