Mothers are such amazing people! When we were babies, they not only carried us for up to 9 months … they started nurturing us right from the beginning while we were in the womb. Once we were born, they continued to nurture and care for us on a daily basis. Oh — Dad, grandparents and other relatives may have helped, but mothers never really took time off. You see, even when they could get away for a few hours or had to go to work, we were in their thoughts.
Once a woman becomes a mother, it is as though she transforms into a superhuman. When I think of how my own mother used to get up early in the morning to cook a full breakfast (cereal was only for Saturdays), get my brothers and I ready for school even when we were old enough to so some things for ourselves like ironing and preparing our lunches, it blows me away. You see, after doing all of that, she had to go to work at a cleaners for 8 hours a day. Eight hours minus an hour for breaks she stood — then came home and cooked a full course meal each night! And on some of those nights we might have pinto beans so we ate a little late … but always before 8:30 p.m. I hated choir rehearsal night because that was the night you might get her liver, onions and gravy with rice and bisquits — her quickest meal — but I could never make myself eat the liver.
Then, because I was a joiner from the age of 6, Mama would stay up late many nights sewing costumes or outfits for these special programs and functions. PTA programs, Y-teens, Blue Birds, dance groups, Camp Fire, Lodge meetings, youth conventions, drama plays, school assemblies, declamatory contests, honors days, cheerleader and on and on it went. After staying up most of the night, she would get right up the next day to the same routine ‘for12 years of my school life’. Then of course for all those extra-special programs and occasions, she had to not only “do” my hair but make afterfive or party dresses (but Mama… I could have done without the black velvet top and lined net skirt number you made for my Junior year band banquet because sitting was almost unbearable).It was a good thing for Mama that she only had one daughter.
I must mention that for every Father/Daughter Banquet and most out of town school trips Mama would get up early in the morning to make my lunch. She would fry me a whole chicken, make potato salad, then line a shoebox with wax paper and fill the box up with the prepared food, bread, cake or cookies, pickles, and an apple or an orange. I really would have been just as happy with ham and cheese sandwiches and chips, but that was daily fare and Mama thought special occasions deserved special foods. She stil thinks that way even though she can no longer cook!
When I think back on all that my mother did for me and then at how hard she worked to make it possible for me take lessons outside of class in piano (which just wasn’t for me), tap dance, violin, drum and typing (she even bought me a typewriter when I was 11 which I had to walk the few blocks downtown to Zales to make monthly payments on) — when I think back on those things and ALL the other stuff, I realize that my mother is the epitome of Superwoman. You see, she not only did this for me, but there were 7 behind me that she went over and beyond the limit for.
I often tell people that my mother didn’t believe in spanking because she didn’t spank us, but as I reflect on what a busy mother she was, I’m not sure that the reason that Mama didn’t spank us is that she was just too darn tired to do so!
Mama is not so well physically right now, but she has a strong constitution and an abiding faith in the Lord. I am thankful that at age 83, Mrs. Bettie Jean Lee continues to share her love and wisdom with us.
‘Mama, I love you dearly… with every single fiber of my being’!