The King of Rock and Roll acknowledged that the most important woman in his life was Gladys Love Presley, his beloved mother. As much as his mother was the most important woman for him, she definitely was the most influential who encouraged Elvis to show his talent. He cherished his mom beyond all limits, and his mom in turn spoilt Elvis beyond all limits. At the time Elvis’ father was sentenced for 3 years in Parchman penitentiary for check forgery, a strange reversal of responsibilities between son and mother took place. Elvis became the father of the family at a young age.
Elvis confusion being both son and father was to happen all his life. From that time, Gladys and Vernon were 'his babies'. Elvis was nineteen when he became the support and sole breadwinner, not only to his family but to many of his kin as well.
With his first check, Elvis gave his mom a pink Cadillac. However, Gladys was always worried that fame might distance her from her son.
If his mom could barely tolerate Elvis’ fame, it was because when Elvis would call at her each night, and talk for hours to relieve her pain and anxiety. Gladys' depression worsened her medical condition, and even worsened when Elvis joined the army.
Elvis being an army finally separated him from his mother. When the army took Elvis away from her mother, it broke her mother’s heart. Only six months after his enlistment on the 14th of August, 1958, her beloved mother died from a heart attack brought by acute hepatitis.
Elvis was asleep when his father called in the early hours of August 14. His father told him his mother had died at 3.15 am. In disbelief and shock, Elvis rushed to the hospital. When Elvis entered Glady’s ward, people at the hospital witnessed a piercing wild despair of wails from the King of Rock and Roll as he cried and prayed loud and long over his mom's lifeless body.
At the funeral, he flung himself at his mother’s coffin, kissing and hugging her, rocking her back and forth, weeping and crying out to her. Each time Elvis went back to Graceland after her mom’s death, he became very depressed. He walked around not talking to anyone. Lots of his family members reiterated the same emotions - that after Gladys died, Elvis completely changed. "He did not seem like Elvis ever again.”
After his mother’s death, Elvis kept Vernon close to him. They were together for 2 years in Germany and it was there where he had his stepmother. When his father married Dee Stanley, Elvis didn’t attend his father’s wedding. However, he invited his three stepbrothers (sons of Dee by a previous marriage) David, Rick and Billy to live with him at his beloved home, Graceland.
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