PDT Staff Writer
Mothers are the unsung heroes of the world and they need to be celebrated and pampered by their children — if just for a bit — in recognition of all they do. Every day they sacrifice their time and devote their love to their children, and that’s why every year on the second Sunday of May, children pay homage to their moms on Mother’s Day.
The Portsmouth Daily Times recently completed its Mom of the Year contest, and Clyde Stiltner submitted the winning essay to win some first-place prizes for his mom, Joann Stiltner.
Stiltner described his mother’s early years — she was born during the 1937 flood — and how her husband and children always came first. He wrote, “I remember my mom cooking a meal and not sure there was enough for my dad and all us children and remember her standing in the kitchen dipping a piece of bread or biscuit in the leftover grease as something to eat because there wasn’t enough to go around. … We sometimes forget the great things in life and fail to give credit where credit is due, but my mom is the best in the world. We just never take the time or effort to say that mom, you’re the greatest in this world and I could only hope I can be as great a parent as you have been.”
The Stiltners — Joann and husband, Elbert — have been married for 57 years. They have seven children — Joanna Holdren, Elbert Jr. “Buster,” Danny, Julia, Clyde, Tina Greene and Carl David. They have 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren with four more on the way. While the Stiltners lived mostly in the Portsmouth area for most of their lives, today they live in Garrison, Ky.
The Times staff members who judged the contest recognize there are many special women in the area. Here are a few comments from some of the Mom of the Year entries:
• “She has taught me everything that it takes to get up every day, find the positive in life and keep on truckin’ … She is the definition of family faithfulness and determination.” — submitted by Lora Jane Rawlins-Moore;
• “She hasn’t just been a mother, she has been a father to me as well. … Donna Kerecz (my mother), I love you more than anyone else in this universe and no matter what, in my eyes, you’ll always be the best.” — submitted by Raven Holmes;
• “My mother is truly the greatest gift God could have ever blessed me with.” — submitted by Meagan Lang;
• “She (Sonie Hash) is very independent, truthful and smart...always tries to help out as much as she can around the house and anywhere else...she always tells me jokes and I love them.” — submitted by Clara Harsh;
• “Mom (Roxey Davis), you have provided me strength, purpose and guidance. Because you love me, I am, all that I am.” — Sara Rister;
• “She listens when I have a problem and tries to come up with a solution for it. She is very dependable and I wish I could give her more.” — Tracy and Crea Perry;
One particular letter had a different twist. The letter from Jim Spinnati nominated his dad as Mom of the Year.
“Our mom left us, but Dad kept the ‘ship’ shipshape.” He said his “mom,” worked long hours in the steel mill and still made their favorite donuts, hugged them and tucked them into bed. “He taught us love, respect and work ethic. … thanks, Dad, for being the best mother a person could ever have.”
On a lighter note, Kristen Horton, 13, whose mother is Karen Horton, said, “Mom, I know I’m not the easiest kid to raise and I do get in trouble sometimes, but I know that you do and always will love me, and I do and always will love you.”
DEBORAH DANIELS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 234.