Tim McGraw‘s childhood was anything but easy. Raised by his mother, Betty D’Agostino, who was a single mom for much of his childhood, the Louisiana native gets emotional, even 40 years later. recalling the sacrifices she made for him and his siblings,
“My mom found out she was pregnant with me her senior in high school,’ McGraw recalls to his record label. “So, she had me young. She didn’t get to graduate because I came along. And then she went through some terrible things early in my life. So, I have a lot of memories of all those things and I know how resilient my mom is, and how tough she is, and how strong of a woman she is, and how well she raised us under the circumstances – me and my two sisters that all grew up together – how she dealt with all of that thing.
“But one thing that I really remember that’s plastered in my mind – and for her it was probably one of 100 times that I didn’t see – but I can remember us being on our own, my mom and my two sisters, and her working three jobs just to try to keep the basics in line,” he continues. “I mean, she made no money, really. But … I’m gonna get choked up, forgive me, but I can remember walking through the kitchen one night, getting up late – I don’t know how old I was, 10, 11, 12 years old, something like that – and she had her head down on the table at like two in the morning, with bills everywhere, and was crying.”
Although D’Agostino doesn’t remember that night, the memory is permanently etched in McGraw’s mind.
“She didn’t see me, but I’ve told her that story before and she didn’t remember it because she didn’t see me,” McGraw says. “But like I said, for her that was probably 100 different nights that I didn’t know about. But that’s something that really resonates with me and sticks out with me.”
It was D’Agostino who also gave McGraw the validation he needed to quit college and pursue music full-time.
“Another thing my mom told me is, I was in college, and I knew how bad she wanted me to go to college,” McGraw recounts. “I was in pre-law and I was gonna go to law school and do all that stuff. I was a pretty good student, coming out of high school, and I knew how bad she wanted me to do that. I remember getting up the nerve to call her to tell her that I was gonna quit college and move to Nashville. It took me a while to do that. And when I told her, she just said, ‘I’m surprised you hadn’t done it already.’ And that was her way of just telling me to go do it … She’s a big deal to me.”