Nora Louise Griffith passed away in 2001, she was 67 years of age. She was a great mother, who lived to love the Lord, her family and was happy to go as unnoticed as possible throughout her life. Mom had to grow up fast and married my dad shortly after graduating high school. I miss her very much.
During my time in junior high, I told many people that my mom was a 300 pound professional wrestler who grappled under the name of “The Flea”. Many questioned me on this, but I was determined to carry this fable out as far as it would go. Some would ask, “Did your mom wrestle this weekend?” Compelling me to respond, “Oh yes, she had a match at Hara Arena Saturday with “Bouncing Beluah” but she lost.” One day at a school function, my parents and I were walking together when a young lady walked up to say rather angrily, “You’re mom doesn’t weigh 300 pounds!”
Perhaps it is at this time I learned the magnitude of my mother’s love. When I came clean on the story she was humored, shook her head and uttered, “Gene we raised a pure fool!”
She worked in our church nursery during the Sunday School hour for over 20 years. It was her ministry. She served by the verse in I Corinthians 15 “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”, sorry, I had to throw that in! However, she did impart her love to children for years, allowing others the benefit of Bible study not worrying about whether their children were well kept or not. Miss Nora was always there. I guess during my life, when I was doing well or in trouble, Miss Nora was always there! My dad used to say to my brothers and me, “Boys, you’re mother’s greatest flaw is simply loving you guys too much.” I guess if she had a flaw that was a good one.
She welcomed all my buddies to come over any time day or night. Whether it be an all night spades tournament, watching the Indiana Pacers on channel 4, or raiding the kitchen for cheese sandwiches and Mike Sell’s chips, she was the surrogate mother to guys, as Jeff Kirby would say, with no full names: Bake, Jer, Kirb, Daws, Kev, Wheels, Stev and Silk. She loved them all!
This Mother’s Day, I’m going to go to the cemetery. She’s not there, but it reminds me of a life well lived. Years spent putting the needs of others ahead of herself. Quietly living in the shadows of three extroverts she called sons. My mom was the best, and I’m sure you feel the same way. However, did your mom ever wrestle on the under card of Bull Curry and Bobo Brazil?
Happy Mother’s Day Nora “The Flea” Griffith.