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Tuesday, August 16

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Bears Sun May 12 2013

Alyne Payton and Sweetness - Together on Mother's Day

Thumbnail image for GB bears icon.pngMother's Day is one of those holidays that reminds us of that special lady we once puked on after eating too much cake, bled on after skinning our knee on the pavement, and cried on after striking out in a ballgame or in a relationship. No matter the situation or subject matter, good ol' mom was there to clean up the mess, crack out the Bactine, and wipe away the tears.

On Sunday, millions of Chicagoans will pick up the phone and put in a call to mom to wish her the happiest of Mother's Days and ask if she liked the bouquet of Gerbera Daisies sent express that morning. Many other men and women will wake up a little earlier in the morning to mix pancake batter with their child/children in an effort to serve mom breakfast in bed. A standard pastime, which is accompanied with a cup of Joe, fresh OJ, a flower and a smile.

Then there will be many Chicagoans who will spend their time remembering their mother, harking back to a time when she was still with us - maybe a visit to her grave with a poem, a flower and a tear. Once our time here is finished on earth, there's hope one day we'll be reunited with those we've loved, even in the most tragic of cases where it's the child who leaves mom behind.

If you were born before the turn of the century, odds are you've heard of Walter Payton and his impact on the city of Chicago as not only one of the greatest football players who ever laced 'em up, but also as one of the most generous contributors to underprivileged children.

Payton was known for his slick moves on the football field while at running back for the Bears. He was also known for applying vicious hits against defenders while heading up the field. For a man who played so hard on the field, it surely was his mother who instilled the "Sweetness" side that was part of Walter's charm.

On November 1, 1999, Payton lost his battle to bile duct cancer at the all-too young age of 45, and an entire city grieved with his family. Payton was survived by his wife Connie, his son Jarrett, his daughter Brittney and his mother Alyne.

There's no telling how much Alyne suffered after the loss of her son, Sweetness, who she raised in Mississippi and who she loved so much. As each Mother's Day came and went, Alyne would no doubt think of Walter and their time together and no doubt wonder when they would see each other again.

On Monday, May 6, Alyne passed away in Mississippi after losing her battle with an extended illness. She was 87.

And now, after not seeing or hearing from her son over all those Mother's Day Sundays, Alyne and her Sweetness will be together once again to catch up, reminisce, laugh and cry as they once did. For now their souls will meet and be together in some other place, just as their ashes will be here in this life.

And whether or not another place exists for us to reunite with those we care about, we should take the time now to call mom, or treat the mother of our children to a special day of love and care or, probably in most cases, a day of peace and quiet.

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