5/11/2008

Mama


Unlike many people reading this blog today, I will not be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mother. My mother, my “Mama”, passed away 10 years ago this year. Mama died on April 11th, 1998, Good Friday. She had many health issues, ranging from severe arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney stones, constant urinary tract infections, heart attack and subsequent triple bypass operation and on and on. However, Mama died from cancer. It was uterine cancer that had spread to virtually all her vital organs. Doctors gave her only a 10% chance to last six months. God, in His infinite mercy, allowed my mother to suffer only seven weeks before he brought her home.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail in this entry about my mother. I plan on saving that for a book someday if God ever blesses me with sending a publisher my way. It would take several of my now famous manuscripts on “David’s Musings” to put into words to describe her and her life on this earth. What I will do today is just say a few words about her (or try as much as I’m capable).

Mama was a daughter of a sharecropper in Ruleville, Ms. She lived a life of abject poverty her entire childhood. Then, if that wasn’t enough, she had to live a life with an alcoholic, a life of verbal and physical abuse, more poverty and four children. We lived in fear, each night, when our alcoholic father would come home. We worried if he would try to hit our beloved mother. It affected all of us in different ways as we grew into adulthood. I was never able to forgive my father for the way he treated my mother. I know that someday I have to forgive him. I’m just not at that point.

She had little in the way of education. But, at the same time, she realized how important, how vital it was to get an education to escape the life she had endured her entire life. So, she pushed us, she shoved us and prodded us to get, at the very least, a high school diploma. She knew that with just a high school diploma, we would have a fighting chance to succeed in this world. Mama had only an 8th grade education. But, so help me God, she was the smartest person I have ever known…or ever will know. Indeed, she had no high school diploma. But, Mama had a PhD in life, and another doctoral degree in love for her children.

She was the kind of mother that when there wasn’t much to put on the dinner table, she would put all that was available for her children to eat. And, if there was anything left over, then she would eat and only then would my Mama eat. She was the very personification of the “good mother”. I can’t imagine any other woman loving and caring more about her children than my mother did. But, that's just the Mama's boy in me, I guess. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

As I pass by the many filled to capacity restaurants and churches today, I will suffer a few pangs of regret. Regret that my mother is not here for me to honor her. Regret that I couldn’t give her all the things that she deserved in her life. As you go to eat with your mother today; honor her, love her, let her know how much she means to you. You never know if this will be the last Mother’s Day that you will get that chance. So, take that opportunity today and let your Mama know what she means to you. Do it. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

The late Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant made a commercial many years ago with Bellsouth about using their long distance service. Coach Bear Bryant saying in his tough coach’s voice into the camera, “Have you called your mama today?” On the day of the filming, though, when it came time for Coach Bryant to recite his simple line, he decided to ad lib something. His mother had recently died. He looked into the camera and said, “Have you called your mama today? I sure wish I could call mine.

So do I, coach, so do I.

3 comments:

Nothing like a mother's love. She loved and taught you well. Well said!

Thanks you. She was a remarkable woman. Thanks for you comment and a Happy Mother's Day to you!

David how beautiful words and feelings for your Mother and how admirable being she was. I think your Mother in Heaven will directly receive the honor you want to give her every time a mother like me reads and feels uplifted by those kind words of yours towards your Mother.

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