I miss my mother. There’s no simpler statement and there’s none more fraught with emotion. My brothers and I were blessed to have a wonderful mother. She was a tomboy at heart and didn’t mind getting dirty. Mother had the best laugh and she was terrific at crafts. She put together the most imaginative things! She didn’t take herself so seriously. She loved other people. She was a spitfire at times. She worked hard whether it was in the garden, at my grandfather’s country store, or in the house. She was a lady, too. I remember her many hats that she decorated. She wasn’t plain, but she certainly wasn’t showy. She was a sublime mixture of outgoing charm and quiet dignity.
Yes, we miss her. The odd thing that I’ve been remembering lately is the graceful subtle way she always said, “Certainly,” whenever someone had the occasion of saying, “Excuse me.” In the sweet humility of her alto voice, her simple use of “Certainly” as a response to one of her children’s or anyone else’s faux pas was pure grace. She was so forgiving and understanding. Memories of mother flood my mind and I feel like Forrest Gump all awash in matriarchal adulation. If you remember the movie, you have to remember Forrest’s mother.
We all have stories to tell about either our mothers or those who mothered us. One day isn’t enough thanks either. In our festival-oriented society egg salad gets a whole week, as do pickled peppers, split pea soup, clowns, carpenter ants, and aardvarks. Peanut butter (March), chickens (September), and oatmeal (January) each rate a whole month. How can we do less for mothers? Impossible!
So let’s dedicate ourselves to the highest ideals of motherhood for longer than a day and more than National Family Week. Let’s solemnly promise to put our faith to the test in a way that even the motto WWJD can’t touch. Asking, “What would Jesus do?” is great to be sure. But, right now I think that it would help my Christianity more if I simply asked, “What would Mother do? What would Mother say? What would Mother think?” I don’t think Jesus would mind a bit. He’s been using mothers as His best allies ever since ever since.
So let’s give our mothers and the world the best present that we can this Mother’s Day. Let’s actually try to think and act like mothers. Let’s never forget to value our mothers because they are irreplaceable. On behalf of my brothers, Carlee and Ralph, we salute our Mother, Sadie Emma Jackson McClendon, our beloved mother, 1917-1993, until eternity.