I was on the run from the law once for about three months. I rented an apartment, set up utilities, got a job, and navigated an emergency room visit with an invented identity. The US Navy and the police looked for me but they didn't find me. My mother found me.

My mother loves Jesus, America, and a good steak. Being impolite is just short of a sin for her. She did not turn me in. She called to make sure that I was safe.

When the Navy gave up and mailed my discharge papers home, she called me again to let me know. She drove four hours to see me play in a heavy metal band. She is not, to put it mildly, a fan of heavy metal.

The band didn't work out. Mama welcomed me into her home. I got a job and started another band. And another. Out of desperation I toured as a solo songwriter and accidentally hit my stride. Before I left home, Mama earned her Masters at night school while working full time at UNC and probably cleaning up after me. I did inherit this: If no one else will do the dishes, I must. Even at someone else's house.

Now I have a child and, Mama, I am so sorry. Oh God. It's hard. My only armor is this doctorate in Unconditional Love from the master.

Rock star. Saint. My mother. Happy Mother's Day, Mama.

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