ESPN tricked NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. into creating a heartwarming Mother’s Day moment.
The results was this touching video ahead of Sunday’s holiday for SC Featured.
The premise: Earnhardt read a handwritten letter he planned to send to his mother, Brenda Jackson, thinking he “was going to surprise my mom for Mother's Day,” according to a tweet from the racer.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalled the decision his mother, Brenda Jackson, had to make after the single mom lost ‘everything in a house fire’ in Kannapolis.
In the letter (full text below), Earnhardt recalled the decision Jackson had to make after the single mom lost “everything in a house fire” in Kannapolis.
Jackson sent the future racer, then just 6, and his sister Kelley, 8, to live with their father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., in 1981. The older Earnhardt – NASCAR’s rookie of the year in 1979 and Cup champion in 1980 – was in a better position to “provide a promising future” for the younger Earnhardt and his sister.
Then, Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalled, complete with old snapshots, his visits with his mother, who had moved to Norfolk, Va., after marrying firefighter Willie Jackson.
“ I remember your Norfolk apartment floor covered in presents each Christmas,” he read.
The proud son thanked his mother for her sacrifices.
And then the real surprise.
Damn, Mom! What are you doing?
Dale Earnhardt Jr., reacting to seeing his mother
As Brenda Jackson walked through the door behind him, Dale Earnhardt Jr. heard the door and swiveled around in his chair.
“Damn, Mom! What are you doing?” he asked, getting a clap, laughs and finally a tight hug from his mother.
“Did you like it?” Earnhardt asked, as most children would.
“I loved it,” she said. “Yes. I did. Thank you so much.”
“What was the best part?” the son asked.
I can’t wait for you to experience the love of a child. It’s the best you’ll ever have.
Brenda Jackson to her son Dale Earnhardt Jr.
His mother started to answer but ended up saying something perhaps far more meaningful.
“I can’t wait for you to experience the love of a child,” Jackson said. “It’s the best you’ll ever have. It really is, really. They’re all different kinds of loves but ...”
“I tried to make you proud,” Earnhardt said.
“You do, every much,” his mother responded. “And I’m very grateful to have you as my son.”
They each said “I love you” and tightly hugged again.
“Man, what a surprise. You-all jerks!” Earnhardt said with a smile to the crew.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s letter to his mom
“I thank God everyday that you and dad brought my sister and me into this world.
“But I think back as a 6-year-old kid, you a single mother, us losing everything in a house fire. You gave custody of us two kids to our father knowing that he could provide a promising future. I remember your 12-hour round trips for your summer visit. I remember your Norfolk apartment floor covered in presents each Christmas.
“I’m thankful that we are together today, as I am now older and wiser to appreciate the sacrifices that you made for us. You never failed at making me feel loved.
“I love you. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.”