sábado, septiembre 26, 2009
I am honored to be here today speaking in front of so many inspiring women. I have met so many women over the past couple years that have courage, pride and hope embedded in them. My mother, Betty Wood, had those qualities embedded in her. As I stand here today, I am truly honored to be called her son. Even in her passing, 10 years ago, September 20th, 1999.... I am so blessed to keep her memory alive. I am also blessed that she has now become an inspirational symbol to so many. It really shows the power one person can have -- not only in life but also in death. I always believed she was more than just my mother, something more spiritual. ....
Through life, we all accomplish things. There are significant things we accomplish, that we carry with us and we won't let anyone take them away from us, nor diminish them. Our major accomplishments become a part of us. Well, my mother made all the small achievements feel larger than life. For me, it could have been winning a race in track, getting honor roll, or even one of our 1st New Kids shows where we got booed. She would look me in the eye and say, "I am so proud of you," and then she would kiss me just like you see on the cover of the album that I have created in her honor. They were kisses of pride, of love, and of belief. Just like my two daughters, Chance and Vega kiss me everyday. ....
When I close my eyes and pray, I can’t fight the feeling that is still deep inside me. I still long to hear my mother say "I love you," "I am proud of you." I am so lucky to say that when she passed, nothing was left unsaid. But through the years, I have prayed for one last chance to hear her words again. My sons (Anthony and Daniel) and daughters (Chance and Vega) answer those prayers every day, and through the New Kids reunion, I have heard her words again through so many people. I have met so many women who are now surviving the disease that took my mother's life. But I do know now, as hard as it is to say, she was taken for a reason -- to inspire many and to give new hope.
Today, she would have told me she is proud of me. She would have told my family she is proud. She would have told my dad she is proud. Betty Wood is now a symbol of hope, inspiration, strength and courage. For me, she is also the light that shines at the end of the tunnel where the cure for breast cancer waits for all of us. Thank you.