by Chris Staley ‘19
I like to think of myself as a “momma’s boy.” Whenever I hear that phrase, it usually comes with a negative connotation, but I say it loud that I’m lucky enough to have Martha Staley as my mom. While I greatly appreciate her doing my laundry, cooking for me, and cleaning my room, I think her love, patience and joy are what get overlooked most. Those three characteristics are what make my mom a ‘woman for others.’
In our immediate family, my mom somehow spread her love to her five children and husband so evenly that no one can decide who was her favorite. My mom taught four of us at home for years and took us to sports and music practices and always seemed to be with us. Honestly, I don’t know how she wasn’t sick of us, but her patience and love for her children made us have well-rounded childhoods, especially in our faith. Her love showed most clearly in her actions to us, especially with my brother, Daniel, who is 25 and has had special needs his whole life. Her constant caring for him shows me that even though a life like his looks hard to live, it’s never impossible to love anyone so much. And I mean anyone.
My mom and I went to Cardinals games a lot when I was homeschooled alone, and it was a neat thing we had that just the two of us could share. The games were fun, but the best parts about them were when my mom would talk to random strangers in line or on the streets. She went out of her way to create solidarity between her and one other person. Every conversation she’d spark up was always positive and ended with my mom making a new friend. She has a special gift where she sees the humanity in everyone and brings out the life in everyone she meets, seeming to care for them more than herself.
I hear about my mom at SLUH, too. While she was Mothers Club President in 2018-19 and has served tons of other helping roles at SLUH, she is always asking me about kids at SLUH. It seems as if she wants to be everyone’s mom. People always come up to me, telling me they saw my mom and talked to her and how nice she is. It’s cool she wants to get to know everyone, but at the end of the day, I’m lucky that I’m her son and she’s my mom.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to love my mom not only as just my mom, but as a true role model. Through her selflessness and love, she has led by example to show me what it means to be a ‘man for others’ – one who loves others as much as they love oneself. As I go to college and the real world, I won’t forget the small things my mom did that impacted me in the deepest ways.
Family Tradition: The Staleys have a long family tradition at SLUH, including (in relationship to Chris): George McCalpin, 1910 (great grandfather), F. William McCalpin ‘39 (grandfather), George McCalpin ‘40 (great uncle), William McCalpin ‘75 (uncle), David McCalpin ‘82 (uncle), William Winfrey ‘05 (cousin), Joe Hejlek ‘05 (cousin), Peter Winfrey ‘09 (cousin), George Staley ‘10 (brother) and Thomas Staley ‘14 (brother).
Unveiling of the Tribute to the Women of SLUH
The unveiling of the Bicentennial Tribute to the Women of SLUH is Sunday, October 27 at the Mother-Son Banquet. This beautiful, unique work of art, created by art teacher Sean Powers ‘05 and current students, recognizes and gives thanks to the women who have toiled tirelessly, and largely anonymously, to make SLUH what it is today, and what it will be for future generations.