Can I tell you a little story today?

This is my mom, Sophia Agoris McCullough. She is reading from her copy of the United States Constitution. She is a retired union-member public school teacher. She is the daughter of Greek immigrants.

A few months ago, my mom called and started reading a portion of the U.S. Constitution to me and wanted to have a discussion. Although we regularly have political discussions, this was the first time that I can remember have an in depth constitutional discussion with her. She, along with so many of us, is deeply concerned about where our country is heading. Her parents immigrated from the birthplace of Democracy – Greece. She, along with my Yiayia and Papou, instilled in us the values of voting, equity, freedom, inclusion, compassion, love, independence, and fairness.

Just days before we all started staying at home to help flatten the curve and protect each other from COVID-19, I visited my mom and dad. We talked a lot about their lives, their goals, and their hopes and dreams for themselves and their children. I helped them get ready to stay safe and hunker down at home for a few months knowing that they are in the high risk population since they are both over 80 years old. We talked a lot about my race for County Commissioner and what the future may hold. They told me to work hard, state my truths, use my voice, and to be safe.

Sophia attended college to become a public school teacher. She followed in her mother’s footsteps who was also a public school teacher in a tiny village on a small island in Greece near the border with Turkey. Sophia helped form young minds teaching kindergarten and first grade for nearly 40 years. We lived in that small town where she taught school, and the connections that we shared with our community built a strong foundation for togetherness and inclusion.

While growing up and to this day, my mom taught my brother and I to stand up for what we believe in; work hard; keep learning; admit when we are wrong; and to be inclusive, understanding, and welcoming. She did that not just in words but in deeds – by tutoring in our home; leading in community organizations; keeping up with the news of the day; and always giving to others.

I am proud to be a granddaughter of immigrants. I am proud to be able to visit the country of my grand parents’ birth and know my relatives. I am blessed to be able speak a second language. I am proud of my mother and deeply grateful for the values that she instilled in me throughout my life.

Mom, this tribute is to you. I love you and am deeply grateful for everything that you have given me. You are my role model.

I had hoped to put this tribute out in May for Mother’s Day. It is coming out today because every day is Mother’s Day.

Because when you need help, support, and guidance – you always call for your mother.

#kathy4darecounty #freedom #democracy #mothers