There is a reason that Father’s Day is a holiday that should be celebrated in a dark garage at 3 a.m. and Mother’s Day should be all about standing ovations under bright stage lights. Mother’s Day is for those who will not quit.
These women heroically drop kids off at day care, rush off to work or school – or both – then pick up the kids. They cook and clean and bathe the children, and they do it every day.
Mercedes Rawlinson works the late shift at Moe’s, the burrito place in Rock Hill. She has a 3-year-old daughter. Eight years ago, when she was in the 10th grade, she dropped out of school.”
She tried three times to go back and get her General Equivalency Diploma. There are so many people out there for whom the letters GED are right under GOD, because a GED answers a prayer for the rest of a life.
“I just never did what I had to do to finish,” Rawlinson said.
But the daughter came, and with her a new sense of responsibility. Rawlinson knew that the career she always wanted, to work as a paramedic on an ambulance, would not be hers if she did not finish the adult education classes.
“Finally, I got serious,” Rawlinson said. “I want to be a paramedic. I want a career.”
After all these years of trying, Rawlinson is now a high school GED graduate. She wants to attend York Technical College starting as early as this summer.
She will have to work at the same time, because mothers do that – work and go to school and wash clothes – and every one of them merits a holiday.
Summer Thornton is 19, a cook at Showmars restaurant in Rock Hill. When she was in high school in North Carolina, Thornton said, she hung with the wrong crowd, made poor choices, did what teenagers do who do not take school seriously.
“I dropped out,” Thornton said. “I didn’t like school. I just quit.”
Almost immediately, she became pregnant. Her daughter arrived a little over two years ago.
Thornton is a single mother, somehow paying all the bills at her own apartment, taking care of a daughter and working full-time. She has to pay for child care, too.
“But I wanted to finish school,” Thornton said.
She finished her GED and starts emergency medical technician classes in July at York Tech.
“I want to be a registered nurse, and who knows maybe, a doctor,” Thornton said. “It was hard to get through school, but it was worth it.”
She, too, will work and go to school and be a mother all at the same time.
Mothers – even on Mother’s Day – never really atke a day off.
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065 • firstname.lastname@example.org