Today, Clemson families celebrate their Rocks…their Glue… the person that usually keeps everyone going…their Moms. There aren’t enough words to tell each Mother that has allowed us, as Clemson fans, to watch their sons play and Coach in Tigertown.
From Mrs Donnetta Etienne (Travis Etienne), to Mrs Amanda Lawrence (Trevor Lawrence), to Mrs Kathleen Swinney (Wife of Dabo Swinney), to Mrs Julie Venables (wife of Brent Venables), to Mrs Suzanne Renfrow (Hunter Renfrow) just to start. This list goes on and on. It would take months to thank each one of these remarkable ladies for allowing their sons to spend between three and five years away from home and entertain us every Saturday.
The one that gets very little attention though is the one that started all of what fans at Clemson are enjoying today. She is also one of the best examples of what a mother will do for their children. It’s the lady that spent three years sleeping on a bed with her son because they didn’t have very much money and he was in college.
The lady’s name is Carol McIntosh. Mrs McIntosh, Dabo Swinney’s mom, went through so much as a child. She suffered through polio and scoliosis. She then also never knew her father, who left the family when she was just an infant. What made it even tougher was that he never came around for the two spinal fusion surgeries, the harsh rehab, all of the years spent in body braces, or anything else for that matter.
What it was like not knowing her three siblings during her childhood due to the fact that in those days children under 16 years old could not visit the children’s hospital. How it felt saying goodbye to her mother after spending time together on the only two visiting days of the week and her mom had to return home to work two jobs trying to support the family.
Most of all, what it was like to beat all of the odds. She was powered by her faith, an almost astounding inner strength, and her fundamental decision to be optimistic instead of overly pessimistic (even in the darkest moments in life). Her belief that better days were ahead even when she was told she’d never lead a normal life and would never have kids of her own.
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Dabo’s life and coaching career, just like his Mom’s, have been defined by fighting and scrapping. His mom is a great example of what the ultimate fighter and the ultimate scrapper truly is. Mrs Carol has never used the word never. She didn’t like people telling her that she could not do something. She has always had an optimistic attitude. even under the worst imaginable situations.
When asked about his Mom Dabo has said this…
“You want to know where my toughness comes from? You want to know where my grit comes from? My will to achieve something better? It comes from the example my mother set for me my whole life.”
We at Clemsonjunkies.com today would like to say Thank you to all of you (Moms, Mother’s, Mommas, etc) out there and we hope you all have a very Happy Mother’s Day. Without you none of us would have the opportunities we do. Because of you were unselfish enough to endure the pain of not only having children, but also raising those that you have.