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May 7, 2011 - Chris Masse
Growing up, my life revolved around sports. Well, actually it still does considering my profession.
The thing is, I wasted a lot of time in my youth looking at my favorite professional athletes like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Eddie Murray as my role models, my heroes. All the while, I was living with the two biggest heroes in my life every day.
There are a lot of words to describe my momänice, generous, intelligent, considerate, unselfish, loving, supportive, helpful, open-minded, cancer-survivor and the best are some that come to mind. I think the best word, though, is hero.
And make no mistake, my mom and dad are my heroes. Being this is Mother's Day, however, I will be focusing on my mom. The bottom line is Shirley Masse should be anointed a saint. Just putting up with someone like myself for all these years should get her a pass alone. But there's so much more. She is a terrific mother, wife, friend, teacher and role model combined into one wonderful person.
I honestly have never met a person who had anything but kind words to say about my mom. How could they not? She is the nicest person I have ever known and is as kind of and generous to people she barely knows as she is with her own family. I try to model myself after both my mother and father but they both have set the bar so high I don't know if I can ever reach those heights.
My mom spent more than 30 years teaching others at the junior high and high school level and it is a testament to her teaching acumen and her positive influence that so many of them remember her fondly and stay in contact with her to this day.
Teaching is an arduous job, especially when you devote as much time and energy as my mom did while making sure every student was given the chance to maximize his or her potential. Yet despite that and despite helping raise two children, my mom was always there to help my brother and I. The school projects, the tests she helped me prepare for, the practices and games she drove us too...these are things I took for granted back then, but being older now I realize what a sacrifice my mother made. My brother and I always came first and thanks does not seem like a big enough word to express my gratitude.
I know I would not be the person I am today without my mother. I might not be the best person out there, but I try to be and that is because of the example my mom has set. She lives her life by the Golden Rule and I try to do the same. Whatever is going on in her life, my mom will drop everything and make sure that whoever she is with feels like the most important person in the world. Always putting others above herself, my mom is the ultimate provider (tied with my dad).
After everything you've read, one of the last things you might expect me to say is that my mom is as tough as nails. But she is that too and then some. Bravely battling cancer, dealing with tragedies...whatever the issue, my mom always has faced challenges down and conquered them while never compromising the person she is.
Being a father myself now, I understand how difficult it can be raising a child and trying to help her excel in everything she does. I am so thankful that I had a wonderful mother to lead the way and show me what being a great parent is all about. Our daughter is wonderful, kind, loving, energetic and fun. She is a reflection of her grandmother and that is no coincidence. Since I came to the Sun-Gazette I have written weekly columns, ranking the top five teams in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball and softball. It is not always easy doing so since we have a lot of outstanding teams to choose from. When it comes to ranking the best moms, though, that is a slam dunk. My mom is the undisputed No. 1
Thanks for everything Mom and Happy Mother's Day!
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