When I was a young boy, there were three words that my mother said to me each morning, five days a week, nine months a year for 6 years....RISE AND SHINE, she would say. It meant we were to get up for another day of school.
If I had known then, what I know now, there would have been about five words I would have said to her each time. My mother didn't have the benefit of a good, solid education. But, she was the smartest person I've ever known. She didn't have a diploma or degree from any school are university. But, she had a PhD in life and yet another, in love.
Many had said of her that she did too much for us, her children. It was said that perhaps she loved us too much. But, I ask of you, just how can you do too much for your children and even more, how can you love them too much? What people seemed to forget was the circumstances surrounding our life at home when we were coming up. She had to be both mother and father to us. Yes, we had a father there, in body. It was mama who did for us, it was mama who watched out for us, it was mama who calmed our fears. It was mama who said that one day things would get better for us, that the light at the end of the tunnel wasn't an oncoming train. She was right.
What I remember most, was my mama sitting up all night in a hardback chair...quietly weeping, quietly praying for me throughout a miserable night after i had an operation. THIS...was my mother. I've often thought the highest praise you can give any woman is to say she is/was a good mother. This being the case, my mother was the very personification of a good mother.
She loved us unconditionally and her entire life was devoted to us, right to the very end. Sure, she had faults, just as we all do. But, she admitted hers, while so many others find themselves faultless. She's be the first to admit her faults...she was so very humble. For the first time in the 24 years of my life, I'll face Christmas without my beloved mother. It will be difficult, to be sure.
She taught us how to laugh, how to love, how to give comfort, how to live our lives morally and there at the end...mama showed us how to die. I comfort myself in the knowledge that she is with Jesus, and her sister who was so tragically killed nine years ago...something she never was able to recover from.
She no longer suffers from crippling arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, eye disease or other problems that I can't remember right now. But, despite it all, my mother's faith in God remained unshaken, she believed on the Lord with all her might.
Finally, someday I too must pass from this world, just as we all must. Somehow, someway, I just know...I just know that I will hear that sweet, familiar voice say 'rise and shine' and I will turn to her and say...
Thanks mama, thanks for everything.
I love you Ma.
*I will be on a hiatus for the time being. Let me grieve for awhile... See you soon.