Anyone that knows Norma Renee Gibson knows that she is the most selfless, loving person on the planet. She sacrifices everything to help others. She would give her last to a stranger, and has done so time and time again.
My mother goes to bat for me and my brother and does whatever it takes to make sure we are successful. I call her the fixer because she has seen me out of so many obstacles. My senior year in high school, she got all of my college applications together. She found the scholarships that would pay for my education. She did the research and made sure that my brother and I had a better life.
I always knew my mother’s strength but it wasn’t until spending the earlier part of this year with her that I witnessed just how strong and courageous she is. Sitting in an ICU room as a doctor told us that my father might not make it, my first response was to break down. But there was a fire in her face and a power in her tongue that could only come from God. She made a decision that, in my opinion, would ultimately save my father’s life. I will always be grateful to her for all that she exemplified in that moment.
I watched in awe as my mother prayed with other families throughout each hospital and rehabilitation center. She would talk to doctors and nurses of patients who were not fortunate enough to have family present. She carried her assignment with poise and grace while facing her own mountain.
I’ve seen my mother bring the best out of people, change the atmosphere, and bring my friends to tears with her genuine words. But no greater gift has she given me than introducing me to Jesus Christ. My mother would drag me to church kicking and screaming. A shy and bashful girl, the last place I wanted to be was in that small white building on Asbury Road where they would try to make me sing. But every Sunday I was in Sis. Melinda’s Sunday School class until eventually I gave in. Now the lessons I learned each week are the foundation to who I am as a woman today.
Mom, I know you are a crybaby like me so you are probably boo-hooing by now but no one deserves to know they are loved more than you. For 55 years you have graced the world with your presence and I look forward to 55 more. I plan to share the values you instilled in me into my children. I love you Mommy!