Meet this year’s top mom

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daughter: McClain is ‘my rock when times get tough’

At 25, Octavia McClain was diagnosed with renal failure. Her mother Barbara has stepped up to the plate to help not only cope and recover from her illness, but also help raise her two children.

She wrote:

When it comes to friend or someone to depend on I can count those people on one hand. Friends come and go, but my mother has been my rock. She is the next best thing to Jesus Christ in my life.

I am a 25-year-old female, and here lately, I was diagnosed with renal failure.

McClain as she reads her daughter’s winning essay.

There have been days and times when I could not function and could barely get out of bed; my mother was right there. I also have two beautiful children that I cannot completely care of, and she catches my slack.

My mother works at Shaw from 36 to 72 hours a week and still takes care of everything. It breaks my heart as well as gives me strength to watch how she juggles life and at the end of the day she has a smile with no complaints.

I thank God for my mother she is more than a blessing, and there is not a doubt in my mind that she is my best friend and rock when times get tough.


Octavia’s submission was chosen as The Star-New’s Mother’s Day essay contest winner, and as a result, Barbara received $100 in Chamber Cash to spend with any Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce member.

Below are the other top four submissions.

Russell: ‘I am blessed’

I am blessed to have a mother like mine.

Mothers’ are special women who keep memories alive, and hold our homes together. They are the hearts of our homes. My mother is truly the heart of our home. She’s special for many reasons.

I would like to share with you a testimony about my mother. In 2003, my mother was an assistant manager at a local retail clothing store. Like many working mothers’ in today’s society, she spent most of her working. Always helping others when she could, and taking care of her family. I was 13, and it was on Sun., Nov. 16. I remember the day well. My mother wasn’t feeling well that day, so she didn’t attend church that evening.

When my Dad and I arrived home from church that evening, we found my mother laying in a puddle of blood in our kitchen. She was hospitalized and unconscious. She had a seizure.

Russell, her husband and grandson

Days later when she came to, she didn’t know where she was, who she was, or that she was married and had children. She had memory loss. I became her voice and hands. I taught her to write and to read her Bible, along with her skills again. The past seven years she has made a remarkable recovery, but still has seizures occasionally. I’ve seen her at her weakest point, but also at her strongest point.

This is how I know God brought her to her knees to glorify him. My mother is a godly woman who is an active member in our church. She’s never one to desire recognition for things she does or even riches in this world. She’s always said “her riches are laid up in heaven. This traumatic event in my life, almost losing my mother, makes me appreciate this gift God has given me.

She’s taught me so much about life, love and giving. Most importantly she’s taught me how to be a godly young lady, how to stand on my own.

She reminds me to always stay strong in my faith and what I believe in, in this ever changing crazy world. My mother is my rock, my best friend, a faithful example of what I wish to be for the rest of my life. Her ultimate sacrifices, her willingness to put her heart, hands and feet wherever God may lead her will impact my mind, heart and life forever.

Maybe having a mother like mine, has spoiled me a little. Mother’s Day is a day we celebrate once a year, but it should be celebrated every day. God has given my mother a second chance at life. I’m honored and blessed to be able to celebrate Mothers day every day with such a precious woman. Mother, you are amazing. I love you. Happy Mothers’ Day. Proverbs 31:28-31.

– Written by Kayla Russell

Let me tell you about my mom

My mother had me as a young teenager. She had a rough life. She moved away from her family, and she and my Father made it on their own as teenagers.

Both worked very hard! My mom had to quit school, but she wanted her children to get the full education, so she went back to school in the 1980s to get her degree during this time she took care of her family.

Debbie Adams

It surely wasn’t an easy task, as I was barely in school, and my brother wasn’t. She valued education and wanted to instill that in us. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her children or another child. I took that trait.

Because of her I love children and would do anything for a child, too. My mother has given up so much for her children and children. As I had a child, my mother became a nana, and while I worked, she was able to build a bond with my daughter. She took her to and from school and anything I needed her to do, she was there. My daughter just loves her Nana. They became very close. Then, seven years later my niece was born. She and my mother share a close bond. My mother now raises my niece.

It was a sad day last June when we moved back to Florida, and now I do not live close to my mother or father, and I can tell you my mother was so helpful in my life. My daughter took it hard! She has never been away from her Nana. Now I call her every day from eight hours away. I never took her for granted, but I tell you what a huge help she was!

My mother has been sick lately, so I cherish everyday I talk to her, and in June, we get to see her. If I can only be half the mom she is, I’ll be grateful.

Stinson: ‘My granny is my mom, too’

Hi! My name is Elizabeth H. Stinson. I’m 10, and if any one needs to be a good mom, it’s my granny who’s my mom, too.

Bobbie Kirkland

I’ve been with her since I was 3 days old, and she’s the best. She took care of me through all my sicknesses, and I’m a handful, too. And she’s even cared for my mom, too, who went into a coma when I was born, cares for my great nanny who had cancer and was bedridden. Never asks for anything who loves God and helping any one in need now she has cancer and still doing for me and others.

This is my granny-mom, Bobbie Kirkland

– Written by Elizabeth Stinson

Jackson: Proud to call mother-in-law ‘Mom’

This is for my mother-in-law, who is the best friend anyone could ask for. She has taken her very last dollar and helped me and my husband.

She always makes sure that her kids have money (even though they are all grown up).

She calls her family everyday just to say “hi” and reminds them she loves them. She has gone out of her way countless times when someone needs a place to stay she is there to share her house with them.

Carolyn Jackson

I’m in Florida, and she is in Andalusia, and whenever I need someone to talk to I run to her cause I know she will never turn her back on me. Her son says she is the best mother anyone could ask for.

She is a woman of God. She knows she was sent here to help people and this is what she does.

She wants to become rich and open a shelter for people and animals. This is the person she is – a beautiful, great and wonderful best friend to everyone. Her name is Carolyn Jackson. She is so helpful, kind of others feelings.

She is a strong woman. She doesn’t let anything stop her. She walks around Andalusia just to get out and see people. She is the person everyone goes to when they maybe need answers or prayers even! She will sit down and pray with you! She has made a huge impact on my life. I never had a mother, and I am proud to call her my mother.

– Written by Brandy Jackson