2018-05-16 / Editorial

MAMA

Don Lively

“The system is down,” said the nice lady behind the counter.

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that but I need my prescriptions right this minute or I might die a really ugly death right here at the pharmacy window.”

I didn’t really say that but I thought it.

What I did say was, “Can’t you just hand me the bag? It’s right there behind you. I can take it to the front register and check it out there.”

“We can’t because, you know, the system is down.”

So, because your computer is on the fritz, you have no other way, no plan B, to, you know, accommodate your customers.

I didn’t say that either, but, again, I thought it.

I wonder what Mama would say about all that?

These days I catch myself often wondering what Mama might say about the way the world has changed since her departure.

Would she approve of the current president or would she dismiss him as a rude New York yankee?

What would she think of cars that supposedly drive themselves?

Or checkout stands at Wal- Mart where you can scan, bag and pay for your items yourself without a human checker?

I wonder if she'd mildly chastise me for writing my yearly Mothers Day column in honor of her a week late because last week I needed to write about Boss Hog.

Mama took her blink-of-aneye journey through the eastern sky straight into the arms of Jesus over eight years ago but I can still hear her voice as clear as day. Before she began to lose awareness of her surroundings, she was the biggest fan of my column, especially if she was mentioned in the weekly scribbling. She generally liked each of them but she would occasionally point out something if she thought I got it wrong.

This was our ninth Mothers Day without Mama and I still miss her.

Until she just couldn't do it anymore, Mama always cooked the Sunday meal and most every Lord's Day she had a houseful of her kids and grandkids and anybody else who showed up. Nobody went away hungry. Over the years a few cousins who lived far away at the time ended up stationed at Fort Gordon. Those fellows became fixtures around Mama's table during their tour. I suspect that the smoked ham or fried chicken, the baked macaroni and cheese, or the lacy fried cornbread that were staples of her meals were never found in the Army mess halls. She was also famous for her deserts like peach cobbler, caramel cake or pecan pies. Makes my mouth water just thinking back on them.

Mama's cooking was legendary.

Once she got where she could no longer cook for that many people we took over. Each one of her four kids, me included, takes a turn in the rotation. Nowadays some of the next generation, Mama's grandkids, have jumped in also.

Just like when Mama was the cook, the food is always good and the conversation is always lively, if you'll pardon the pun.

Mama isn't there in body but she's never far away in spirit.

She'd be pleased to know that she still gets talked about around our Sunday dinner table.

She had her own signature wave that she'd do as somebody was leaving. She'd extend her hand straight out and wave with her fingers. We all get a kick out of seeing somebody trying to do the "Mama wave".

Mama wasn't one to swear but she had her little colloquialisms that got her points across. If she was arguing politics or any other topic, if she'd get a little heated and wanted the other arguer to pay attention, she'd say "Now just a John Brown minute!" Apparently, Mama considered the old Yankee rabble rouser's name to be a suitable substitute cuss word.

I can remember many times when I was young and it was just Mama and me in the car, she’d start singing and I’d join in. We'd sing to the top of our lungs, praising the Lord. Of course in later years I stopped joining in. I was way too cool for that.

Or so I thought.

I should have sung.

One day I will, up there.

Happy Belated Heavenly Mothers Day, Mama.

Say hello to everybody for me.

Please let the Lord know, when He's ready for us to fly that way, we're ready too.

We'll see you, "in the sweet by and by".

Return to top