Great mothers come from great mothers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

She was my favorite baby sitter and biggest fan when I was a child, my mentor, counselor and occasional euchre partner as an adolescent, and my confidante as an adult.

Most of all, she has always been a trusted, reliable friend.

Through the years, I’ve noticed that nobody has ever had a bad word to say about her. In fact, many people go out of their way to tell me how wonderful they think she is.

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These kind folks aren’t telling me anything I don’t already know, but it sure is good to hear that others share the same feelings about someone you admire so deeply.

Since today is Mother’s Day, I know it is assumed that I am writing about my mother. With all due respect to my mom, Mary Jo Frazer, whom nobody could ever convince me isn’t the greatest mother of all time, I’m going one link higher on the chain of command with this story.

Great mothers come from great mothers.

And my mother was raised by the best. Her name is Wanda Moreland Anderson.

This story is for you, Mawmaw.

Thank you, Mawmaw, for being such a positive influence in my life. Thank you for your ever-present smile and infectious personality, which have always emitted positive vibes even as you suffered personal tragedies.

Thank you for all the advice you gave me as a young man. No, I didn’t listen to most of it at the time, but I’ve sure noticed that everything you said has come true.

Thank you for opening your home to me when I needed a place to stay, and later for always cheerfully accommodating my children and me when we stopped by unannounced.

Thank you for teaching me by example that being respectful and helping other people is the secret to a great life.

Thank you for showing me that taking care of my kids is the only truly important job I’ll ever have.

Thank you for the intangible things, such as honesty and integrity, that your life has forged into mine.

Thank you for all the talks and wisdom and for all the time you’ve taken from your own life to give me a better chance.

Thank you for sacrificing everything you had to take care of mom, Chelli and me so many years ago when we had nowhere else to turn for help.

Without you, my life would have been drastically different.

Without you, whose shoulder would I have leaned on for help?

Without you, where would I have called home as a young man?

Without you, would I have had the same caring, loving mother I have today?

Without you, who would I be?

I’m so glad I don’t have to answer those questions.

Since Mamaw Gretchen (Bruce) passed away, I’ve gone from having the two greatest grandmothers in the world to one.

As the one who remains, I hope this little story is special for you.

There is no possible way I could say in one column how much I admire you, nor could I thank you enough for the many special ways you have blessed my life.

I just hope you know how much I appreciate and adore the person you are and what your life has meant to mine.

You are the world’s greatest mother of the world’s greatest mother.

I love you, Mawmaw!

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at