Matthew Kinzalow calls his mother, Teresa, his hero. "I've known it since probably I was a kid."
Matthew has suffered from a heart condition most of his life, keeping him in and out of the hospital. "Anytime I was just really sick, as a sick or a teenager, she would just take care of me."
But it wasn't until his father became sick with cancer, that Matthew developed a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a Mother. Teresa says "sometimes I'm scared to go back to the hospital, because my husband spent all last summer in the hospital and when Matthew tells me he's sick and needs to go, I have to put him first and my fears behind me."
Up until her husband's passing, Teresa found ways to care for them both, sometimes getting creative to make sure Matthew had dinner, while she stayed by her dying husband's bedside. "So I called them and asked them could I use my debit card, buy a pizza, and have it delivered to the house for Matthew and that was my way of thanking him and making sure he was taken care of too."
Matthew recently had heart surgery to correct his ailment, but it'll be years before he's medically cleared to drive. So, Teresa takes him to Chattanooga State for classes... stays and drives him home. "That's my job... and I'm just happy to be a mom."
This mother of two says the stress of caring for her sick family melts away when she thinks of her children. But, Teresa credits her husband, Sonny, with making her a miraculous mom. "He really taught me what it meant to be a mom, because he really loved and respected his mother, and he was just a great teacher to me."
Now covering the roles of Mother and Father, Teresa tries not to be overbearing. She says when Matthew's ready, she's ready to give him the space he needs to grow.
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