I can honestly say I have never known a day in my life where I didn’t feel loved. This lady, even when she is mad at you would love you so deeply that you never felt unloved. She has known her days of hardship, triumph, failure, loss and wins and to my knowledge she has taken it all in stride, showing humility and getting back up and trying again. As I am typing this, I realize now where I get this trait of persistence even in the face of possible failure from my mother.
Earlier in the week you heard my story about my grandmother, Louise Ward, and I had mentioned the “ladies” in my life that have shown me how to love, cook and strive to be a good human being. My mother is on the top of that list. She comes by it honestly, because the third lady on that list is my other grandmother, Emma Crum, my mother’s mom. When I think about my past, my childhood and these women who have shaped and formed my opinions and outlook on life, the thought which comes to mind is these ladies are/were the epitome of love. I don’t think about the items they bought me, I remember the love they have shown me and continue to show me.
When I look back on my journey in life, especially coming out and getting married to Clay Finck-Ward, I had apprehension that these ladies in my life might turn their backs on me, but I can honestly say, shame on me. Never in my life have they ever shown me in any indication that would happen. Love, love, love is what I have been shown. They held true to those words and continue to love Clay, me and our family we have together. I am a blessed man in so many wonderful and amazing ways.
So today, I honor you mom. I honor you for being who you are, for loving unconditionally, for being brave, strong, stoic and for staying true to who you are at all times. You are my hero, my role model and if I can be a small fraction of the human being you are then I am doing good. We love you with all our heart and soul and I speak on behalf of me, Clay, Nataya, Nathan, Lupe, Steven and our unborn grandchild. We hope you have the most amazing and special day.
Johnny Bryan Ward