Sunday, May 08, 2011

Journal of a Living Lady #397

Nancy White Kelly

It’s Mother’s Day as I write this. My grown boys have expressed their love in a variety of ways and the grand kids too. I wish my mother was still alive so I could tell her one more time how much she meant to me.

Married at sixteen, Mama never worked a day for pay. She was a full-time homemaker, known for her spunk and unintended humor.

She was an excellent seamstress and a wonderful cook. She could equally dish out a tongue-lashing, especially to anybody who dared to slight any of her five biddies. That earned her the affectionate nickname, “Henzilla” and sibling security that she was always in our corner.

Mama died of congestive heart failure. During my last conversation with her, she strained to say something important. In a weakened voice, almost a whisper, she apologized for not having anything to leave us children as an inheritance.
I am not an easy crier, but I sobbed when she said that. I assured her that no amount of money, property or “stuff” could replace the gift she gave to her children: unconditional love. In a sense, she gave her life for her husband and off-spring. She was a mother worthy to be praised.

I never truly appreciated all my Mama did until I became a wife and mother myself. Over several decades, I became a foster mom to twelve children, an adoptive mother to one boy, and finally a birth mom to a late-in-life miracle son. Buddy’s mother set a good example. Today I am also a “mother-in-law,” blessed with a good relationship with both wives.

As another Mother’s Day is closing, I think of all the wisdom my mother passed to me. These words were probably were heard by you too:
Money does not grow on trees.

Play with fire and you’ll get burned.

Always change your underwear; you never know when you may be in a wreck.

When you have your own house, then you can make the rules!

Don't cross your eyes or they will freeze in that position.

If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?

Friends of a feather flock together.

And finally, close that door! Were you born in a barn?

A late Happy Mother’s Day to all you ladies who mothered or mentored a child. You did a good thing.

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