My mother, Marilyn Ryburn, would have turned 90 years old today.
Marilyn was an executive secretary to the advertising director at the Arkansas Gazette for more than 30 years. After retiring, she became one of the first residents of Little Rock to have her own personal web page. It was used as a resource by prominent residents of the city.
Although on a budget, she made sure I had everything I wanted growing up in the ’80s – video game systems, computers, subscriptions to wrestling magazines. She helped me get a car when I turned 16. When I announced my intention to attend Rhodes College, she supported it, despite Rhodes being many times as expensive as UALR.
When we were planning the funeral, the priest asked, “Was there one trait that your mother was especially known for?” and I immediately replied, “Consideration of others.” Even in her dying days, she would go out of her way to make life easier for her neighbors in her independent living community.
Every time I say, “Hey Siri, turn down the volume on the HomePod Mini 10 percent, I wouldn’t want to disturb the neighbors,” Mama’s influence lives on. Every time I think, “Let me move over to the side so this person in a wheelchair can get by,” Mama’s influence lives on.