When I was a little boy, I remember my mother talking to people – important people and business people – about things I couldn’t begin to understand. It was a technical jargon that might as well have been a foreign language.
She was building a company, a big one. A company that would someday employ hundreds of people in six offices around the world doing billions of dollars of business for the largest retail chain on the planet, Subway.
She made me believe
I asked her questions about everything, and she always had the answer. When I was sick, she knew what to do to make me feel better. When I was struggling with something, she knew how to help me. She knew how to make me feel safe, secure, and loved. She made me believe I could be anything I ever wanted to be.
Not only did my mother build a global business, but first and foremost, she raised a child. She was the class mom in almost every grade I attended and never missed throwing a birthday party. She cooked dinner every night, walked the dogs, cleaned the house, and helped me with homework. She even took me on business trips, on a shoe-string budget and during hard financial times.
She just “did it”
She did all this while I went through endless health scares as a child – the result of being born over two months premature and less than two pounds. That was 29 years ago. And that was a big deal. You see, I was the only child my mother could ever have due to complications in my birth which almost killed her. She put her whole life and soul into me.
But she never let me know when she was scared, or when she was down or stressed beyond belief trying to build her business out of a house we could barely afford. She didn’t tell me she was scared for my health when I started having grand mal seizures at 10 years old, or when I had complications with my kidneys.
She didn’t have a playbook that told her how to be a mother, a CEO, a wife, a cook, a matriarch to a huge extended family, or how to work with me on middle-of-the-night science fair assignments. No, she didn’t have a guide for any of that. She just did it.
In one word, my mother was – and is – a superhero.
The tools to excel
She gave me every tool I needed to excel in life. Because of her, I was able to become an honor roll student, a top-ranked junior golfer, and eventually a professional in top tournaments around the world.
Because of her I was trained well enough to become the director of business development of one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies (Frey Farms) and help launch a consumer packaged-good (Tsamma Juice) into nationwide retail distribution.
That position granted me the opportunity to speak before Congress on agricultural needs and the farm bill. I was then simultaneously brought on to be the head of business development for PLXIS, a tech start-up here in Miami that does global credit card processing and customer engagement using big data science.
I owe it all to her
I don’t say all that to brag. I say it as an extension of my mother’s accomplishments because that’s truly what they are. I can’t take credit for where I am today without acknowledging the critically influential role my mother played in getting me here. I owe it all to her.
The truth of the matter is, not all of us can be superheroes. It’s a special title only mothers can ever really have.
So I’ll leave you with this, when that superhero comes home at night and finally gets to take a moment for herself, when she finally gets to breathe and close her eyes for just a moment, give her a hug and tell her you love her. Tell her how much she means to you and how much you appreciate her. That’s all she needs. It’s what gives her the strength to do it all again the next day.
I love you Mom. You’re my superhero. Happy Mother’s Day.
James Field Jr. grew up in Pinecrest and is committed to keeping in touch with community friends and neighbors who welcome his insights on issues that affect their lives in the Village. He is director of business development for one of the largest agriculture companies in the country and founded Dogmadik, a supply chain management company providing services to emerging restaurant brands. To subscribe to Field’s regular e-news updates, please visit https://goo.gl/Jp3mLQ or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/james.field.96.