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09/25/14 –

Dear Tom:

My friend and co-worker, Mary Darby, is the 5th born of 11 – she has 6 brothers & 4 sisters.  Over 20 years ago, she left her hometown of troy to escape an abusive relationship.  She moved to mobile where she didn’t know a single person.

I have worked with her at catholic social services for the past 7 years – October 19th will mark her 20th anniversary.  I’ve gotten to know her over the years and was compelled to nominate her for a Thursday morning mom.

Ms. Darby has two grown daughters & two grandchildren: Zarianna (7) and Diego (8).  She has legal custody of Diego who has Angelman syndrome – a genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system – very similar to autism but more complex.

She prays for him and worries about his future when she is gone.  Last year, on her 50th birthday, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She is currently going through chemo – yet she stays strong, keeps enjoying life and continues to come to work where everyone just adores her.

Ms. Darby told me that she used to love going on road trips when she had the time.  She never needed a destination – just time on the road to clear her mind with the windows down, the music up and the wind in her hair.

A few years ago, she and some friends did a day trip to the imperial palace casino.  She had some luck on those slot machines & she would like to try again.  Plus, it would give her some much needed alone time.

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