Health, Happiness, and Cheer on Mother’s Day

May 7, 2018
Alice with Bill Jr ca1935_500x400
Alice S. Marriott and J. W. Marriott, Jr. (ca. 1935)

I recently came across a poem my mother wrote to me some 37 years ago, which she titled "This Is Your Life, According to Mother."

She gave it to me in June 1981 in honor of my 25th year with Marriott International. It recounts, as only a mother could do, her pride at my modest achievements in life.

Reading it today brings back so many cherished memories: my love of boat racing, and dislike of chores ("His father wanted him to do some chores," the poem goes, "but he felt mops and brooms were awful bores"), working at the Hot Shoppes — my parents' first business venture after they moved to Washington, D.C. — meeting and marrying my beloved wife, Donna, starting our own family, opening our first hotel.

"We wish him good health, much happiness, and cheer," mom's poem concludes, "And hope he will have another 25 years."

I only wish I could thank my mother today for the beautiful gift of this poem as well as tell her that it's now been 37 years since that day and I'm still around.

Reading her poem, I'm reminded of her love and generosity, and of her kindness and support, every step of the way as I’ve journeyed through life.

Mom was a true inspiration to me, to everyone in the Marriott family, and to anyone who worked with her over the years.

She was smart, earning her degree in Spanish from the University of Utah at just 19. She was creative, a talent that she put to good use decorating our first hotels. She was a businesswoman, who was involved in every decision made during those critical early years. She was a role model for every woman who wanted to live their lives to the fullest.

My daughter, Debbie Marriott Harrison, described her as "the definition of class, devotion, and hard work."

I couldn't say it better myself.

Thank you, mom, for a wonderful life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move!

Listen to the Audio | Listen to the Poem

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Thanks for sharing this poem. My mother and I often read poems together but I do not think she ever authored one. One of her favorite books, and one of mine also, was "One Hundred and One Famous Poems."

And thank you for all you have done to make traveling a delight.

John Strange

Thank you for sharing this lovely memory with all of us. My mother often writes me notes and has been a great inspiration in my life as well. Happy Mother's Day!!!

First of all, thank you for such a very nice poem. This poem really reminds my mother. Very interesting story! Happy mother's day!

What a wonderful poem that only a loving mom could write. You definitely brought her plenty of pride and joy. What would she think today?#carryon