By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Patrice Tompkins, spent 14 years of her life caring for her mother, who was ill, while battling her own medical problems.
That dedication is something, she says many people put her down for and questioned why she would waste her life caring for her mother.
“I love my mom. She was my best friend. I learned how to be a mom from my mom. She was a neat lady,” Tompkins said.
As a result of taking care of her mom, until her death, Tompkins became a “late in life” mother, having her daughter Gabby, now 13, while in her mid-thirties. Tompkins has been married to her husband Gib for 15 years.
The PNT sat down with Tompkins for a short Q & A about motherhood, in honor of Mother’s Day. Tompkins is not only a wife and mother, she is also actively involved in the community, which she feels is very important and wishes to pass on to her daughter.
Q. How do you juggle being a wife, mother and community volunteer?
A. “I have to delegate my time, I organize my time. I’m really set in my ways. God helps me too, he keeps me going.”
Q. What are some of the fears that you have faced in motherhood?
A. “That I’m doing it right and I want my daughter to know I love her. I know that my mom loved me no matter what I did. I hope my daughter knows that when I’m gone.”
Q. What are some of the challenges of being a mother?
A. “Patience. I’m really set in my ways. Being older, we may be more patient but we expect more.”
Q. What are some of your best “mom memories”?
A. “Gabby being born. When I left her for the first time. Just being with her, it’s special. They grow so quickly, then there gone.”
Q. How has being a mother affected your life?
A. “Being a mother has become my life.”
Q. Has there been someone in your life who has influenced your role as a mother?
A. “My mother. My daughter has been an influence on me to. They teach you a lot, they are teaching you more than you are teaching them. And Jesus Christ.”
Q. Describe your relationship with your daughter?
A. “I’m still her mom, but I believe she can talk to me about anything. That’s how I was with my mom, though it came later in life. I want to be a role model for her.”
Q. What is something that you would like to leave as a legacy to your daughter?
A. “That I love her and when I’m gone, I’m always there. That’s what my mom taught me. My mom taught me to be happy, even after she was gone.”