What a great weekend for Mother’s Day. I hope you got to see and tell your mother how happy you are that she is your mother and what she means to you. I got to see what’s left of the family that lives around here. Lorraine and I got to see our kids and her mother was here. I wish I could say everything was wonderful with my family, but I got sick and my younger brother is up in Idaho very close to meeting his maker. He has been ill for some time with this darn cancer that takes so many of our friends.
You know, Mother’s Day was first recognized in 1907 by a young lady named Anna Jarvis. She wanted to salute the activities of her mother to show how much she cared for the work she was doing.
One day, just before the year 2000, when I was still working to send fresh vegetables to the East Coast, I was sitting in my office killing time and reading an article by Ellen Goodman, a syndicated columnist for many American newspapers. She was asking who we should name as the “Woman of the Century.” For some reason that column had grabbed my attention — perhaps because I had lost my mother in the year before. It was accompanied by a flimsy excuse using well-know women of the day. I didn’t even know who some of them were, but I knew one thing, to me, my mom should have been a contender.
The women Ms. Goodman had written about did not raise four rowdy boys while making sure that enough of my dad’s paycheck was left in his pocket so she could buy a month’s worth of groceries. They had not driven my brothers and I to bean fields, cotton rows or potato patches where young men and women worked side by side with us to make sure they ate for another month. All the work was hard and hot, but that was our life and we knew nothing about extra money for movies or new clothes.
While remembering my dad and his idea of stopping for a beer on the way home, he often had more than one. When that happened, one of us boys would go into the establishment and remind dad that it was time to go home. Mom used one of us because she had once went into the bar herself and she didn’t like what she had seen. In addition to being a person who believed deeply about her God, she was sure that the marriage vows taken were meant to cover times like this. Although she was not here in the flesh, she was never far from the thoughts of all her children.
Yesterday I was once again in awe of her common sense and faith. My daughter and her husband had come down to our house, and even though I still looked at Tara as a child, now she was a mother and a grandmother and so she is recognized as a person of responsibility.
To be honest, we didn’t sit around and celebrate my mother or even Lorraine’s mother, Nelda, who has graced us with her company. They were too busy cooking wonderful food, making sure we had all we needed to remember the day. We are a family probably not unlike your family. We love all the mothers of the world because they are the foundation we build our lives upon. My sons were able to join us and when the whole family is here, Lorraine and her mother make sure their men are offered good food, cold drinks and a smile that would melt our hearts.
I have given up many of the responsibilities of being a host for my boys. They are exactly like their uncles; full of competition and vocal jibes that entertain most of the older folks. They want to be the ones who cook the meat we eat and they both insist the other will burn the steaks or not get it done enough for their grandmother. I’m pretty sure I could stop the bickering, but after your children leave home one does not make judgments. I am happy to just stand around and beam with my good fortune. Besides all the jibes at each other stop when meals are served.
It turns out I was not presented with all the wonderful feelings one has when the entire family is present. Both Nelda, the matriarch of this group, was given thanks for her daughter and the boys and I gave love in bushel baskets for their mom. I also noted how hard all the women worked preparing and serving the food and making sure everyone was fed and happy.
The day ended as far as our celebration and thanks to God for our blessings. A wonderful feeling was shown by all after the last steak and salad were served. Austin and Reed were still arguing about which could deliver the better steak, but that is just their way of saying they love each other.
My wonderful bride was the hardest worker and spared nothing to make sure the boys were smiling as they had to take a little something home for later. Nelda made sure all the desserts were wonderful and sweet. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. God Bless.