05/13/2008 at 12:00 AM EDT
's mother Beth Foraker, a payroll manager for an energy company, hasn't missed a single one of her son's Idol
performances. Every Tuesday she makes the three-hour flight from her home in Lee's Summit, Mo., to Los Angeles to lend support to her now-famous son.
On May 8, just in time for Mother's Day, David repaid the favor, flying home to wish her a happy Mother's Day and present her with a bouquet of flowers.
"My family is my backbone," David said. "I've been really, really fortunate my mom has flown out every week to be at the show and then flown back to go to work. It's been good for me. It gives me a little piece of home amidst all the organized chaos of Idol
Foraker, who wears a necklace and bracelet with David's picture on it, says, "It is wonderful to have him back home." She's not the only one who thinks so.
Thousands of fans crowded outside the Kansas City radio and TV studios where David appeared May 9 for his hometown visit. Cook's supporters lined the streets where a parade was held in his honor and snatched up tickets for the mini-concert he gave at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium, the football stadium for Blue Springs South High School from which David graduated in 2001. The stadium holds 6000, but more than 10,000 tickets went in record time. Tickets were free, but the Blue Springs school district requested donations for the American Cancer Society, David's charity of choice in honor of his brother Adam Cook
who has had brain cancer for 10 years. More than $29,000 was raised.
David was humbled and overwhelmingly grateful for all the support. He bowed his head and cried when he first entered the stadium and looked up at all the fans.
"This is so unreal," he told the cheering crowd. "Thank you seems trite. But I don't know what else to say. You have no idea how much this means to me. I owe you the world."
The other remaining Idol
contestants, David Archuleta
and Syesha Mercado
, also made trips home. --Pam Grout