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Dear Tom,

First off, I just want to let you know that we love you here in Jacksonville.  A lot of people I know listen to you on the app – including my mom, Nettie Jones.

She is one of the most loving and giving people I know.  She sacrificed and went without so that all 8 of her children could attend college – 5 girls and 3 boys.  She worked at the hospital as a patient care technician and also worked weekends at area nursing homes.

Her kids are fully grown – ages 52, 51, 47, 38, 34, 32 and I am 40 (we lost our oldest brother).  my older brother and I live here in Jacksonville and the rest are scattered all over:  my oldest sister lives in D.C. and is a commander in navy; my older sister works in human resources for state of Indiana; my younger sister lives in Cuba; my younger brother attends law school in Miami; and my baby sister works with autistic children in Maryland.

My mom is proud of us all and also a grandmother of 8.  She was a military wife for many, many years – my dad served in the navy for 30 years and retired as master chief (the highest rank possible).  They are still married and he turns 76 later this month.

She suffered a stroke in April and is making great strides in her recovery.  The first thing she wants to do when she gets better is put a new roof on her house.  She won’t do it herself – she’ll just supervise the roofers and offer those sandwiches and lemonade.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Nettie Jackson  was originally published on