HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

I want to take this time to wish all the mothers out there a very happy and Blessed Mother’s Day weekend.

I could sit up all day and night and tell you stories of things my mother had said or done but I’m sure you could too about yours. One thing that will always be etched in my mind was when my father pastored a church in Thomasville, Alabama and my mother worked at a convenient store in Camden.

Camden was several miles and across the river from Thomasville (Google Map it sometime). In September of 1979 Hurricane Frederick was barreling down on the gulf coast and my mother had to work the same night that the hurricane was to make landfall. She closed the store up and drove to the place that was the designated storm shelter in Camden but she didn’t see anyone. But the thing that mattered most to her was her family and home. And these are the words of how she told it that night.

“I put my Bible in my lap and prayed, ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another. To one place or another. Either way before the sun comes up and this storm passes I’ll be at my earthly home or my heavenly home but I’m going home.’ I started heading home in the middle of the storm. When I got to the bridge crossing the Alabama River I drove in the middle of the road and the wind and rain beat down so hard on the car and rocking it I stopped in the middle of the bridge and prayed again. ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another.’”

I remember quite well waking up in the middle of the night and getting up and walking into the living room. The power had went out several hours prior and all we had to see with was oil and kerosene lamps. I saw the flicker of a lamp in the living room and walked in there while the storm was raging outside and there sat my mother with her Bible in her lap reading by the light of an old kerosene lamp.

One of the greatest visual sermons my mother ever preached was the story of the ten virgins and how they “trimmed” their lamps. She demonstrated that if you will trim the wick on the lamp before lighting it you’ll have a brighter glow and a cleaner burn.

Okay, now wipe your eyes and let me tell you about my “other” mother. I was born December 31, 1967. My oldest sister was born September 14, 1956. So naturally when both my parents had to work to make a living it was Barbara Ann who took care of us younger ones. By the time she was 11 years old, when I came along, she was able to cook full meals and have them on the table when our parents got home from work. She was the one who got up with me in the middle of the night, changed my diaper and gave me my bottle and rocked me back to sleep. I was always told when I was stubborn she would take me outside on the swing on the front porch and swing me and sing to me. She has told me on several occasions that my favorite song was “Daydream Believer”. She said I would go right back to sleep every time she sang that song to me.

I later found out that Daydream Believer peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in December 1967. I still love that song and know every word to it. Right before Barbara passed away I sat next to her bed and sang that song to her.

One of the funniest times I remember was when me and my best friend Jacob would go with our older sister’s to the grocery store, and of course we would always try to embarrass them. We had done it to Jacob’s sister once and she turned blood-red from embarrassment. The story would go something like this.

We’d get to the register to check out. There would be people standing in front of us and people standing behind us in line.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama that wouldn’t be fair. If he gets some candy I want some too.”

Jacob’s sister: “Be quite. I’m not your mama.” Blushing.

Jacob: “Mama, why are you so ashamed of us?”

Me: “I told you that she was embarrassed and ashamed of us.”

Of course it worked so well embarrassing Jacob’s sister we decided we would try it on Barbara.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama I want some candy too.”

Barbara: “No! shut up and stop asking or I’ll whip both of you right here in front of everybody.”

Yep, Barbara got us that day. We both knew, and there was no denying the fact that we were not going to embarrass my sister. But in reality she really was a mother to me.

And of course I can’t forget the mother of my son.  My loving bride that has been by my side for the past 30 plus years.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t tell her that I love her, even when we get frustrated with each other (more like when she gets frustrated with me).  I may not have another chance so I want to remind her every day that I love her.

So if you still have your mother call her, visit her and tell her how much you love her, not just on this Mother’s Day weekend but call and visit every day. One day she won’t be there, and like my mother before she passed away, she may forget who you are. So it’s very important to tell them now. Make and keep those memories and share them with your children and grandchildren so that it can be passed down from generation to generation.

And again, to all you mothers out there. I pray you have a wonderful, joyous and happy Mother’s Day!

Love you all!

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