Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Dear Mom

Posted May 11, 2007
Updated May 12, 2007

If you wrote your mother a thank you letter today what would you say?  What qualities make your mom special? Please share your thoughts. Your mom will love it.

I lost my mother a few years ago but I'd still like to write her a letter today. Somehow I think she will still get this. Her name was Charlotte Bergeron when she married my father William Leslie. She was a tall, lean and beautiful Charlotte, NC native with dark and curly auburn hair. She flowed with grace and Southern charm. My older sister Stephanie always called her “Mother.” Sister Miriam and I called her “Mama.”

Dear Mama,

Thank you for picking me up off the pavement when I was struck by a car at age four and nursing me back to health after the doctors at Grace Hospital said I would be okay. Thanks for bandaging my multiple sports wounds from baseball to football to basketball. Thanks for nursing my first broken heart in the fifth grade after Susu Fitz dumped me for Jimmy Williams. Yes, I was a hopeless romantic early on.

Thanks for insisting that I use good grammar and sit up straight. Both have served me well in my career. I even thank you for demanding that I always send thank you notes and take time to visit with older people. You were a great role model especially when it came to treating everyone with warmth and respect.

Thanks for encouraging me to sing out in church and for not getting upset when I pilfered  gum from your purse on the fifth pew. I also apologize for frightening you at age three by plunging "accidentally on purpose" into the stone pond behind Grace Church while you were serving on the altar guild.

Thank you for tolerating the massive model train set that Daddy built for me in the basement. I forgive you for throwing away my awesome baseball card collection when I went off to college.

I appreciate your insistence that my bedroom not get "too gross."

Thanks for your great gourmet meals especially after we got older. Your chicken casserole was killer. And your favorite dessert "The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford" is still enjoyed by my family today. We also still like your "green slime" salad recipe.

Thank you for your buttery words. You could defuse the most ornery of customers at our store with your poise, polite nature and command of the language.

Thank you for embracing Cindy and her family. When we married you said: “Bill, this is the best day’s work you’ve ever done.”

Thank you for your beautiful garden and incredible green thumb.

Thank you for leaning on me when Daddy died unexpectedly. It helped me to grow up and really become a man.

Thank you for your grace and humor.

Thank you for Blue Ridge Parkway picnics and homemade pimento cheese sandwiches and bridge with Marjorie, Zonie, Aunt Annie and Uncle Phil.

Thank you for supporting my music and my broadcasting career and for being so proud of me when I won my first Peabody Award. I’m sorry you were a little disappointed when I didn’t go after that CBS job. As I told you, I love North Carolina too much to think about leaving.

And thanks for letting us keep that cute dog we called Sputnik. He became a canine legend in Morganton by greeting customers at our store.




Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • fishnett5977 May 15, 2007

    I lost my Mom in 1979 - my oldest son was only 1 1/2 and I was pregnant with my middle son. I miss her every day that rolls over my head. But I see her smiling back at me from my mirror - I look like her! And I see her in her 3 grandson's eyes and mannerisms. And I see her in the eyes and face of her first great grandchild - my granddaughter - she even has my Mom's name as her middle name.Bless my oldest son for doing that - to always keep her with us in spirit! And I see her in my 4 grandson's eyes and spirits. She is seeing them from above - of this I have no doubt. And she,along with my dad who went on in 1968, are smiling and still loving all of us today. Thank you Bill - I hope you had a wonderful day! Have a great week!

  • faith trust and pixie dust May 15, 2007

    That was so beautiful. I think that letter is a great healthy way of still greiving and at the same time carrying on that legacy that bestowed upon you.

  • Wheelman May 12, 2007

    That was a very nice letter to your Mother. I printed it so my 90 year old Mother, whom you've met on several occasions, could read. I find myself blessed to still have her in good health and able to comfort me when I "stub" my toe. She said to tell you that she would "hug your neck" if she could get hold of you right now! It's wonderful how the love survives the sorrow.
    Your friend,

  • littlegramma May 12, 2007

    I lost my mom 13 years ago this month, (followed by Dad 23 months later) and I still miss her. She was a remarkable woman who never complained, and she had a hard life. But, when she found my dad, her world turned around and it is on their marriage, love and lives my husband (of 33 years) and I built our own. I do understand how you feel and echo those same sentiments. Thank you for your fine example, and I think there are a lot of us who are thankful you didn't take the network job!

  • crzyncmama May 11, 2007

    Bill, My mom passed away 39 years ago whenI was a young bride of 1 year. I still miss her so much and could never think her enough for all she did for me . I love her so much

  • Groovy May 11, 2007

    Thanks for making me cry Bill.

  • unc4ever May 11, 2007

    Bill, I am fortunate enough to still have my mom. I love her dearly and I cherish her each and every day for everything she has ever done for me. When she leaves this earth, I will still have a multitude of memories to cherish for the rest of my life as I hope my two girls will have with me. God bless all moms this mothers day weekend.

  • cjack55 May 11, 2007

    Your mother IS so proud of you Bill, yes, I believe somehow she got your letter too. I lost my mother when I was only 10, 41 years ago, so unfortunately I don't have as many memories as you do. I know you're grateful for the time you had with her. I have a son who's in college & I just wish young people realized how blessed they are if they still have their parents. I hope one day, he will look back & remember me as kindly as you remember your mother. As I said, I KNOW, she's very proud of you!

  • DEPUTY May 11, 2007


  • MyKidRox May 11, 2007

    There is no doubt that when I prayed for a son, she heard my prayers. Thank you for always making the effort to keep class and panache in your work. There are so many of your loyal fans that appreciate what you do. And the thanks ultimately goes to your Mother. Here's wishing you nothing but the best...




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie