I wanted to be just like her, because I thought that my momma could do anything. Looking like her, walking like her, talking like her, and acting like her became a life-long ambition early on. After all, if I became just like momma, then I could do anything!

Now I am a mother, wife, sister, teacher, and friend; and I find that I still cannot do everything. However, wisdom and experience has taught me that there are things she cannot do — a lot of things she cannot do.

Mom could never put her family second. I remember her going back to college, starting her teaching career, and being the youth director at our church. But I cannot, for the life of me, remember eating out more than at home. I cannot remember going to the babysitter during finals week or having to complete school projects on my own; I guess momma just couldn’t bump us to second place.

Mom could never make us feel okay with doing anything that wasn’t the right thing. Oh, there were times I just wished she would say to never speak to my friend or to skip school to avoid a test. As long as I waited, I never heard that advice. Giving us room to make a wrong decision, then the guidance to make that decision right; mom never let us take the easy way out.

Mom couldn’t waste time; keeping up with someone who vacuums during commercials is exhausting. Mom couldn’t’ compromise her morals; God never sleeps, you know? Mom could never lower her standard for acceptance; everyone knows that just prolongs rejection.

So, my mom, Debi Pyles, should be Mother of the Year for all the things she could not, would not and cannot do. I hope there are lots of things I cannot do just like my momma!