Me, Mitchell, Mom and Lauren in 2005

Small in stature, but big in heart. Carolyn Courtney looks like she would break under pressure, but looks can be deceiving. As the daughter of a very successful farmer, she learned the value of hard work early in life. With five siblings, she learned how to get along. The Leonards were never weak – they were strong in will and in love. My Uncle Gary was left a paraplegic by an accident on the farm many years ago. While in the hospital, the nurses came to discuss new lines of work with him, since farming would no longer be an option. To this, he replied “I’m going to farm.” And farm he did. Every piece of farm machinery was fixed with a rope – not wheel chair lifts – rope. He climbed into this equipment that had been fixed with hand controls using his upper body strength only. He rises early in the day and works until late at night. He jokes, laughs and makes every one around him feel good…you don’t even see his wheel chair after a while.
What’s this got to with your Mom? Thanks for asking! It’s got everything to do with her. My Mom is like my Uncle. No, she wasn’t injured on the farm, but she has faced battles, nonetheless, and she has refused to quit, just like Uncle Gary.
No matter what has happened in her life, she has not once quit on God.When my sweet nephew contracted bacterial meningitis at three days old and nearly died, and subsequently is mentally retarded, she refused to quit. When pain or sickness wracked her body, she refused to quit. When my Dad lost his job of twenty years at age 52, she refused to quit. When God moved her children to North Carolina, Florida and Texas, she refused to quit. And, when God took her husband, confidante, and companion through life’s trials home to Heaven, she refused to quit. She goes soul winning every week, heads up a ladies spiritual support group at her church, teaches third grade Sunday School, teaches in the Bible College, tutors children in the Christian School, writes numerous notes and cards to people, and the list is endless. I haven’t even begun to tell you all the things she’s done for me personally – that would take forever.
My Mom has always been tenderhearted. She was not just a teacher, but a special education teacher. She taught what some people would call the “cast offs”, or the underdogs of society. I am not as tenderhearted as she is, but after watching my mother patiently and lovingly teach those precious students, well, I’ve come a long way. She loves the unlovable. I know this because she loves me. I know this will shock some of you, but I’ve not always been the paragon of virtue!! I was a stubborn and often rebellious child, and a hard to manage teenager – but she loved me anyway. Some would say “She had to love you, she’s your MOM!” But I’ve been in enough homes to know that in fact, she didn’t have to – so many kids are not loved by their Moms. I watched a young boy and his mother yesterday as I was waiting to get my hair cut. The mother angrily grilled her boy on his addition flashcards, stating rather loudly “I don’t care how much you hate it, you’re doing it all day, until you learn these.” This boy wasn’t being openly defiant – he was tired! It was 4:00 pm, and he had been at school all day, and now his Mom was openly humiliating him. I can say, my mom never did that to me, and I was openly defiant!! Yes, I am very blest. My Mom believed that verse in Proverbs that says “The sweetness of the lips increaseth learning..”
I just wanted to share with you what a wonderful lady my Mom is. Today is her birthday. Some can paint beautiful paintings, or cross stitch, or play a song on the piano, but I only know how to write. Thanks for taking the time to read about her. I am so proud of her.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I sure do love you.

6 thoughts on “My Mom is not a Quitter

  1. DixieWags says:


    I do love your mom too. She is such a special lady in my life as well. HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS “Mom”.


  2. Mother says:

    There's no way I deserve all those wonderful comments, but I thank you for seeing me through the eyes of love instead of the eyes of reality. I love you.


  3. Anonymous says:

    AMEN!!! You summed our mother up perfectly. We are so blest to have Carolyn Courtney for our mother!
    Valerie, you have a wonderful gift with words.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! My whole family loves you!!!!!


  5. What a wonderful post for your Mother! May God bless her special day today and Happy Birthday to such a Blessed and Loved Lady.


  6. Misty says:

    What wonderful words you have written about your Mother! Happy Belated Birthday Mrs. Courtney!!


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