My Mother, The Hero – American Man's Touching Tale

Single father Sean Whalen, from Salt Lake City, loves his three kids. Even so, he carries a sad secret inside: when he was a child 30 years ago, his parents' marriage failed. They split up on a day when Sean had already had a row with his dad. That night, his mother took him away from the house, along with his younger brother. They spent the night in a hotel, but when they came home the next morning, Sean discovered that his dad had changed the locks. He knew then that the home he'd grown up in was no longer his home at all – they would all have to leave.

Leaving it all behind

They needed a police escort to let them return for their belongings. Sean was given a plastic bag by a cop and told he had ten minutes to fill it. He shovelled as many clothes as he could into the bag, but his beloved baseball collection – not only trophies, but 10,000 player figurines – was lost. Even his pet turtle had to be left behind, such was the rush. His mother took them to a small, bare flat. Church workers supplied the broken family with furniture and food, but his mother had no money beyond what was in her pockets.

The love of a mother

Sean's mum kept going. They had no other family, and their only guests were the church volunteers, but she never gave up. "Never," repeats Sean. He says his eyes were opened to the drive and tenacity his mother must have shown when, many years later and now a single father himself, he made ends meet by working in "a thousand jobs". He came to realise that his mother had fought tirelessly for her children, day and night. However, it was only much more recently that Sean's story truly came full circle, and it started with a simple meal out. CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE...
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