My mom died in 1985 at the age of 58. I have already lived longer than she did. She died a horrible death, first losing her mind, then her body.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to remember her before she was sick, but at other times she is in my mind just as young, pretty, and capable as when I was a young girl.
Mom wasn’t easy to read. She was quiet and to herself much of the time, but came alive on Friday nights when all her children were home from college and we played games together after her famous BBQ chicken and potato bake supper.
What did I learn from my mom that is worth passing on?
- Jesus loves me. Mama taught Sunday School every Sunday for years and knew that Jesus loves all His children and helped me understand this truth.
- Use everything you have. Mama was gifted in the art of using up all she had on hand. She canned tomatoes, made jelly from a fig tree in the backyard, and froze fresh corn and beans from our vegetable garden. She also had the most vivid flower gardens. Mama was an artist with flowers. Her color combinations were breath-taking. She often encouraged me to save seed for the following year and to split plants and use them in several different places.
- Serve. Mama not only taught Sunday School, but also taught Sunbeams, led a Brownie troop, and was in church every week. She later worked for Community Action and helped folks who needed food and other resources.
- Read to your children. Mama took time out mid-day to read to us as we waited for Daddy to come home for lunch.
- Look for hidden gifts in your children. Mama made sacrifices to provide a private art teacher for my brother and me. Ever since those magical Wednesdays when we were young and dreamy and had an opportunity to explore the world of art, my brother and I have loved creativity of all kinds.