Publisher’s Notebook

Published 10:31 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

By Betty Ramsey

Publisher'sNotebook BettyandMom

My mother, Carolyn Parker, more affectionately known by her children as “momsie,” has had a profound effect upon who I am today. I am thankful and grateful for her love, guidance and support.

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My mother married the early age of 16 and had me at 17. My brothers and sisters quickly followed along bringing the total to six, three girls and three boys. As if my mom didn’t have enough to do with her own brood she also raised my cousin Debbie Sue. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we never went without any of the things that were actually important in life.  We were taught to be honest, respectful and to work hard. We were loved and encouraged to follow our dreams. Life wasn’t perfect but we sure had some fun times!

Somehow my mom managed to see that each of us kids got to participate in any activity we might have an interest. Between the seven of us we tapped danced, sang in choir, played the guitar, piano, drums, saxophone, oboe and clarinet.   There was swim team, softball, baseball, soccer, karate, judo, girl scouts, boy scouts, wrestling, cheerleading, gymnastics, theater, choir, skateboarding, baton twirling, camping, hiking, fishing — you name it, one of us probably did it. On a very limited budget that is pretty impressive.

I was always an extrovert – wanting to be the star of the show, any show. Just give me a stage, an audience, any passer-by paying attention and I was in my element. I loved to stand on my head, throw my self around, and do cartwheels -everywhere!  Instead of getting annoyed with me my mom decided gymnastics lessons were in order.  She talked to the local YMCA and got me a special deal on lessons. My mom spent hours in the family living room teaching me how to do a valdez. She wasn’t a coach but I wanted to learn it so she talked to my coach and got some quick lessons. Sitting in our living room she had me sit with one leg stretched out in front of me, the other leg bent at the knee with my foot on the floor. Then placing one hand behind me on the floor and the other arm stretched out in front of the straight leg (the idea is to catch yourself when you launch backwards) push on the bent leg, throw my head back and up into the air where hopefully I would flip over and my raised hand would land on the floor and by some miracle the rest of my body follow suit in one piece.  We practiced until I got it.

The big lesson my mother taught me that day was that she believed in me. She knew I could do it if I tried and she would help me get there. In my mom’s eyes I could do anything I set my mind to. Thank you for believing in me momsie, for giving me the courage to try things I was scared to do, for teaching me that if at first I didn’t succeed, to try again. I’m blessed and thankful that you are my mother.

Happy Mother’s Day ladies, you make the world a better place.

Betty Ramsey,


Photo: Carolyn Parker (a.k.a. “Momsie”) and Betty Ramsey.