Let me be the first on this Sunday morning to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms here in the Lakelands.
Yes, today is a day we set aside to show appreciation and gratitude for our moms and all they have done for us.  And, make no mistake, they’ve done plenty.
Your mom will be there for you no matter what. She’s your apologist, your agent, your biggest fan. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 15 or 40, your mom is the one who will worry about you and pray for you and stick up for you.
If you wanted evidence of how important moms are -- even to the biggest guys -- all you had to do was train your eyes on the sports world last week.
On Tuesday night, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2013-14. It was an honor well-deserved, as the 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward plays the game with an uncommon mix of grace, agility and precision for a man of his size.
The big man was reduced to tears on Tuesday, however, as he dedicated a portion of his MVP acceptance speech to his mother, who was in the audience. By the end of Durant’s 26-minute speech, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
“We weren’t supposed to be here,” Durant said to his mom. “You made us believe. You kept us off the street. Put clothes on our backs, food on the table. And when you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us.
“You’re the real MVP.”
Even tough guys love their mama. As well they should.

I HAVE A DEEP APPRECIATION FOR THE mothers in my life. I have five. Yes, five.
There is my mom, Mary Jane. The perfect mom. This is the woman I have driven crazy with all of my antics through the years. She does things the right way, the considerate way, the quiet way. I do things the loud way, the jokey way, the sloppy way. Still, she loves me, for reasons unexplained. Thank God for her.
There is my grandma, Edith. My mother’s mother. I’ve written about her in this column space many times. My grandmother is a saint on this earth. She is my center. When I think of home, it is often her home that enters my mind.
There is my wife, Christina. The mother of my daughter. My “baby mama.” She’s an unbelievable mother. I spoil our daughter completely rotten, so sometimes Christina has to play the role of the bad cop in our house. And that’s a good thing. My daughter loves her with the intensity of 1,000 suns.

There is my sister-in-law, Becky. The new mom. The mother of my nephew, Jack. I literally can’t think of a woman more suited to be a mom than Becky. She has all the traits: kind, beautiful, smart, responsible, even-tempered. Plus, she had a small crush on Stephen Garcia when he was the quarterback at USC.

AND THEN THERE IS the fifth “mother” in my life, one who helped raise me and was very dear to me when I was younger. A wonderful lady named Kathy Smith.
I never went to day care when I was a kid. When my parents were at work, I always stayed with Kathy. Sometimes she would come to our house, other times I would go to her house on Florence Street in Abbeville. She kept my brother, too, when he came along.
Some of my earliest memories are of Kathy. She used to ride me around town in her little blue Chevette. Y’all remember the Chevette?
Kathy was part of our family. On Halloween, we made sure to stop by her house to show off our costumes. She always set some special candy -- the good stuff -- aside for us. I guess the rest of the kids got Dum-Dum pops or something.
Kathy once took my brother and me to a South Carolina-Clemson football game at Death Valley. Keep in mind, Kathy and her family are die-hard Clemson fans. We, of course, are Gamecocks. They didn’t even mind when my brother and I crowed a little bit when the Gamecocks won that day. That’s when I knew for sure she loved us.
One time, a huge storm came up. A full-on tornado warning, high winds, the whole bit. We didn’t have a basement at our house, so our whole family got in the car and flew over to Kathy’s house. They had a basement, so everybody -- our family and hers -- hid out down there during the storm.
I can remember sneaking up the basement steps and peeking into the living room, where my dad and Kathy’s brother, Marshall, were watching the weather broadcast on TV. This was in the late 1980s, way before cellphones and widespread Doppler and all of that.
It’s funny the things you remember.
Kathy still keeps children, to this day. She never had kids of her own, but she raised quite a few. Heck, she probably raised half of Abbeville.
Kathy isn’t a mother in the traditional sense. That matters little, in my mind.
She was a mother to me, while my parents were at work or away on business.
I watched her care for her father, Gus, when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She cleaned my cuts when I scraped my knee and made me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and let me ride in the very back (in the hatchback) of that old Chevette.
My favorite movie -- my all-time favorite -- is John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble in Little China.” I fell in love with that movie when I was a kid hanging out over at Kathy’s house. She taped it off TV when HBO had a free preview weekend. My brother and I wore that tape slam out.
Being a mother isn’t just one thing. It’s everything. And there are all kinds of moms in this world. Some are connected to their kids by blood, some aren’t. But, they are all special
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, including my favorite five.

Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-5650; email ctrainor@indexjournal.com. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.