Mother's day, as we all know, is a day where sons, daughters and spouses go all out to make the day special for their mom or wife. Whether its flowers, a thoughtful gift, breakfast in bed or dinner out, everyone tries to remind their mothers they're respected and loved for what they do. For Bills second-round pick Torell Troup it's much more than an annual effort.
"Honestly, I treat every day like Mother's Day," said Troup. "I make sure I call my mom and tell her I love her and I'm thankful for everything she does. I don't treat one day any more special than the others."
Every mother makes sacrifices for their children, but not many sacrificed as much as Troup's mother Lashana Johnson.
"My parents had me at a very young age. My mom was 15 and my dad was 16 so they weren't able to do the things they wanted to do because they had to raise kids," said Troup plainly. "My parents work very hard, they're good people and they didn't have the opportunities that I have."
Making matters even more difficult for Troup's mother was his father Tory was out of the picture for a long stretch of his childhood. The oldest of three boys, Torell was suddenly the man of the house, except the place called home kept changing. Troup, his mother and two younger brothers lived in about seven different places as he was growing up.
Making ends meet was sometimes difficult despite his mother's best efforts as she held down more than one job to earn enough during most of Torell's childhood. Seeing his mom working from morning to night to provide the bare essentials, Troup quickly recognized the toll it was taking on her.
"I grew up pretty fast and I knew what she was going through at a young age," said Troup who by the age of 12 he had a firm grasp of what his mother was up against every day. "My mom had a lot on her shoulders and I did what I could do to take a little pressure off of her just to make her life a little bit easier. She had been doing everything for us so I wanted to do a little something for her."
Torell did what he could to pitch in on the home front. He cooked meals for his brothers every night, helped them with their homework and did the laundry.
"I'd go grocery shopping, help her pay the bills if she couldn't get to it, like pay the rent," said Troup. "Just the normal things."
Normal, perhaps, for the average American parent, but for a 12-year old boy it was an awful lot of responsibility.
Those efforts did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by his mother. Lashana Johnson to this day expresses her gratitude for her son's efforts during those years, even though their family unit is whole again with Torell's father back in the picture for some time now.
"She tells me every day how proud she is of me," said Troup. "She calls me every day. We probably talk about six or seven times a day. She talks to me about my brothers all the time and how they're doing because I don't talk to them much. We're all kind of doing our own things. My mom and I play video games too. On the I-Phone we play the online scrabble games together so we do everything together."
Troup is keeping his mother up to speed on the happenings at rookie minicamp in Buffalo, knowing she wants every little detail.
"She'll want to know what's going on at practice. She'll ask if she has to come up here and beat anybody up," said Troup laughing. "She thinks she's a tough guy."
In the past Troup and his brothers would do what they could to make Mother's Day a little more special despite their circumstances.
"Past Mother's days I wasn't able to get her anything because of the money situation, but she understands that we love her and really care about her and are thankful for everything she does for us," said Troup.
Soon though, Troup will be able to provide for his mother with the financial security that comes with being an NFL second-round draft choice.
"I'm definitely going to take care of my mother and whatever she wants she can have," he said.
Troup said to this point his mom has not handed him a wish list.
"No not yet," said Troup smirking. "But she tells me its coming."
With Mother's day arriving Sunday, Troup will still be in Buffalo as the Bills have a morning practice that won't end until just after noon. The defensive tackle isn't concerned. He knows he'll have enough time to get home to Conyers, Georgia to spend the evening with his mom.
"I'm going to get right back home and hopefully take her to dinner and maybe go to a movie," said Troup. "We'll celebrate as a family together."