Let Me Tell You About My Mom

By Porter Metzler

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I Wish More People Could’ve Known Her

Her laugh was loud. Her attitude open. My mom was a free spirit hippie who somehow raised two children to be nomadic in their minds, but outwardly Type A, organized, and driven in their lives. Funny how that works.

Molly Grantham and Mom

I wish more people could’ve known my mom before she died, but in that same exact moment I think and type—“I wish more people could’ve known her”—I am also struck thinking how everyone who met her felt like they’d known her their whole lives.

She was warm and authentic and proud of her kids. She wanted to tell stories, eat well, dance across a kitchen, and be loved. Some of her grandchildren have remembered her from when they were only 2-years old: Think how memorable of a personality you must have to make an impression so large, a 2-year-old will forever remember meeting you.

I miss my mom, but know she is happy flying free.

I just wonder if she’s up there, starting a party every day. Making the newest strangers feel comfortable, laughing at herself to welcome them in the gates, describing her family members—her favorite hobby—while asking all about the past lives of those she floats around. I hope that’s what’s happening. A beautiful thought to think of my mom’s people-centric, generous spirit living on, even beyond.

–Molly Grantham

The Greatest Gift

My mother provided my brother and me with the greatest gift of all – the ability to build relationships with compassion, empathy and LOVE. And many – if not all – of our successes are based in those relationships. I am eternally grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

–M. Quentin Williams

My True North

My mom is 87, I don’t think she would mind me sharing that. She still lives in the house where I grew up. Salt & pepper hair. Quick to smile, quicker to laugh. Bright eyes, quick wit. Independent and absolutely determined not to let anything “get the best of her.”

If I need some inspiration, motivation, she is the place I go. Whether a phone call or just thinking about her attitude. Examples of this indefatigable spirit? At 60-ish, she went to community college to learn how to use a computer and began to transition the law office where she worked from paper to electronic files.

She has been through 2 hurricanes in the last five years (one with weeks of no water) and in the time since has mastered a smartphone to text with us for daily check-ins. With Covid, she figured out how to download the app necessary to order her groceries for curbside pick-up.

Elizabeth McKee and MomAt 85, she taught herself to crochet from YouTube. She also taught herself to repair her car’s rear-view mirror with epoxy from YouTube. After she received a diagnosis of breast cancer in October 2019, I saw what I’ve always seen – a positive attitude. “Ok let’s get this (surgery) done. I’ve got things to do.” She had a time and yet still came out smiling; happy to see us and ready to do the work to get back to her life.

My mom is someone you might never hear of, although I have often said there are plenty of people that could benefit from learning from her. She is a true north for me, grounding me, always helping me remember who I am.

–Elizabeth McKee

Spirit, Humor and an Iron Will

My mother has many layers. She’s a sweet little old lady of 92 tied to her walker; when my sister and I were kids, she let us out at school with the reminder to “be nice.”

She’s tough as nails, a three-time cancer survivor who beat the odds more than once and daily deals with pain that would bring me to my knees.

Susie MomShe loves my dog, Murphy more than she loves me. She’s a little bit Golden Girl’s Rose Nyland, naïve and confused, and a little bit Schitt’s Creek’s Twyla Sands, fiercely cheerful and optimistic. She’s also got a touch of Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown, loving the gossip of the day with a wicked wit.

I held my breath until she was vaccinated because she was among the most vulnerable, and she lives in a congregate living facility. We spent the past 15 months Facetiming or meeting outside, socially distanced with masks on, because I would not/could not be the person who exposed her to Covid-19. I cherish her spirit, her sense of humor and her iron will.

–Susie Adams


“How do I wash outside throw pillows without removable covers?” is the most recent example of a question I entrust my mom’s wisdom to over Google.

My mom’s a pro-mom. She stayed at home with my sister and I, carting us back and forth to dance, piano, sleepovers, etc all while keeping us fed and making our house a home. (She will consistently maintain the house is filthy. It never is. But I, on the other hand, can’t ever quite reach that base level of Mary-cleanliness.)

Jess Baryla and MomWhen I left for college, and my sister was still in high school, she took her pro-mom skills to school, becoming an assistant kindergarten teacher for the next almost 20 years. Who the heck raises 2 kids until their teens then goes back to dealing with booger-faced, shoes-untied, kindergarteners!? It’s a level of patience and kindness that I’m not sure I inherited. But I can hope the genes got passed down.

That big heart is one of her best qualities. Most of her friendships have lasted over 50 years, (even though she is still 35.) She is still in regular contact with friends from her childhood, her honeymoon, her life in Upstate NY before moving to NC in the 90s. It’s pretty remarkable. She refers to self-absorbed, inconsiderate people as being in their ‘me-box.’ She makes living outside her ‘me-box’ effortless.

My mom was born on May 5th, aka ‘Cinco-de-Mary,’ and I was born on Mother’s Day so May has always been a special month for us. Usually, it’s overrun with celebrating other people’s showers, weddings & graduations. But every so often, the calendar clears and we’re able to hang out together, sometimes in Charlotte, on my not-so-pristine porch with my newly washed throw pillows.

–Jess Baryla

I’d Be Loth Without You

“I think we might be loth.”

It’s a sentence that my mom and I have said approximately 9,578,040 times over the past 3 years.

We always say “loth.” That’s not a typo. That’s not a real word. That’s not a new type of slow-moving mammal that lives in trees.

It’s how we say “lost.” It’s an inside joke between us that I won’t bore you with the details of how it started because I guarantee we are the only two people in the world that think it’s funny. It was a real had-to-be-there-moment. “Loth” is a dumb word, but it’s our word. And we crack up every time we say it.

It’s kind of funny that we talk about the idea of being lost so much because my mom is anything but. She knows exactly who she is, what she wants, how she wants it, and how she’s going to make it happen.

She’s a rockstar in every sense of the word (except for – you know – the whole having musical talent part).

She recently retired from a 30+ year career of hairdressing and salon owning. And she’s already diving headfirst into everything she’s wanted to do for years, from traveling to interior decorating to writing the next great American novel. She’s the most ambitious and hardworking person I know. She puts 100% into everything she does. I hope that one day I can be 20% of the person she is.

She is forever on the pathway toward awesomeness.

So much for being “loth.”

–Porter Metzler

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