Published on May 8th, 2012 | by TLV News0
(Happy Mother’s Day!) (by Rebecca Long, from TLV #155)
I am a lucky lady.
And the portrait on my left forearm reminds me so daily. The little girl’s face inked on my skin is my Momma’s third grade school photo. It’s her favorite picture of herself as a little girl; her mom had always told her not to show her teeth when she smiled for the camera. But on that particular portrait day, the shutter clicked at just the right moment to catch the sincere smile I’ve grown up smiling back at.
I remember realizing in high school that I was lucky to be a member of a (fairly) functional and harmonious family, with an older (only slightly bullying) sister, and a mother and father who were not only still married, but still in love and happy.
When my father’s Alzheimer’s took a turn for the worse in 2008, I watched as my Momma took months off work to stay at home and take care of him. Eventually he had to move to a home, but she still did her best to hold to her vow to take care of him ‘in sickness or health’ until he passed last year. The love and devotion she showed my father as his illness worsened are the reasons I got Lawrence Pennington to permanently pen her smiling face on my arm.
Since I moved away from Greenwood for the first time in the late 90s, my communication with most of my friends and extended family, even my only sister, has been slipshod, slapdash, haphazard. But the one person in my life I have never been able to go a long length of time without talking to is my Momma. She may well keep me sane. She does her best all the way from the Delta, anyway.
Growing up, I remember wanting for nothing. I remember being inspired and encouraged in my endeavors. I remember my Momma taking me to the State Fair every year, the zoos in Jackson and in Memphis, the Petrified Forest, the Pink Palace Museum, Indian fairs, concerts galore, and Libertyland. She took me to the library or the swimming pool whenever we felt like it, went walking and biking with me, made cupcakes and sent movies for my classes’ parties in elementary school.
It’s been a long time since third grade cupcake parties. But even now, my Momma is like my best friend and I love her more than anyone else. I share these feelings and fond memories with her sometimes, but often in the past I’ve just not gotten around to it. Like I say, I’m lucky, cause I think my mother is awesome. But I have friends who don’t want to be in the same state as their parents, for real, and some of them for good reasons. I find it truly sad, because they’re missing out on something special. But if your mother is still alive and you love her, TELL HER SO while you still can!
This article was published in The Local Voice #155 (May 3-19, 2012)…Click here to download the PDF of issue #155.