She was ninety-four when she went to her Heavenly Zion. She was from a long line of Kentucky stock, a real thoroughbred, who had Cherokee blood in her veins. My father ran off and left us when I was just a boy, and my sister, having married at seventeen, during the 2nd World War, pretty much left Mom and me on our own. We lived in one flop house after another, sometimes sharing the bath with three or four other families. It got rough at times, but as a young tow-headed boy, I always felt secure with this woman who was character incarnate. I knew I could depend on her to be there and take care of me. I was her number one concern!
It says of King Lemuel, “His mother taught him.” And so did mine teach me, some important lessons about life. Three stand out above all others. The first indelible truth was ingrained in me when I once asked her why she scrubbed other people’s floors and cleaned their toilets for a living. Her reply, as always, was a simple one, but it had a profound effect upon me. Said she, “Son, someone has to do it.” In other words, she was one who, if asking herself the rhetorical question, “Why me?” came back with the answer, “Why not me.”
And then there was the time, in my unconverted days, when I was trying to run-away from myself. I was leaving Ohio for California, attempting to escape the town in which I lived, thinking that would change things. Again she had words of wisdom for me. “Honey, you’ll find things pretty much the same wherever you go.” She was right, as always. I learned a change in geography, doesn't bring a change in character.
And just before leaving for that land where one never grows old, but stays eternally young, she gave me her final bit of advice. I had asked her if she had any last words for me; and staring up at me with those hazel green eyes, from her bed she said, “Keep on doing what you’ve been doing all these years.” Well, I have been, and will, until I go to meet this woman to whom I owe, not only my first birth, but my second birth. The birth that guarantees we’ll live together forever. Not in a flop house, but a Mansion, for all eternity. PRAISE THE LORD!
Fix me one of your Kentucky meals Mom; I’ll be coming home in the near future!