Saturday, April 1, 2017

Remembrances of My Mother

Today's thankful post is about my Mother. I don't talk about her a lot and I haven't thanked her as much as I should. I want to thank her today because she gave life to me.
My Mom was a girl of 13 the first time she caught my Dad's 25 year old eyes. I think of that today and I shudder but this was 1937 and people thought differently about courtship and marriage. I know that they courted for 3 years and he wrote her some very poignant letters that my sister has in her possession.
There is no denying that he fell in love with her. I don't know how she felt about him, but he was tall and good looking so she may have been dazzled by him, thinking that would bring a better life.
At age 16,on a sunny day in June of 1940, they married. The next year the children started to come and they did not stop until 1955 when there were 6 of us.
In my very young years, my parents became legally separated and the children were left with Daddy. This was the first time I felt abandonment, and it happened again and again as she would come and go a few times a year. Of course at that age I did not understand but as I grew up, I understood perfectly. She did the only thing that she could do, in that day.
There were few opportunities for Women. Independently owning a home or car was not widely done. If you married, every thing was in your husbands' name and when she left, it was with very little. ( I think of that as very brave today)
There were some happy memories of her coming when I was really small. I can still see her making her mouth watering sugar cookies in the old burl flour bowl. She mixed everything by hand without a recipe and them dropped them on the cookie sheet to cook. She put sugar on them about half way through the baking process and they were literally melt in your mouth good. I tried for years to duplicate them but it took her granddaughter, my oldest, to do that. The secret turned out to be Lemon and Vanilla flavoring in them.. LOL. My daughter tried several combinations until she came upon the right one, but she can make those cookies and they take me back to 5 years old in one bite:-)
She made me flour sack dresses when I was small and she made some pretty awesome bread pudding.
She couldn't swim a lick but she could float on her back like a champ. When we would go to Munson, we would be swimming and she would lie on her back with her toes sticking out of the water and float all over the lake. I used to watch her and try to emulate it, but I could not. My toes would sink or I would have to paddle to keep afloat, but not her. She could cross her arms and legs if she wanted and float all day.
She loved country music and if she was home, the record player was aplayin. Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Hank Locklin.. Hmmmm.. She sure liked Hanks. There were also the McReynolds boys, Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, and the deep baritone of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing " You load sixteen tons and what do you get?" So many great singers of that day that I can not say them all. She loved hearing them sing and I do too.
She loved Church too. Not many remember that, but she loved the Lord. She took us to Ebenezer when we were little and I will always be grateful for that. It gave me a foundation of knowing that there is something greater than me.
Now I will get to the thankful part. I harbored resentment and an unforgiving heart toward my Mother for many years, because I had no understanding as a child of why I could not be with her. I know now that she left us with Daddy, because she knew we would have a home and food and schooling. With her vagabond existence, it would have been impossible to provide for us.
That is why I have the greatest empathy for someone giving up a child. If you have a heart, that is not done lightly. It is done because you love that child more than you do yourself. And that means that she loved us, more than she loved herself. When I realized that, forgiveness was in my heart for her and for me harboring, any less than stellar, thoughts about what my life had been.
I can tell you that forgiveness is, bar none, the greatest gift that you can give yourself. When you forgive, it releases it from your heart and mind and it flies away from you, leaving you free of its power.
So, today I thank my Mom, Blanch Beatrice Morris, for giving me some of her sweet spirit. For cooking when she was home, for letting me do her hair, for coming back to see us every now and again and for trying to be a good Mom.
If you have your Mom, forgive her and thank her for giving life to you. If you don't, pray your thanks to her.
All my love, Kimmee
ps.. I have a few material things that I cherish from my Mom. One is a tapestry of the Last Supper. I don't have it out at present to photograph for you. I do have my prized dish from her that my younger sister gave me, and I have her cast iron Skillet that my older sister gave me. I remember as a child her taking it out into the sand to clean it. I don't think soap ever touched her beloved skillet and it doesn't stick today, cause I take care of it. Thank you Mom and my Sisters....

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