At our family get-togethers, often someone will tell something funny my mother did or said. I join in with the many humorous things I remember, but I would be amiss if I neglected to share just how fabulous she was.
Mom knew how to make something beautiful from near nothing. She made clothes for my sisters and me, often from chicken feed sacks (At one time, the sacks were made from pretty prints that could be recycled for such purposes.) If there was enough fabric left from some she bought for us, she constructed a fashionable dress for herself. She always looked as though she stepped out of Vogue.
Even though cooking wasn’t her favorite thing to do, she always had good meals prepared for us. I liked to cook, so from my preteen years, she gave me run of the kitchen. I could go out into our country store (The house and store were attached.) and select what I thought would be appropriate groceries for our supper. Often my idea of a great meal consisted of canned spaghetti and meat balls, canned creamed corn, and pork and beans. She always bragged on my gourmet delights
She saw to it that we were always involved in everything at church and taught us by example to read our bible. When we would be troubled about something, she didn’t always know how to fix it, but she would say, “Go to bed ad get a good night’s sleep; things will look better in the morning.” And they did.
Although it was my dad who always had something funny to say, my mom was funny when she didn’t even mean to be.
One day as we drove down the mountain to Gadsden, my mother kept telling me how beautiful the colors on the trees were. I looked at her to see if she had completely lost it because the trees, the grass, and every sprig of vegetation were winter dead. Finally, I noticed her rose-lensed sun shades. I said, “Mother, let me see those glasses a minute.” I put them on and, Shazaam, everything was colorful and beautiful. This gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.”
When Wesson oil and Clorox both came in brown bottles, Mother stored them under her sink. She had very little cabinet space. In a rush to get the turkey in the oven one Thanksgiving, she grabbed the Clorox instead of the oil and doused it over the turkey. Smelling her mistake, she quickly washed the turkey and skinned it. We all knew something didn’t look right about the turkey, and later, after much questioning, she had to confess her mistake. We joked for years about the time we had the all-white meat turkey.
She was the church pianist from age eleven until she was ninety. She struggled in later years finding the correct page. One day she flipped the pages in one direction, and then in the other, and when she finally found the hymn, she spoke up from the piano bench and said, “That one almost wasn’t in my book.”
Perfect she wasn’t, nor is any mother, but mine – Willie Cochran – was about as close as you can find. Pay tribute to your mom in some way this Mother’s Day.