For Mother’s Day: What Mama meant to me

By Bill Shepard

Mama has been gone a long time, but I remember Mama! Perhaps the best gifts my mama gave me were the memories we made together when I was a little boy. Mama did not have a lot of this world’s wealth to leave behind when she left. She did leave something far more precious than silver or gold. Mama left beautiful lifetime memories. Long after the material gifts disappeared, the memories lived on. The good thing about memories is that they can be transported so easily. Wherever one goes, they go also. Yes, I remember Mama! There has never been a Mother’s Day that I have not written something about her and seldom a day passes that I do not think of her. I miss Mama’s soft voice when she was giving me instructions for my day’s activities. I remember her quiet words, “Everything will be all right,” after I found myself in trouble. Sometimes after I had stumped my toe or stepped on a piece of glass and cut my barefoot, Mama would hold my foot in her hand and whisper, “It’s all right,” and it would be! I remember standing by Mama’s side when she would be in the kitchen, preparing food for our family. If she was mixing the sweetened ingredients for a cake or pie, she would let me lick the spoon when she finished. It would taste so good! I remember the early mornings in the springtime when I would follow Mama to our garden. I liked it when the beans Dad had planted were tall enough so that I could play “hide and seek” between the rows. I would hide and Mama would pretend she could not see me and would call, “Bill, where are you? “I would jump from behind the beans and say, “Here I am!” When the beans were ready to pick, Mama would gather enough for the meal that day and would have them prepared when Dad came home from work. They would be so good. Sometimes Mama would shell the beans right there in the garden and put them into the large pocket on her apron. Mama always wore her apron when she went to the garden to work. I remember the old Singer sewing machine that stood in the hall between the two bedrooms in our small three-room house. It is not hard for me to imagine I hear the clickety-clack sound that the old machine made when she was sewing clothes for our family. Mama spent most of her spare time at the machine. I remember following along behind Mama when she would walk to the big Company Store across the creek. We would pass by the big mill and I would look to see if Dad was standing at one of the big windows and looking down at us. I remember when we were inside the store, one of the clerks would go with Mama to the cloth department and show her all the pretty cloth. She would pick out the pieces she liked and would buy several yards. She would buy enough to make shirts for my brothers and me. Mama sewed little dresses for my sister. She could not make the overalls that Dad wore to work, but she knew how to patch them. With three boys and a husband, she did a lot of patching overalls. After she was put to bed, we all hugged her and kissed her and told her how glad we were that she was home. She told me to look inside a sack that was by her bed. Inside, I found half of an apple and a piece of chewing gum. She had brought them home especially for me. I loved Mama! I still do and I think of her often. Mama got well and lived a long time. Then one day, she got sick again and went to the hospital. That time, she did not get well. I was standing by her bed when she left. She just closed her eyes and was gone. I guess Mama was tired of picking beans and patching overalls! Mama went to Heaven! I am going there myself one of these days, and I expect to see her again and will tell her how much I missed her when she left this world. “The Old-Fashioned Mother” She governed her household with vigilant care, A smile in her eyes, lips breathing a prayer. Her home was her castle, there — calm and serene. That old-fashioned Mother, though humble, was a Queen. She cared not for diamonds, her dress was plain, And suitable for both sunshine and rain. Her face shone with cleanliness; the perfume was faint. She would have been shocked, at the mere thought of paint. She didn’t play bridge to pass away time. Society ladder, she sought not to climb. With children and home, she was ever content. She feared not the future, her life was well spent, Her hand rocked the cradle with firmness and love. She gathered her strength from the One up above. The light of her faith seldom grew dim. That old-fashioned Mother was anchored in Him. In this world of Science, Pleasure and Greed, This age of ultra-modern, crazy with speed. What a price we have paid for the Merry-Go-Round, If the old-fashioned Mother can no longer be found. — Author unknown

Author: Rachel Howell

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