LeRoy Collins Commentary 164

Commentary #164
10 May 2008

A Special Message from
Governor Charlie Crist

Attached is a Mother's Day message from Governor Crist, sent to us on the eve of Mother's Day 2008. It reminded me of the following:

Perhaps 2-3 years ago, I was visiting my mother on her back porch in our family home she has occupied since 1942,....immediately next door to the Florida Governor's Mansion on North Adams Street. She is 96, so we were reminiscing about the past, as we do whenever I visit.

She asked "Son, of all your travels around the world in the Military, in business, and for pleasure, who has been the most influential person in your life?" Without the slightest hesitation I said "Mom, YOU are that person!".....and I meant every word of it.

I have thought of this discussion many times, and while it was a reflex answer at the time, I have never thought of a better answer. My mother is responsible for so much of what I am, what I like, what I do, and who I admire.....and that means her influence has endured through almost 60 years since I moved away from home and began my own life.

Even now when I visit her (I stay there when I go to Tallahassee), she reacts like I am still 15 years old, e.g. "Roy do not forget to leave your room straight; ......are you wearing a clean white shirt? ....when is your next meeting? ....do not forget to turn off the air-conditioner," etc. One time when I was trying to convince her to allow us to change out a rug in her bedroom which was too old and rotten, she commanded me to "hush up and go to your room!"....talk about HEADSTRONG....

Back in the late 1950s when I thought I was getting caught in the whirlpool of marriage, I asked my Dad for some advice on selecting a wife. I expected a rather extensive sermon consuming several hours. Instead, he handled it quite matter-of-factly.... "I think you should ask yourself if this woman you are considering will be a devoted mother to your children? If so all the other parts of marriage will simply fall in their proper place."

That was far more simplistic than I expected, and I sought more details, but he thought his advice was adequate for what I asked. In 49 years of being married to the same woman, and his 57 years with my Mother, I have concluded he was right on target with his advice. It certainly worked for him.

I just called my mother today to say I shall be spending the next few days with her....starting with Mother's Day evening. She replied that will be nice, but "Son, eat supper before you get here." She still has a car which she asks others to drive for her errands, but she will not let me drive it unless she is on board to supervise, albeit she is now totally blind.

Some things just never change, ...and I am SO thankful.

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.

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From Governor Crist:

May 10, 2008

Dear Friends,

As Floridians across our great state take time this weekend to honor their mothers, I extend best wishes for a happy and joyous Mother's Day. It is important for us to thank mothers, as well as sisters, aunts and grandmothers, who share their commitment and their great hearts to lovingly care and provide for the children and young people in their lives.

We appreciate the tireless commitment of mothers to nurturing young hearts and minds and enabling them to discover the talents and strengths that will lead to a successful future. We are grateful for the sacrifices mothers make as they share their strength with their families and equip them to stand strong in the face of life's difficulties.

To those mothers who have offered loving and safe homes by welcoming children who need a permanent home, thank you for giving a child the opportunity to dream and hope and receive a solid foundation for life.

May God bless the mothers throughout Florida.

Blue band divider with stars

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.


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