Nearly nine months ago, my Mama went home to be with Jesus. I can't visit her, give her a hug, kiss her soft cheek, or sit with her at the table in the kitchen while we drink coffee and laugh together. I won't be able to call her today and tell her how much I love her...and how much I miss her. But I can remember, and treasure those precious memories. You can keep reading if you'd like; I just want to reminisce awhile.
Mama was the best cook anywhere. Nobody but nobody could make fried apples, roast beef, chicken and gravy, pineapple cake, hamburgers, nor anything else quite as tasty as she could. My favorite meal of hers, hands down, was beans, taters, fried cornbread, fried cabbage, and bacon, with raw onion on the side. What a meal! I've tried to make it like her but to this day I can't do it.
Mama bleached everything. EVERYTHING. Which is probably why I actually love the scent of bleached laundry. Bleach even worked as a bug killer. Honest. Just splash it around.
She had a voice like an angel. If her voice had been "discovered" by the right person, who knows where she could have gone? :) It did sorta bug me, though, when I'd be in the living room playing something on the piano, and she'd be in the kitchen belting out a totally different song in a completely different key. Still don't know how she did that.
Mama almost always wore navy blue. She would try on clothes that were a different color, but always wound up hanging them back on the rack. I didn't know why. I don't think she knew why either. Nothing else looked right, I guess. :)
Bless her heart, she tried to help me when I wanted to lose weight. She really did. Even if she did practically shove one of her juicy hamburgers loaded with mayonnaise into my face...as a snack. At night.
I loved to hear Mama laugh. I loved to make her laugh. She had a laugh that was easy and contagious...and dangerous. *snort. I'll just leave it at that.
My Mama was a terrible driver. I used to joke that if you wanted to get someone saved, put 'em in the back seat when Mama was driving. That'd convert anyone. She would tell me, "Now, Jessie, I've never had an accident." And I was quick to reply, "Mama, it's only the Lord's mercies that you haven't had an accident."
I've never known a more giving woman. She would give away about anything she owned if she thought you liked it. It was hard to buy anything for her because...well, I guess because she'd honestly rather give than receive.
I remember hearing my Mama pray. Weeping...pleading with God to save her wayward children. Praying for each of them by name...over and over...for so long. Her heart was broken; still she loved. And kept on loving.
I watched her in the hard times. She suffered much in so many ways her entire life. Physical pain, yes. But, especially in later years, she suffered from the pain inflicted by those whom she loved the most. And even from those who claimed to be her friends. People who claimed to be Christians. I watched her faith finally crumble, and I wondered if I'd ever see her at peace again. Then, near the end of her life, I watched as she once again was able to catch a little glimmer of that faith. Her face glowed again. That "Peace" returned. Thank God. Thank God for His mercy! One of the last memories I have of her is of how she wept after we returned from a doctor's visit, because she could sense that the driver of the medical transport was hungry for God and she was glad that I'd been able to talk to him.
When she was dying, before she lost consiousness for the last time, one of the last things she did was to pull my hand up to her face and kiss it. I will never, never forget that....
She worked hard. Gave all she had. Laughed. Loved. Sacrificed. And received so little in return. That was my Mama.
"So, Mama? Thanks. Thank you for taking me in. For loving me always...no matter what I did. Thank you for every lesson you taught me.
Thanks for loving my babies so much. They loved you, too! I wish you could see them now....Drew is still a rascal, by the way.
You really did spoil me. But that's okay. :) (Oh...and I still can't drink apple juice without thinking of how you used to bring a little glass of it into my room almost every night...just because you knew I liked it.)
Thank you for making my wedding beautiful. Did I ever really tell you how much I appreciated how hard you worked to try to make my day everything I wanted it to be?
Thanks for always, always taking up for me. Even when you probably shouldn't have. ;)
There are so many things I'd like to tell you...so many things I feel like I'm forgetting to say. But...you won't read this anyway. Still, I hope that maybe, just maybe, you'll know what I'm trying in my own feeble way to say.
I love you. And I can hardly wait to see you again. Happy Mother's Day."