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Dear Tom,

My mom retired after 31 years of working as a production manager at Buick city in northeast flint.  She was divorced early in her marriage and has always been there for me.

When I went through a bitter divorce, I thought of going back to school to finish my degree, but the thought of doing that was scary to me.  Since I didn’t want to do this alone, she went with me at the age of 62 and got herself a degree in hospitality management.  We both graduated with honors and I was confident enough to go on and get my master’s degree.

I was living in Atlanta in 2013 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  So I moved back home to flint so she could help me care for my daughter while I went through chemo.  During that time my brother lost his job and he moved back home with her as well.

If that wasn’t enough, her granddaughter lost her house, so my mom let her and her 3 children come to live with her – so for those listeners playing along at home – that’s a grand total of 8 people.

I don’t know how she did it on her fixed income but I’m sure that taking me back and forth to all my appointments.  She is 69 year old and keeps her car in tip top shape…but all that driving me around has her in need of some new tires.


THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Barbara Marshall  was originally published on