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Dear Tom,

My mom was born on Halloween and this year, she will be dressed as a 75-year-old – although she doesn’t look it.  She worked as a nurse in a medium security women’s prison for the Oklahoma department of corrections.

After work, she would volunteer her time helping inmates learn how to read.  A lot of them were able to get their GEDs and get on the right track once they got out.  Her heart always smiles when she sees a former inmate doing well on the outside – whether she encounters them at their job and especially when they are out with their children.

A few years, my husband was deployed to Afghanistan and my job at the time required overnight travel almost every other week.  My mom helped me with my 2 daughters – taking care of them and driving them to & from school and all of their activities…she did that for a whole year!

When my sister Elizabeth was having health issues & needed someone – guess who drove down to Dallas to be with her for her hospital visits and surgeries?  My mom!

Along with everything she does for her family, she is very active in the community:  she volunteers at area schools, she organizes town hall meetings with elected officials, she also helps out at her neighborhood church – and she doesn’t even go there!

As a retired nurse, my mom lives on a fixed income and gets by month to month.  She doesn’t know that I nominated her for the Thursday morning mom and the $1000 would be a nice surprise!

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Jackie Bailey  was originally published on