Friday, January 9, 2009

Some Things I Learned From My Mother

If you read the words to the song I wrote about my Mother in the previous post, then you can tell that she had an illness as a child. As just a small toddler, she came down with polio. As the song tells you, she had just got to walking and running around good when this dreadful disease struck her. Life since then has never been easy for my Mother. She was taken to a hospital in Vicksburg, MS. Back then, they didn't let the parents stay with them, so my grandparents took her and basically dropped her off. My grandparents would go see her every week or so on visiting day, but sometimes they'd get there and she'd be in therapy or isolation, or whatever, and they'd drive all the way back to Belmont without seeing her or only seeing her through a glass window. Mother was just a little girl but she has memories from this time in her life. She said she had a nice doctor and a not so nice doctor. There were nice nurses and again, no so nice nurses. She remembers being tossed to her bed instead of being laid down in it. Even now, my blood pressure rises and my heart breaks when I think of it. The doctor told my grandparents when she finally did return home that she would always have a limp, her muscles would grow weaker as she got older, and they predicted that by the time she was 40 or 50 years old (if not sooner), she'd be bed ridden or in a wheel chair. They obviously didn't know my mother! I've never known such a courageous lady in all my life. She's a fighter and a go getter! If you've read in previous posts about my mothers mother, Ma Claudie, then you'll probably realize where she gets it from! Childhood was not easy for mother, but she was one determined young lady that didn't sit around and mope about one leg being shorter than the other or the pain and sickness she often endured. Ma-Maw told me that Mother would scoot on her bottom in the cotton patch and in the garden to do her share of the picking. At the age of nine, Mother was cooking complete meals for her daddy and brother and whoever dropped in from farming land nearby their house. She was also keeping the ironing and laundry caught up and the house clean. Mother came from a family of musically inclined people. She taught herself to play the piano, and she can pick up most any stringed instrument and play it well. Some of her teachers would even ask her to bring her guitar to school and they'd have a special time that she could play and sing in the auditorium for the other kids and teachers. Mother missed a good bit of school due to her resistance being low and she was sick alot, but all of her teachers that I've had the pleasure of knowing or meeting have spoken highly of her. I know she did her best in school because I've never seen her do anything other than her best in whatever was before her. My mother met my daddy at a church when she was 17. She said they kept eye-balling each other! In April, after Mother turned 18 in Jan., they married. She didn't graduate from school. She was a couple of years behind due to having to miss so much school. Daddy was working in Memphis at the time, so my little country mother who had probably not been much farther than a 50 mile radius moved from a small farm in the country to an apartment in the city! She didn't even drive at the time. The summer after they married, she discovered that she was going to be a mother, my mother. Her pregnancy was a difficult one. She fell several times during that time and bless her heart, I've been told that her belly was whop-sided by the time I was ready to arrive! By the time I was born, daddy and mother had moved back to the Belmont area. The doctor told them that the next pregnancy might not turn out like the first. He said the baby would have a better chance of survival than my mother would have. So, they decided to be happy with me and not take the risk of having more children. Therefore, I am one of those dreaded only children. I will post more on that at a later time! My mother was a perfect mother! I have wonderful memories of her reading to me each day, coloring in a book with me each day, and singing... oh my soul, we'd sing! Her handicap did not prevent her from being a good wife, mother, and friend. She was a Proverbs 31 Mother. She was always busy in her home or for others. She kept a spotless house, prepared delicious healthy meals for us, and even made time to make me feel like a very important little girl. When I was in school, we had "home-room" mothers. That meant these particular mothers that volunteered for this would be in charge of holiday parties, etc. for the class. Mother always volunteered and she'd always put on the dog! She was soooo much fun. All of my class mates seemed to love her and enjoy all the things she did for them. One year, she even dressed up like a witch and came to my classroom and handed out candy for halloween. When I played basketball, I could hear her above the other fans cheering me and my team mates on. She would even get out in the back yard and shoot hoops with me. My friends loved to come to my house. Sometimes I think they enjoyed my parents more than being with me! ha. I've had friends get off the school bus with me on Fri. afternoon and get back on the bus with me Mon. morning. Mother would wash their clothes, iron, or whatever they needed done during that time, once again, joyfully! She has a great sense of humor, to be honest, she was quite a mess! I have to tell this.... my family went to wresting alot. Ok, we're probably red-necks, but one day mother and I decided to put on our own show. We called Ma Claudie who lived next door and told her if she wanted to see a good wrestling match to come out to our house. I put on my one piece bathing suit and I can't remember what mother put on, but we were going to pull a good one on Ma Maw. We had a small bottle of red food coloring in the leg of my swimsuit. She got me in a head lock and I was turned away from Ma Claudie. I reached and got the food coloring and put some on my forehead! Mother pretended to hit me in the head, and Ma Maw was yelling, Ya'll need to stop, ya'll are going to get killed! When I turned to face Ma Claudie, I had the red food coloring on my head, and she 'bout had a stroke!!! It was so funny at the time. What was really funny was trying to explain why I had red on my forehead for 3 days at school. It had to wear off!
Time for others: she always had time for others. She always had get well and sympathy cards on hand and was so thoughtful to send them. I can just hear her telling of someone that was sick or a family that had a death, and here she'd go to cooking. She took meals regularly to others who were in need. The irony of that is now, my mother no longer cooks. Just lifting a skillet or pan hurts her muscles to where that it's just not worth the effort anymore. She and daddy eat out or pick something up most nights.
I remember one year when I was in elementary school, my aunt, mother's sister had her third baby. My aunts second child loved my mother so much and he wanted to stay with her while his own mom was away, so mother told them that would be fine. In the meantime, Mother fell and pulled ligaments in her foot. Daddy was working and I was at school, but she still took care of my cousin during that time. She would crawl at times to see to his needs, but she did it with a smile and a joyful heart.
I know I've went on and on about my mother. I have learned soooo much from her just by witnessing her life. I said at the beginning that she is courageous, but she's also determined, loving, caring, and thank the Lord, stubborn! And as the song says at the end, one of these days I will see her run up and down the streets of glory, and I'm going to be there to join in and cheer her on! Thank you God for my precious Mother.


Susan said...

That was an absolutely beautiful Post!!!! I hope some day I am remembered and loved as much as your mom is.

Becky said...

I was riveted to this post.-Well done!
What a treasure your mom is! Beautiful.

Roan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Now I know where you get all of your kindness, gentleness, thoughtfulness and love from....Like mother, like daughter! :)