Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Winning Letter...

Judges took about two and a half hours to decide between the 53 letters received in the 1987 Mother of the Year Contest co-sponsored by Merrick Life and the Merrick Chamber of Commerce Saturday morning. The winner was Luba Mayo, whose son Jason wrote the winning letter.

The Winning Letter - May 7, 1987

My name is Jason Mayo and I am a student at Calhoun High School. I'm 16 years old, and I think my mother is super. Maybe I should rephrase that to "Superwoman". Most of the letters you have read in the past have probably been typical writings from those who love their mother just as much as I do. But I think this mother is deservant of a superior honor such as your Mother of the Year (award).

My mother is different. My parents have been divorced for almost eight years now, and it took me this long until I could appreciate what she has done for my brother and me in the past and present.

Throughout her motherhood she has cared for us in the kindest way, and helped to round our characters in the finest way possible.

She works very hard as a teacher in Queens, and she puts forth an incredible effort in her profession. She is also attending school to get various credits for her higher degree. Besides working and going to school, she is a friend above friends to those that she cares for. It's hard to describe the strength she possesses within, by just describing her actions. She not only accepts and succeeds at her title of mother but she must at times be there as a father because we are at home a family of three. She could have quit on us because we've seen not only good times but bad. But it's her strong hearted character that keeps our family not a family of three but a family of three together as one.

It's hard for me to tell her how special she is to us and how thankful we are for her guidance, but I thought you could help me by presenting her with a title as rewarding as that of Mother of the Year...

It's May 12th 2010 and I'm almost 40 years old. I had forgotten about this letter. When I read it this morning I realized that not a lot has changed. When my parents got divorced things changed in our house. I was 8 or 9 years old and I didn't know how to deal with it. I isolated myself. I still do. I pretty much turned into an angry asshole as a teenager and treated my mother like shit. I yelled and broke stuff and I let her know how much I hated her. I was pathetic.

I remember the day I wrote this letter. I sat on our green and yellow flowered couch and thought about all the nasty things I said to her over the years. I thought about what a horrible person I had become. I thought about all of the words that I couldn't ever possibly take back. You can never take them back. I wanted to tell her that it was all a front. A defense mechanism. She had become my personal, verbal punching bag. I never knew how to express my feelings in person. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get the words out. I was a tortured soul. The only way I could get it out was to write. If I could put it down on paper, the words would live forever. Everyone could see my true feelings. Maybe it would wash away all of the bad words that were floating out there in the ether.

I remember what my mom said to me when they told her she had won the award. She said, "Son, you never have to get me a Mother's Day present ever again." That's not true mom. A son's love shouldn't be a gift you receive once a year. It should be something you feel all the time. Something that goes unspoken. I'm sorry for all of the years of pain. I'm sorry for all of the mean and terrible things I've said.

I still have trouble saying all of the important things to you in person but I promise you, I'm working on that. I'm trying to build the courage to make things right. I want to start the healing. I want to mend this relationship with you. You've done nothing wrong and I love you.

When I asked my mom to bring me the letter from the contest, her only concern was that I don't show her picture. She didn't care about her 80's perm or the outfit she was wearing. She was regretful for not having my brother and I in the picture with her.

This is the kind of mother she is and I want her to know that I appreciate that. I always have...

Happy Mother's Day.