Christy Cranor is my biggest fan. She also happens to be my mom.
The funny thing is, I barely ever write about her. Most times, when I sit down to work on a column or a story, my brain drifts back to my father, the “tough love” I pined for as a boy. For some reason, I rarely write about the love that was always there.
One of Mom’s favorite sayings, when I was growing up, was, “I may not like you right now, but I’ll always love you.” She’d say this after I’d done something particularly mischievous, like cutting big patches out of my hair in kindergarten, or wrecking my go-cart as a preteen. Mom made it clear — her love wasn’t going anywhere.
In high school, I played quarterback for the Russellville Cyclones. Being the mom of a quarterback can be challenging, especially when things aren’t going well. I can only imagine the sort of comments she endured while sitting on those cold, metal bleachers under the Friday night lights. Every time I threw a bad pass or let that pigskin slip from my fingers, I know Mom cringed. No matter the outcome, though, she always greeted me with a smile after the games, saying, “You played great, baby. So good!”
By college, I needed Mom’s unconditional love more than ever. I sat the bench for my first three seasons, just waiting for a chance to throw that ball again. Through it all, Mom never lost faith. In her eyes, I was still the best quarterback on the planet.
Then, finally, I was named the starter for my junior and senior seasons at Ouachita Baptist University, and Mom was still there, cheering her heart out in the stands for every game. After college, though, my life changed completely.
There were no more cheering (or booing) crowds. Nobody came to root me on at the workplace. Nobody showed up in the mornings to watch me play pick-up basketball. So I started writing, looking for something to fuel my competitive, creative fire.
And guess what?
People cheered and booed again. I get at least one red-hot email for nearly every column I write. Sometimes they take issue with my politics, other times it’s as innocent as a grammatical mistake, and guess what — Mom is always there to listen.
She’s the reassuring voice in my ear, saying, “Don’t worry. You’re the best. Keep going.” And, Mom, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that now. Without your words of affirmation — without your love — I know I would’ve given up long ago. Who knows, I might have become one of the people sending snarky letters to local writers or screaming at high school kids from the stands. But because of you, I’m still in the game. I’m still chasing my dreams.
Mom, you’ll always be my biggest fan, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Your love is truly unconditional. Happy Mother’s Day 2019!
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