A Mother’s Love
When Wanda Galmon became pregnant with her first child at age thirteen, her only considerations were that she was definitely keeping her child and how she was going to go about providing for him since she was still so young herself. In the beginning she received a lot of support from Leonard’s father but when he was killed when Leonard was only four years old, Ms. Galmon became the sole provider for her eldest son. She never wavered. Ms. Galmon would become a mother of six children altogether by the time she turned 23. Though she admits she worried if she was raising them productively, she worried the most about how she was influencing the five boys. She wanted them to be respectful and be good people so she raised them to be just that. It was rough though, she was hardly able to work because being a mom kept her so busy. The jobs she held consisted mostly of hotel hospitality positions and fast food restaurants, but she maintains that her children were her number one priority, it’s humbling.
Thankfully Ms. Galmon’s brother served as a role model to Leonard who began drawing when he was in kindergarten. She didn’t see that he was really interested in the beginning and then Leonard started talking to her about how much he liked to draw and sketch. What she loves about her eldest son is that he was always there to help her with his siblings. Leonard often didn’t go outside and didn’t have a lot of friends because his priority was helping Ms. Galmon ensure things where good with his brothers and sister. Ms. Galmon also struggled during the unfortunate incident of Hurricane Katrina. During the time she was attempting to leave an abusive relationship she had been in for eleven years and the youngest child was only two months old when the family was forced to relocate during the storm, but Ms. Galmon insured her children all stayed together and with her creating a formidable bond between them.
When Ms. Galmon recalls the day Leonard was accepted to Yale, it’s ironic because on that very day he told her he was still awaiting a response from them, the acceptance announcement came in the form of an email…he was in and about to soar to new heights and continue making her proud. She admits it was hard to let Leonard go because he was her first born, she didn’t like the fact that he was leaving. Ms. Galmon didn’t cry, instead they talked and Leonard assured her that he was doing something positive and that’s why he wanted to go. He told her he is doing this for his family because he wants it to be better for them showing that her principles of parenting have surely stuck with Leonard as he grew up.
Ms. Galmon considers is a blessing that Leonard has received a full scholarship since she is not currently working and his tuition alone is $60,000 a year. It must be fulfilling as a mother who last completed 11th grade to now see her son away at an Ivy League institution making her proud. His siblings look up to him a lot because he talks to them and encourages them to do positive things just like he is, just as she has raised him to. Perhaps Leonard has inspired his mother as well. She is currently earning her GED and once she finishes that she will pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. “I can’t let my kids down. When I tell them something, I keep my promises to them.” And she keeps an open line of communication with them as well for she wants them to view her as someone they can share anything with and always come to for help. We salute you Ms. Wanda Galmon for you truly exhibit a mother’s love.
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