A little girl, when asked where her home was, replied, “where Mother is.”
-Keith L. Brooks
My Mother married at a very young age and became an “instant” Mother. I came in the “package” with my Dad, since my birth mother died ten days after I was born. Instant motherhood is a lot more complicated than instant oatmeal or instant coffee. Although she was young and seemingly unprepared to be a Mother, she learned the ropes quickly and performed wonderfully well; especially considering that I had been spoiled beyond measure by my grandmother for 2 1/2 years.
We lost my Mother on March 24, 2011. The loss was profound, but I am eternally grateful for the love she showed me and the lessons she taught me. Those lessons weave in and out of my memory and are forever a part of who I am.
My Mother could have written the Boy Scout’s Handbook. She was big on being prepared. If you left the house without your hat, coat and, yes, gloves, you slipped out without her seeing you. When I was 50 years old, she was still asking me about my coat and hat.
She also taught me valuable lessons in prioritizing. The one I remember most vividly came in my teenage years when she made me go to Sunday evening worship services while Elvis performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was not happy, but it worked…I’m still going to Sunday evening worship. (Still an Elvis fan, too.)
My Mother was a child of the depression… if you put a mountain of mashed potatoes on your plate, you’d better be prepared to eat every last smidgen of them. She saved everything – if there were ten peas left in the bowl, she put them in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, her lessons in frugality didn’t take on me as well as they should have, but she tried.
She loved flowers and a neat and tidy yard – and that was the source of our biggest problems. I hope, in time, she forgot about all the rusted out vehicles in various states of disrepair that I parked in her yard along with a two-ton lathe that no one could move.
I’m sure she disapproved of many things I did; but had it not been for her, who knows what I would have done. As Mark Twain said, “My Mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” I certainly hope that’s the case.
I was always a work under construction with my Mom right up until the end. Time passes. We grow up, move away, raise a family and go about our lives. We see our mothers age, but they still see us as their little boy or girl and they’re still Mom.
It’s a beautiful relationship unaffected by time, and I just say, thank God for Mothers.