THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER: <span>Phyllis Ann</span>  

My mother has never been fancy. When I look back over my childhood, I reflect on all the times she tried to go unnoticed on purpose. Regardless how hard she has always tried not to captivate your attention she has failed miserably, time and time again. Not by intention, but because my mother makes an impact wherever she goes. She exudes the type of beauty that isn’t materialistic, fashionable, or even replicable. Her beauty shines from the inside out.

I inherited a lot of characteristics from my mother, and I’m grateful. She has large brown eyes and olive skin. I can’t say I’ve ever seen her without a hint of color, we both tan well and can’t stand being indoors. Both of us have long skinny fingers, dark hair, and neither of us has ever met a stranger. If you were to compare my mother to anyone, you’d come up short, you can’t compare her to anyone. She’s her own type of elegant.

The youngest of nine, my mother grew up by most standards modest. Most of her childhood was spent behind Popular Creek School playing with friends and helping with chores around the home and within the school. I recall many stories she’s shared with me throughout the years about helping my Pappaw clean the school. She loved gathering pencils out the floor when he would finish sweeping. I grew up with a deep respect instilled in me for custodians and school cooks, two of them raised my mother and my aunts and uncle.

My mother taught me from an early age how to treat others with respect and to never fail to make others feel included, important, or beneficial. This crucial skill has been one that has been instrumental throughout my lifespan. I can’t recall a single time my mother has failed to initiate a conversation with a stranger. My mother is that lady. The lady who shakes hands, gives hugs, goes out of her way to speak to you from a far.

One may blame my chatty behavior on her, if so, so be it. I’d rather be remembered for my friendly demeanor than any materialistic achievement.

She’s frugal, resourceful, creative, genuine, and endearing. No one can shop like my mother. Let me repeat that… No one. She loves yard sales and thrift shops, and she is gifted at finding a bargain. My entire life she’s encouraged me to be different, try things first and then ask for help. She has encouraged me to never conform to the pressures of being anyone else but myself. I’m told as a child often she would ask people not to help me when I would tumble or fall, instead she wanted me to try and get up on my own. By the grace of God, I’m still doing that, getting up on my own.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I’m across the state. Some days are harder than others to be tackling life far away from “home.” If I know anything though, I know this; My mother is with me every step of the way.

Phyllis Ann didn’t raise one prone to quit, she was adamant I stare down whatever I wanted out of this life and with God’s help go after it. Happy Mother’s Day Mom, thank you for never letting me settle, and never giving up. I’m going to make it because of you.

Erinn Williams is originally from Williamsburg, and now resides in Owensboro, Ky. The daughter of a teacher and a preacher, she hopes to make a difference through her words. She serves as a teacher's assistant in Daviess County, and writes for two newspapers in Western Kentucky. She can be contacted at erinn.williams2017@gmail.com.

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