May 2014 article
May and Mother’s Day evoke many memories of my dear mother. Hardly a day passes that either my husband Steve or I will begin a sentence with “As Mamma Willie would say.” Her sayings have become known as “Wilieisms” in our family. She didn’t mean to be funny nor did she know she was, but recalling some of her sayings and comments never fails to bring a smile to my face.
When one of her children of grandchildren would achieve something, she would comment, “I’m so proud of you, I don’t know what to put you in.” Often when we would sit down to one of her lovely meals, there would be something on the table we didn’t recognize. Steve would ask, “Willie, what is in this?”
She would simply reply, “Something good. If I told you, you might not eat it.” She knew there were certain foods Steve wouldn’t eat. Turnip greens was one of those, but finally after she insisted he try them for the umpteenth time, he finally tasted them and actually liked hers. One reason was she thought a little sugar helped anything. She helped the greens a lot.
If there was a person who had fallen into some evil ways, Mother would whisper, “She’s just gone to the bow-wows.” One of her dear nieces and her husband had visited us from North Carolina. It was the middle of summer, but as we were all saying our good-byes, Mother said, “Your visit has just made Christmas.” We all had a laugh at the time, but now when something makes us happy, we quote her and say, “That just made our Christmas.”
Mother played the piano at their little country church from the time she was eleven years old until near her death at ninety-one. If she thought the music was dragging a bit, from her place on the piano stool, she would speak up and say, “Let’s pick that up a little.” In her later years, she would have problems finding the number the director would call out. One day she flipped through the hymnal one way and then back the other. When she finally found the number, she eased the tension the congregation felt for her when she spoke up and said, “That one almost wasn’t in my book.”
Yes it’s May, so I will follow the tradition which was important to my parents by going to Decoration Day, but as I place flowers on their graves, it won’t be with tears, but with smiles as I think of the joy they brought in my life.