Local News

Mothers remembered for unselfishness

SEBRING - As a child growing up with hearing impairment, Nikki Cassel needed someone who would care for her and help her overcome challenges. That person turned out to be her mother, Ramona Cassel. “My mother has been through a lot in her life, raising four kids and one of them (me) needed surgeries and doctor’s appointments a lot during childhood and my mother took me to each one and always held my hand through out it,” she said. “I love my mother,” she said. “I would never trade her for anything.”
Nikki Cassel was one of several daughters who responded to a Highlands Today question asking people to say why their mother stood out. In all of the responses, the daughters said their mother was there for them as a child and would go the extra mile to help them meet their needs. Mother’s Day has been officially celebrated since 1914 on the second Sunday of May. It was rooted from when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, W.Va., according to Wikipedia. Jarvis then campaigned for a recognized holiday. Decades later, Asia Grace Gilroy says her mother, Mae Lee Gilroy, needs to be recognized just like the mother of Anna Jarvis. Asia says her mother gets her out of bed, helps her get ready for school, does various jobs throughout the day at the family business, Mae Lee’s Deli, attends all of her school activities and volunteers with organizations. “A typical day in the life of Moma Mae Lee (Gilroy) consists of waking up at the crack of dawn to let the dogs out and feed them,” she wrote. “Next, she faces the challenge of getting me out of bed. She makes me a protein shake every morning out of fresh fruits and vegetables and makes breakfast for my father, as well. “After breakfast, she gets ready for work. When she gets there, her job is to do a little of everything. It seems my mom does a million things at once. She is a professional at keeping things running smoothly. After a long and tiring day at work, she comes home and cooks a meal for her family. “Having her family all together at the dinner table is probably her favorite part of the day,” Asia Gilroy added. “She never ceases to amaze me; she is a mom that goes above and beyond.” Another daughter who praised her mother was Danielle Plank, who said that Jayne Seiler-Plank “is the most giving person I know. Like most mothers, she always put her children first. She has raised six successful and happy children who have all gone in different directions, after being inspired to pursue their dreams. “She made it on her own as a single mother, always made sure we were well taken care of and we all did well in school. She made sure we were at church every Sunday,” Plank added. Like Plank, Andrea Todd Nelson remembered the challenges her mother, Sheryl Schwab, faced when raising her and her brother as a single mother. Nelson said her mother attended college while raising them and then moved the family to Broward County, where at times they struggled. “Money was a lot of times VERY tight, but she never stopped, sometimes taking the bus while without a car to go clean houses, dragging her vacuum along with her to make extra money to make ends meet when that full-time job wouldn’t cut it,” Nelson wrote. But, she said, her mother who started out as an intern at an organization that helps women eventually became executive director of that organization. Audrey Berry, a former Sebring resident who now lives in Texas, praised her mother, Rebecca Fleck, an assistant school superintendent in Highlands County, for being an inspiration to not only herself, but also others. She said her mother worked extra to earn enough money so the family could go on summer trips, such as New York City. “She is creative, protective, beautiful and intelligent,” Berry said about her mother. For Cassel and many of the others what made their mothers especially special is that they loved their daughters regardless. “And even though we have broke her heart more than once, she still loves us and has always has a room for us,” Cassel said. “She went without to provide for us. She made sure we ate before she did.”


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