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Queen for a Day
The contest winner and runner-up
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The Winning Essay: Jewel Scott-Nobles
By Joi Nobles, age 9

My mother is made up of so many good qualities. She is sweet, kind, nice, special and so much more. My mother is the one I run to when I am sick. She always makes me feel better. Even if I broke every bone in my body, my mother would make me feel better on the way to the hospital. She is really a caring person. She doesn’t just care for me, she cares for everybody. She does things she does not have to do. I have a mother like no other.

We stick together like superglue. If I ever fail at something (which almost never happens), my mother does not treat me like a failure. She does not put me down or talk bad to me. She says "Okay, Joi, lets see where the problem is. Let’s go over what you don’t know."

Now I could go on and on telling you how great my mother is, but the world does not have enough paper. But if you ask me, I could talk for a might long time. She’s my queen and I want everybody to know.


The Runner-Up Essay: Brenda Edwards
by Jennifer Edwards

I dare say no one would like to be compared to the yellow, hazy pollen hanging in the air and clinging to every available surface each spring, but I'm daring to go there. I like to try to see things from a different perspective sometimes and this time, I'm comparing my mother to pollen. Yes, pollen.

I realize I may never live this down and may never qualify for "Daughter of the Year" accolades, but bear with me. I think you'll find the positives in pollen and how it can apply to that special mom or mother figure in your life.

1. Pollen covers and is on top of, everything. If you've left a window down in your car or a door open to your house for even a short period of time, you know the yellow dusting of pollen that can cover everything in just minutes. My mom is like that. She is a retired educator with the Rockdale County Public School system, very active in community and civic organizations including the Kimberley Chance Atkins Foundation, Conyers Civic League, Rockdale Retired Educators Association and a number of committees at Crossroads United Methodist Church. She's always raring to go and ready to head up an event or project with one of these groups. Not to mention, she's quite adept at balancing her volunteer time with keeping my dad straight and being a great mom to three daughters and a son-in-law.

2. The color for spring is yellow. Pollen is yellow and in the spring, the color yellow typically gets a bad rap because it's associated with pesky pollen. But you know what? The rest of the year, the color yellow is usually associated with happy things like sunshine and daffodils. It's a pick-me-up color, a color associated with a positive attitude. My mom is all of that: sunshine and cheer.

3. Pollen signifies new life. In the plant world, pollen signifies and heralds new life each spring. Spring corresponds with our community's Relay for Life celebration each year and this has become an increasingly important cause to our family since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. As a proud breast cancer survivor, my mom celebrates her blessings and good fortune by living life to the fullest every day and raises funds to find a cure for cancer each pollen-laden spring.

4. Pollen is (mostly) a southern thing. I know the phenomenon of pollen takes place world-wide, but we southerners like to think we have it particularly bad with our extremely high pollen counts and allergies galore. So, I'm declaring pollen southern - just like my mom. She is a southern lady through and through and could be a card-carrying member of GRITS (that acronym stands for Girls Raised In The South, in case you're not "in the know"). She's proper, has the manners to make Emily Post proud and most importantly, like any southern girl, can have a good time at a moment's notice!

5. Nothing is certain but death and taxes... and pollen. Benjamin Franklin's famous quote is just short of accurate, in my opinion. Mr. Franklin said, "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes." With all due respect to one of our country's founding fathers, I don't think Mr. Franklin ever made it down south during pollen season or he would have known pollen, in all its glory, is inevitable. You can count on it, expect it and know it'll be here on time. And my mom is all of those things.

There are so many other attributes my mom possesses that I find hard to compare to pollen and I feel compelled to name some of them: she's loving, wise, caring, confident, creative, has a servant's heart, is a cheerleader, and a true friend. Did I mention she's a great mom? Today, instead of grimacing at the pollen covering my car, I'm smiling and thinking of the best mom in the world, Brenda Edwards. Happy Mother's Day!

Jewel Scott-Nobles peered cautiously into the room full of gathered children at the Boys and Girls Club, uncertain of why she had been called. She thought she was there to give a testimonial to board members. But when she was informed that she was chosen to be "Queen for a Day," she screamed with excitement and ran away, and laughingly said that she should have worn her hair that day.

The DNA specialist and single mother of three - Joi, 9, a third grader at CJ Hicks, Jade, 13, a seventh grader at Conyers Middle School, and Royal, 19, a college student at Tuskeegee University - said she had never won anything before.

Unknown to her, she had been nominated by her daughter Joi, who had written an essay for the first Rockdale News "Queen for a Day" contest, sponsored with prizes from LaVie Salon, Conyers Flower Shop, Golds Gym, Southern Komfort, Conyers Pro Imports, and Run Around Services.

Scott-Nobles teared up as Joi read the essay aloud (see sidebar). "She is my queen and I want everybody to know."

"My mother is the one I run to when I am sick. She always makes me feel better. Even if I broke every bone in my body, my mother would make me feel better on the way to the hospital."

When asked about motherhood, Scott-Nobles said, "A mother's job is never done. Someone asked me today, ‘when is a mother's job done?' When you're dead. But they're good kids. All my kids are very good." She added that she did not believe a mother should be a child's friend but rather a parent first. "You gotta be tough, with the girls. It's a whole different era that we're going through right now."

"But I'm not a mother by myself," she added. "I believe in the village. It takes everyone in the community. These are their mothers too," she said gesturing towards the Barksdale Boys and Girls Club counselors and instructors, including counselor Carol Wyre who had submitted the essays for the kids.

My mother is like pollen

The essay nominating Brenda Edwards to be "Queen for a Day" stood out in its unusual comparison - to pollen.
Jennifer Edwards, public relations director for the city of Conyers, said of her essay, "I was just sitting there one day, and I looked outside and thought about pollen covering everything and it just came to me." She added, "It was topical at the time when I wrote it."

In the essay, Jennifer pointed out that pollen is all over everything, just like her busy and civically involved mom, and is a sign of life and revival.

Brenda received the news of being selected as the first runner up in the "Queen for a Day" contest with a sense of humor, as she has for many things in her life.

"I was very surprised. The pollen was the interesting part. You just have to look at it as a creative moment," she said.

Brenda, 58, a Rockdale native and former Rockdale educator who, as director of career technology, helped establish the Rockdale Career Academy, is currently the executive director of the Kimberly Chance Atkins foundation. She recalls a busy household raising three girls - Jennifer, Julie, and JoBeth - with her husband, Bill, also an educator.

"With having two parents as educators, you spend so much time at school, you wonder about your children," she said. Between coaching games, attending dance lessons and recitals and teaching school, Brenda and her husband had their hands full. "I was fortunate my mom and dad were living at the time and I had my support system there."

Even though none of the girls went into education or took up sports, like their parents, Brenda said proudly of her three daughters, "They all turned out good... They compliment each other, too. They work well together."