In Honor of Mother’s Day – Things My Mama Taught Me

When the telephone rings, the world is a good and happy place – wrongs are righted, arguments cease, and tears dry.

My childhood is laced with moments of awe as I watched my mother transform from a fire-breathing – I’m going to half-kill you for that! – What were you ever thinking? – Drop your draws, because you’re getting a beating!! – dragon into a pearl wearin’, child lovin’, Bible totin’ mama.

At the first “Bring, bring…,” hope stirred in my tummy. By the second “Bring, bring…,” I could see the fire fading. And by the third “Bring, bring…,” I knew salvation was nigh.

Rubbing my happy heiney, I’d run from the kitchen and leave the strange, but thoroughly lovable Donna Reed to her conversation. I stand assured that I wouldn’t be alive today if it were not for the telephone. I only wish we had cell phones.

I owe Graham Bell a thank you card.

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Never be ashamed to show your true colors.

During the longest, hottest part of several summers, my aunt and grandparents whisked my cousin, my brother, and myself off to the Jersey Shore for a vacation. We splashed in the water while our skin baked to a warm pink. We raced on the boardwalk looking for samples of fudge and taffy. At night, we threw coins in arcade machines faster than grownups could say no. We had pure summer fun.

One sunny afternoon shines a little brighter than the rest.

The phone rang.

My mother called to tell us her exciting news. She painted the living room a surprise color and couldn’t wait to show us. For the rest of our ten days at the beach, I thought about color.

Sky blues, sandy beiges, milky cloud whites, chlorine greens, and swimsuit pinks blurred my vision of home. I couldn’t wait to see what my mother had done.

What had my mother done?

Our living room shone a tangelo orange well past labor day’s no-more-bright-colors rule. My uncle wore sunglasses in our house until his eyes adjusted (for about a year), and I saw that style and color are personal choices.

No matter good reason, show your color!

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Life may hurt and tears will come, but always know “You’ll Live.”

I wasn’t a reckless child, but I sure was clumsy. Family would tease me for having two left feet and if I’m honest, my pigeon toes did not help keep me upright.

I fell up the flight of stairs to our apartment. I fell down the flight of stairs at school. I tripped in parking lots, scraped my knees playing jump rope, and twisted my ankles walking down the street. Bruises, scrapes, and cuts were the defining marks of me. Strong bones and springy muscles spared me real harm; however, my young body hurt.

Before my tenth birthday, I cried more tears of shame than pain.

No matter the fall, no matter the blood, no matter the tears, my mother would always glance my way and say, “You’ll live!”

I didn’t get Barbie bandages or healing treats, but I learned to get back up and carry on. Life doesn’t stand still for bumped and bruised girls; life goes on.

I’ve never forgotten the message. Even now, when I want to succumb to a heap of tear-stained whines, my mind reminds me – I’ll live. So I get up and go on.

And those are a few lessons I learned from my mother.

Thank you mom!

I’m linking with Mama Kat today.  Click on Mama Kat’s button and go read lots of other stories about lovely moms.

Now I know you learned some lessons from your mama too.  Share in the comments!

Comments

  1. says

    “Sara Burnheart, you’ll live.” We might be related. “Clutzerella”. That one too. And my favorite was “Don’t leave the house without your warpaint on!”, (that would be make-up).

  2. says

    I feel as though we may of grown up in the same house. Love the stories of your mom. Seriously who doesn’t love Tangelo Orange. She was just ahead f her time. I think I may of crossed paths with fringe man, Used to go the hardcore shows with my hubby in NYC back in the day.

  3. says

    Love this post! What a sweet tribute to your mom! My mom always says to never leave home without a little makeup on – “Put your best face forward.” For a long time I thought she was crazy to think this way, but, as I have gotten a little older, I know that I need a little something to brighten up my face! :)

  4. says

    Such sweet lessons! My mom taught me bunches as well. I loved our moments in the kitchen and her decorating saavy…and I only wish that I had picked up some of her talent!

  5. says

    What sweet memories! Love the pictures, too!
    I used to resent that my mom wasn’t the “cuddle you like crazy” sort of mom when I skinned my knee or hurt myself. Then, when I had kids, I realized how smart she was! Too much attention, and that boo boo seems to hurt more. And she was right – everything did get better by the time I was married! (Her favorite expression.)

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