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Dear Tom,

My mother raised my sister & me and several cousins as a single mom working for Indiana bell.  She started working there as a telephone operator when she just 19 years old.

When she turned 49, she retired as an information assistant for what had become AT&T after 30 years.  During that time, she sent my sister and me to college – her devotedness to education encouraged me to pursue a doctorate degree.

I am currently a professor of marketing and she has no problem watching my 2 boys when I work late.  She used to watch my older sisters kids – she has 2 boys and 2 girls – and her girls have babies, too, so my mom is a great-grandmother.

She lives to help.  When my grandmother began developing Alzheimer’s disease in 1995, my mother looked after her and cared for her for 20 years until she died last year at the age of 90.  Right now, one of my cousins from Texas is living with her – he has multiple sclerosis.

In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Five years ago, they installed a media-port in her chest for the chemotherapy drips.  Today, she is cancer free and is going to have the port removed because she doesn’t need it anymore.

Now that she beat cancer, she wants to do some travelling.  My mom just turned 65 this past Sunday (August 2nd).  She has a sister-in-law in Atlanta who is turning 62 this month and they want to go to Las Vegas – neither of them has ever been.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Janice Morris  was originally published on