TAMPA ― The Bucs’ Mike Evans can’t imagine how his life might have turned out without the love and support of his mother, who taught him something about overcoming adversity.
The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver wrote an emotional letter published on the Buccaneers.com website on Mother’s Day, thanking his mom, Heather Kilgore, and his wife, Ashli. He also had a message for all mothers celebrating their special day.
"A mom is a pivotal person in your life,'' Evans wrote. "Somebody that you most likely will need if you want to become successful. Somebody to show you the way. Show you how to be a good human being. Show you how to work hard. Mom is everything.
"Well, something like that, I guess.''
Evans was 9 years old and asleep upstairs with his sister at their home in Galveston, Texas, the night his father, Mickey, was stabbed repeatedly and fatally shot by Heather’s brother, Sam Kilgore. Evans learned later that his mother had been the victim of domestic abuse by his father.
"To my mom, Heather Kilgore, you did everything for us. You paid all the bills, got us all the clothes ― even though you were less fortunate. You made sure we had everything. The best of everything. It was great,'' Evans wrote.
He also thanked Ashli for being a terrific wife and mother.
"You’re also my partner in crime, my best friend, my other half,'' Evans, 26, wrote. "The love of my life.
"You’re someone I can always count on and talk to about anything. I wouldn’t want anyone else beside me during this journey called life.''
Evans ended the letter thanking all mothers for all they do each day.
“To moms everywhere right now, during this uncertain time where you’re taking on more and more every day,” he wrote, "keep doin’ your thing because it’ll help your kids be successful in life one day. Like all the little things you do for them now, showing them the right way, how to be a parent and taking care of your kids and just trying to raise good human beings so they can raise good human beings. Just keep doin’ it.
"You mean everything to us.
"Happy Mother’s Day.''