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May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

This made me cry:

Athletes talk about “keeping it real,” which usually means swagger, not humility and gratitude. That all-too-common swagger doesn’t usually involve publicly — and tearfully — saluting your mother while accepting your sport’s MVP award.

But that’s exactly what Kevin Durant did when he received the award last week from the National Basketball Association.

Durant responded to the trophy presentation by talking about how much his mom sacrificed, moving the family from apartment to apartment and working long hours to make ends meet. Yet she always found time to tell her sons that she loved them. She was, said Durant, at his games and his practices and involved in his life in ways that money couldn’t cover — ways that only a mother’s heart could provide.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward, a former University of Texas star, fought back tears as he detailed many of those tough moments. Then he delivered a special message to his mother, Wanda Pratt, declaring that she was “the real MVP” as her son’s teammates and fans gave her an emotional standing ovation.

For a mother, it doesn’t get any more special than this — a heartfelt recognition from a child that sacrifices were appreciated. It’s not even important that it happens on a national broadcast or comes from a celebrity son. What matters is that genuine thank-you.

In Durant’s case, he’s all too aware of what his mom selflessly endured to make him a responsible man as she fought the odds of raising a family alone in Washington. “We weren’t supposed to be here,” a sobbing Durant said. “You made us believe, kept us off the street. Put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us.”

When he fell, his mom was there to pick him up. When he achieved, no one cheered louder or longer. Little does it matter whether he was 9 years old in the backyard shooting baskets alone or now, in his mid-20s, on his profession’s biggest stage with thousands in the stands and millions watching on television.

The voice that speaks loudest, truest and with unconditional love is usually our mother’s. And for a mother to hear her son show such self-awareness and vulnerability is a great moment indeed.

This is what every parent strives for - to raise a child who is strong and successful, but who also understands how much of true leadership consists of service and sacrifice.

On Mother's Day, I'd like to dedicate this song to the woman who, more than anyone else on this earth, has provided the example of quiet strength and loving sacrifice that I have all too often failed to live up to:

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth,
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.

I love you, Mom. But more than that, I am so very proud to be your daughter.

Posted by Cassandra at May 11, 2014 11:41 AM

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Happy Mother's Day, my friend! Wishing for you plenty of family and love today.
And, of course, no bouncin' or flouncin'....yet.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 11, 2014 01:37 PM


Posted by: Cass at May 11, 2014 09:45 PM

I am so glad I was able to thank my mother for all that she did for me over the years.

Happy Mother's Day to both of you. With or without bouncin' and fluncin'.

Posted by: htom at May 12, 2014 12:38 AM