Why Mother’s Day Will Always Be Special to Me

  • Published
  • By Col. Phelemon Williams II, 436th MSG commander
  • 436th Mission Support Group

We celebrate Mother’s Day during the month of May. For many, Mother’s Day is a time to reflect and show gratitude to our mothers who have been caregivers and ultimately helped shape us into who we are. Also, for me, Mother’s Day is a chance to show my loving mother how much I appreciate her. My mother is the bedrock to my success. Her many teachings and lessons have had such an impact on my 31-year Air Force career. Some teachings that come to mind are the value of setting goals and following the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

My mother was a huge advocate of setting goals. Not only did we have to write down our goals, we had to develop a plan to achieve them. Initially, I tried to get away with simple obtainable goals without giving it much thought. My mother did not accept my lack of effort. One of her famous one liners was, “If it was easy, then everybody would do it…challenge yourself!” She would explain goals are useful for setting your direction and focus. Even as a young Airman I continued the routine of writing and updating my goals annually. To this day, I look back at my goals and this helps to reflect on my achievements and setbacks. I’m a firm believer that when you write down your goals, it will bring them to life and put your plan in motion. My mother taught me there are no short cuts in life. You have to put in the hard work to have a chance to reach your goals.

In addition, my mother is a very compassionate and caring role model. She taught me through her words and actions to treat everyone with dignity and respect. In our household, we followed the golden rule that starts with kindness and a positive attitude. My mother is a two-time cancer survivor and is currently undergoing dialysis three days a week, but yet she smiles and lives each day to the fullest. She constantly reminds me that if you woke up this morning you absolutely have nothing to be upset about, so go spread some love and kindness. As a teenager during my rebellious years, I recall questioning my mother’s positive outlook on life as she grew up in the south during the height of racial segregation and racial tensions. She would simply say, “Son, love will always conquer hate.”

I would like to thank my mother, Jackie Anglin, for loving me unconditionally, and for helping me become the man I am today. The many life lessons she taught me helped me to navigate the world we live in today. Those lessons were invaluable in making me a better person, Airman and leader. On Mother’s Day, I thank her for preparing me to live up to the Air Force Core Values; Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence In All We Do.  It all started with the foundation she helped build of working hard, setting goals and treating everyone with kindness and empathy.