About My Mother
My mother was the heart of our home, but I didn’t always know that, especially when I was young. As the only girl among three brothers, I was “my daddy’s darling” and he surely thought “I was sweet.” He indulged me in ways Mother didn’t, and so I doted on him.
Mother never showed resentment of my preference for Dad, knowing how my childish devotion pleased him. By the time I reached my mid-teens, however, I had grown to appreciate my mother much more. She and I easily became friends as my need for parental oversight diminished, and we enjoyed doing things together—shopping, visiting friends, cooking and sewing.
One of the traits I cherished most about my mother was the joy she found in her children. I remember when a woman we knew showed up at a social affair wearing a diamond necklace and earrings, in addition to her large diamond rings, Mother commented to a friend, “My children are my diamonds.” And we children always knew if one of us was coming or going from home, Mother would be standing in the front door or on the porch to welcome us or wave goodbye.
As I grew and matured, I truly came to realize that Mother was the hub around which our family revolved. She kept in touch with each child, wherever we were, and kept each of us informed about the happenings in our siblings’ lives as well as in hers and Dad’s. One day when I was spending the weekend with Mother and Dad at their place on the river, I sat down beside Mother on the couch, put my arm around her and asked, “What is one special thing I could do for you? I would like to give you a special gift that would always be a reminder to you of my love.” Mother took my hand and said, “I can’t think of anything I want that I don’t have. I know you love me, and if I ever need you, all I have to do is call.”
Some weeks later, Mother told me that she and Dad were going to the river that weekend so he could work on his daddy’s old cotton house. She said, “I don’t know what he’s going to use it for, but it gives him something to do and a reason to get up in the morning.” That prompted me to ask, “What about you, Momma? What sort of unfulfilled dreams or wishes do you have?” She said, “I can’t think of anything. You children are all grown and healthy and you all know the Lord. I feel like my work is finished.”
That very weekend, on a gloriously beautiful Saturday in April, as Mother helped Dad lift a board in the old cotton house, she had a massive heart attack and died. It’s now been twenty-four years since that April day, and I still miss her. Scarcely a day goes by that I don't want to call and talk with my mother.