Remembering Mama

Tomorrow will mark 19 Mother’s Days that I have spent without my mama.  Even though, she had her issues, and I guess all moms have some, she was a pretty amazing woman.  She loved to cook, listen and sing to music, and watch wrestling.  There are other things she loved, I’m sure, but these are the three that I most remember.  What I can’t remember is the sound of her voice, the way her perfume smelled when she got out of the car, and what she looks like without looking at a picture.  It’s cruel how the mind forgets the things we think it never will.

There are so many things that I would like to know about her.  So many questions I should have asked when I had the chance.  Teenage selfishness and preocupiedness robbed me from getting the chance.  The one thing I do know for certain, is that my mama was saved.  I’d like to share with you some memories of my mama, to celebrate the woman she was and wanted to be.

My mama’s name was Mary Jane Lail Smith.  She was born in 1957, and was very passionate about being a Scorpio.  She was the middle child at birth, and the middle child in death.  I know very little about her childhood years and growing up, and the things that I do know, aren’t really all that worth sharing.  We’ll skip to the important part.

Mama loved to sing.  You should remember this is all before the internet and iPhone apps for karaoke.  She spent hours, setting in front of a big ol’ stereo, with a plug-in microphone, hitting play and record at the same time to get her voice on tape.  We had some of the best times, just sitting in front of that beast of a radio, while mama sang.  She really liked gospel and country music, but when she sang for the radio, it was always gospel.

One night when I was little, I guess I was five or six, I remember her waking me up shouting.  She was so excited about something.  “I just got saved!!” she was shouting.  It was like two in the morning, but she was on the phone with someone, telling them that she had just asked the Lord to save her.  I wish I would have been more excited with her, but I had no idea what she was talking about.  Today, I am so thankful for this memory.  This memory gets me through those days when I miss her so bad, I just want to curl up and cry.  The days when I feel like a piece of me is missing… this memory… Oh how it helps me!  I know that I will see her again.  She will be whole and made perfect by the hand of God and we will be able to fellowship in a way that I only dream of.

A few years before she died, she began to attend church.  I can’t remember the name of the church, but I do remember that she loved it.  We went to eat at the pastor’s house once, and she made this pineapple cream cheese dessert, my dad named it “killer pie,” because he’d eat so much he thought he would die.  Ha-dads….  Turned out, the pastor’s wife was severely allergic to pineapple!  Mama played it cool and it became a nice, you tried to kill your pastor’s wife joke.  Her talent was in the kitchen.  I’ll go ahead and apologize to you now that you never got to taste her fried chicken!  Oh My!  I have dreams about this chicken – yeah that sounds even weirder when I type it – but anyway, I do.

She also enjoyed a good fishing trip, and was very stingy with her spot when she started catching them.  Once we sat on a cooler for what seemed like forever, just me and her trying to catch a big ol' catfish.  We never did though, probably because when you are seven, the idea of sitting still and quiet is completely insane!

Nintendo!  Oh my goodness.  We once stayed up all night playing a bugs bunny game we rented from the video store.  You had to stay up and finish since there was no save option.  Kids today, have no idea!! Right?  So there we are, in the living room floor, controllers in hand and seriously way past sleep time, I was probably nine.  Bugs Bunny had to go through all these pipes, but if he fell through the bottom, he was dead – life lost – and you had to start all over.  We were going and going, and then it happened.  Bugs fell to his doom through the bottom hole.  Mama, jumped up off the floor, yelled, “Nooooo!” and tried to catch him.  I almost died from laughing so hard!

She was awesome at holidays and always wanted her family to be around her.  Birthdays were always a big deal when I was young, and they were always celebrated with laughter and crazy cakes.  My dad’s birthday was four days before mine, so we always shared a party – by the way, this is weird and kids don’t really like it!

There was no one else like her on the planet!  I know everyone feels that way about their mom, or at least they should.  But it’s true, sadly, these are the only happy memories that I can remember about her.  Life and circumstances took over and that funny, Bugs Bunny catching, stingy fish spot having, delicious fried chicken making and beautiful singing seemed to just pass into a life of unhappiness.  On April 8, 1998, that life that still had so much to live, was ended.  At just 40 years old, my mama took her own life.  Sixteen of those years, I spent with her, loved her and cherished every happy moment, the tiny handful of moments, that I have shared with you today.

Mamas listen to me…  Don’t leave your babies with a handful of happy memories and unanswered questions.  Spend time with them every day, let her know that she matters and is important to you.  Take every minute you can and let them soak you up.  You might think that you’ve lost that teenage daughter, or that your boy has “better” things she can be doing with his time, but I want to tell you – YOU ARE WHAT THEY WANT!!!  She wants to have that time with you, to make those memories and to have great and amazing adventures with her mama.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could call her, or ask her advice on what to do about my girls.  I know that it’s Mother’s Day, a day that is set aside for your children to let you know how much they love you and Praise God for this day!  Let’s make sure that when our children remember Mother’s Day 19/20 years from now, their minds are flooded with happiness and more memories than they can fit in there.  No, parenting is not all fun and games, serious times come and are needful.  But those babies, who are laying in their beds sleeping right now, they are going to need those happy memories to get them through when we are gone!!

Take pictures!  Tons of pictures!  I only have four pictures of me and my mama together.  I am seriously a crazy selfie picture taker with my girls for this reason.  I want them to see pictures of us together that are hilarious, crazy and whatever!  One day, they may need those pictures to remember our faces, to bring back those funny times and to think about what fun we had together.  A picture can bring back such sweet memories of how much I loved them and wanted to be with them.  Children NEED those memories mama, take a million selfies a day with your kids if you want – become the Mamarazzi and drive them insane.  One day, they will be thankful for all those memories.

The Early 80's Were So Not Kind . . . Hahaha!  Take the Crazy Christmas Photos Mama!

More important than anything else, your child needs to know that you are born again.  That you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and that should anything happen to you, that they will see your precious face again, if they do the same.  Mama, are you Saved?  Do you know where your eternity will be spent?  If you can’t answer yes to these questions, please get that settled in your heart today!  Click Here to learn how you can accept Christ today!

Happy Mother’s Day Mamas!  

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