A few weeks ago, Deseret News staff writer Lois Collins was worrying that she didn't have a suitable Mother's Day gift for her mom. What she wanted to give her was an adventure, something as grand as the balloon ride she and her sister had cooked up for her dad a few years ago; but Mother's Day was getting closer, without any plan.

And then "Oprah" called.It turns out the producers for the show had come across a story Collins wrote for the Deseret News last Mother's Day - a tribute to her mother, Mary Collins. Oprah's people liked the story and wanted to feature the Col-lins-es on their Mother's Day show called "Not Your Typical Mom."

Lois and Mary Collins flew to Chicago two days ago to tape the show, which will air at 4 p.m. Friday on KTVX, Channel 4. Five other mothers will also be featured on the show, each of them with a story that made her cry, Lois Collins reported after the taping Wednesday.

As a child, of course, Collins didn't realize that her mom was both different and extraordinary. Couldn't all moms read ghost stories in the dark without a flashlight?

"She was born blind," Collins wrote about her mother last year. Among her earliest memories are long car trips her parents hauled her on to visit a series of doctors, looking for someone who could make her see.

"It didn't happen. Yet she sees better than anyone I know."

It was her mother, Collins wrote, who taught her to look beyond a person's exterior; to take on causes; to find, always, another way of doing something.

In her mother's honor, Collins wrote that she will teach her own baby "to enjoy the world and her life. To accept the setbacks and move ahead. To never let others define the boundaries of her dreams."

Collins' parents were both blind. Frank Collins was a piano tuner; Mary Collins stayed home with their four children. She couldn't see what they might be up to, but she could hear. "I kept my ears open all the time," Mary Collins says. Being a deaf parent, now that would be really hard, she says.

She was blind to her own limitations, which is one reason 8 million households will be watching her Friday, wishing her a Happy Mother's Day.



The complete text of the story Collins wrote about her mother is available on our Web site (www.desnews.com).