May 12, 2013
By Matt Winkeljohn
Today will probably be a good day for Lynn and Terri Griffin because almost all days when Mom and her “Little Big Man,” are together are great.
That’s true not only because her stomach is not tied in knots worrying about her boy attending an out-of-state school (he’s home now in Jacksonville), but because, well, her stomach literally IS NOT tied in knots anymore.
Recent surgery addressed that, although it created worry all around.
Griffin’s Tech teammates know him as the dude whose mother cooks up a serious storm, and not just because she makes a lot of food for the boys on her frequent trips from Florida to Georgia Tech. She also makes it all well. Terri owns a catering business.
Young Lynn, though, knows his Mom as his almost superior support system, a provider of every kind of boost imaginable and then some.
Today is Mother’s Day. So is every other day, but without the title.
“We talk, probably once a day, or, if not every other day,” Lynn said. “With the surgery, it was real hard to focus on spring ball. She was telling me that she’d be alright, just keep focusing on football.
“I usually ask her how her day went, what I’m missing at home. She’ll give me some scripture, talk about school and things like that.”
Obviously, there’s something about this lady. There’s something about many ladies today because it’s Mother’s Day. Lynn Griffin would tell you that his mother is the best. His teammates might not trumpet her over their own blood, but they’ll back Terri Griffin.
“All my teammates love her,” Griffin said. “She comes in and talks to us, and encourages us.”
Much as Lynn Griffin loves his mother, she clearly loves her boy – and younger sister, Tiara, 15 – more than words can describe.
Really, that’s what today is about: love.
“I’m used to being the team mom for the kids, he and his sister both,” Terri said. “I still do the team meals for his high school. I’m used to being around sports.”
Well, yeah. Terri, 42, played volleyball, basketball and softball in high school, softball at Shaw University (where she said she also cheered), and only recently gave up recreation softball.
Mom’s athletic, go-get-’em ways made her recent health scare more difficult to grasp.
She always seems on the go, but earlier this spring Terri started having problems digesting food. She lost her appetite, and had related issues. Doctors were not sure what the problem was until they went about solving another issue. When Terri had surgery to remove her cancerous cervix, complications arose.
They were substantial. Terri had a badly twisted intestine.
All of this fell hard on Lynn, who redshirted as a freshman last fall yet has shown signs of pressing for playing time this season.
Jackets head coach Paul Johnson was aware of this, and sent Griffin home for a few days when it was time for surgery a few weeks ago. Back in Jacksonville now, Lynn is doing a little parenting of his own.
“He’s been on it since Day 1,” Mom said. “Coach Johnson let him come in for the surgery, and he would call and check on me. Even the other day, I was getting ready to bring some things upstairs, and he said, ‘I got it, I got it.’ “
For the time being, Terri has to slow-play everything. That’s driving her nuts.
“I was released to start walking on Wednesday. I can walk a little bit. I still can’t do any lifting or anything,” she said. “I’m a tough bird . . . I’m moving around a little bit more than I’m supposed to. I’m so hard-headed and I ripped some stitches.”
Lynn’s doing what he can to slow his mother down. That will become a little more difficult this week, as he and most of his teammates return to campus to begin work and attend summer school.
It will be a little while, but Mom will be back in Atlanta from time to time as well.
Griffin’s teammates can hardly wait, and neither can he.
If she could, Terri Griffin would make every day special. As it is, she looks forward to ever day with her kids.
“My kids are everything to me. I still cry, to this day, looking at baby pictures,” she said. “I try to spend as much time as I can up there, to cook for him and the guys. He’s pretty mature, and responsible. I’ve never had any discipline problems. I don’t say that just because he’s my kid. He’s just a great kid.”