Memories of Mama

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers are so important.

I can't imagine what life would have been like without my mother.

We called her mama.

Mama was always there. When my brothers and sister and I got home from school, she was there waiting.

Her life was wrapped around her children. When we were at play in the yard, mama would stand in the doorway and keep a watchful eye.

When we were grown and left home, she was interested in all aspects of our lives, and later in her grandchildren's comings and goings.

All the time involved in her own life, too.

For several years she operated an old fashioned one person manual telephone switchboard in The Majestic Hotel in Caruthersville, Mo. For years a photo of President Harry S Truman hung on the wall near the switchboard.

President Truman once slept in that hotel when he visited the southeast Missouri town. Years later the hotel was destroyed in a tragic fire that took the lives of several local residents who made their home in the hotel. It was an old three story building with an elevator. The fire was attributed to bad wiring.

After the fire broke out, my sister telephoned to see if I knew where mama was.

Mama had worked the switchboard that day and my sister and brothers couldn't locate mama.

I told my sister that I was sure mama wasn't in the building because she would have been off work when the fire broke out. My guess was that she was in Blytheville playing bingo. But I said I would try to locate her and get back to the family.

Sure enough, I made a phone call and got someone who connected me to mama.

What a relief. She had already been alerted about the fire and was worried about her friend Agnes who rented a room there. Mama had talked with Agnes earlier that day.

We later learned that her friend was one of those who perished.

Recently II was reading a story about a man who had a difficult childhood. His mother was an alcoholic who wasn't a reliable mother..

His father left home and stepped out of the picture when he was very young.

The boy became a thief, roamed the streets with a gang, stealing anything he could turn into cash.

Then his mother died of cirrhosis of the liver.

After that, he and his sister were moved into a Baptist children's home..

Some of the kids who were in the home didn't want to be there, but he adjusted quite well. It was a good feeling to go to sleep feeling safe, and to wake up in a clean bed, feeling safe for the first time, he said..

And he said he could drink all the milk he wanted. Milk was one food he never had enough of when he was growing up. Instead, he had powdered milk or Pet milk that was diluted.

The Home changed his life. He became a christian and became involved in a local church.

Until he entered the Home, he had no christian upbringing. His parents weren't there for him.

So this Mother's Day, if you have a mother who has stood by you and sacrificed for you, remember her.

It's her special day.