By Dale Martin
May 6, 2022
With Sunday as Mother’s Day, I’d like to share my gratitude and praise to five women who, in their roles as mothers, have touched my life.
The first woman is obviously my mother, Patricia Martin. Mom and Dad married in 1962, and I was born the following year. Three siblings followed in nearly equal intervals- 1965, 1967, and 1968. I remember a 1969 cross-country trip to meet my Dad (temporarily working for the US Army in Nevada) with Mom alone herding four kids ages 5, 4, 2, and 1 though several airports.
Mom stayed at home to raise us, returning to work only after all my youngest brother was well into school. She dutifully attended every concert, football game, cross country and track meet to support us, no matter where the event or what the weather. Now age 82 and healthy, she lives in the same house in which we were raised. Her upbringing (and Dad’s, of course; he passed in 2016) of us has contributed to our success as adults: one brother is a computer animator who has worked for several leading production companies; the other brother is an engineer for General Dynamics; and my sister is a senior consumer research manager at General Motors. They all live near Mom, so she is well-cared for, if needed, by them.
Thanks, Mom, for everything over the past fifty-eight years.
The second special mom is Elizabeth (Fachie) Martin, the mother of our three daughters. We had a busy year together from the end of 1989 and into 1990: I received my commission as a U.S. Army infantry officer, graduated with my master’s degree, married, moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia to prepare for what would become Operation Desert Storm (ultimately, I was not involved), and then to Schweinfurt, Bavaria, Germany for three years. Without her next to me, those major milestones would likely not have been possible.
Our oldest daughter, Emily, was born in Germany, and after returning to the United States, she was joined by our twins, Abigail and Meaghan. After we divorced, the raising of the girls fell overwhelming to Beth. I was a distant but supportive dad. In ways similar to the care and love of my mother for my siblings and me, the care and love of Beth for our daughters has created three wonderfully successful women. Emily, a brand-new mother herself to grandson Boston (age six months; she is one of the five women discussed here) is married to Mr. Joel Curtis, and works as a leasing agent. Meaghan, newly engaged to Mr. Hunter Klaassen (he has as many extraneous vowels in his last name as she does in her first name!), and is an ICU nurse. Abigail just completed her graduate studies in counterterrorism, culminating those studies with a perfect score on her thesis.
Thank you, Beth, for what you’ve done and instilled in our daughters.
Similar to Beth, my wife Lisa primarily raised her two daughters as a single mom. Lisa, to start her professional career in healthcare, had to spend extensive time daily away from her two young daughters, Lauren and Hannah. Despite the professional challenges, Lisa, like my mother and Beth, made the commitment to attend and support at every band concert and other school activity. Both Lauren and Hannah are exceptional accomplished musicians, participating in high school and college marching and concert bands. Lauren has sporadically continued her musicianship in a community band.
Hannah, married to Kaden, works as a senior manager in a retail CBD operation. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, with a bachelor’s degree in special education. In previous jobs, all of a somewhat different nature, she has rapidly progressed through the leadership and management ranks. She is exceptionally personable and wonderfully engaging, directly reflective of Lisa, which, I believe, contributes greatly to her professional success.
Lauren, also an education graduate (bachelor’s: Western Michigan University; master’s: Oakland University), is married to Mr. Kevin O’Neill, and the fifth mother to be recognized by me today. Lauren and Kevin are the proud parents of our grandson Malcolm, age two-and-a-half. Lauren serves as a very accomplished high school Spanish teacher.
All of these women are wonderful examples of motherhood. My life has been greatly enriched by the role of these mothers in my life. Please thank your mothers on Sunday.