"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
I'm wrapping up this series of blogposts in tribute to Mama. Having said that, I reserve the right to share more about her. She was one of the greatest impacters on my life.
A couple of weeks ago, Shane and I were watching TWO WEEKS NOTICE. (I'm a big rom-com fan . . . ). There was a quote that struck me like a ton of bricks: "But for better or worse, she's the voice in my head pushing me to do better." Lucy was speaking about her mother, who was a "piece of work." This conversation could have been absolutely been mine about Mama. My sister and I sometimes joke still about chopping vegetables. I can rarely peel, chop, slice, dice, mince or any other kitchen task without hearing her voice in my head. "Too much, not enough; too thick, too thin, wrong knife, not even, etc." While those words felt critical as a daughter growing up, they were Mama's way of pushing us to always do better. Looking back, I can see so many of her words in a different light now than I had heard them growing up. But for better or worse, she's the voice in my head, pushing me to do better. I hear you, Lucy. I feel you, and Mama, I hear you, too. I understand what you were trying to do, and I'm sorry for the times I was too much, too little, too uneven, too loud, too lazy, too _____.
ilyWhen we held the service for Mama a few weeks ago, I was a bit surprised when my husband (who did the service) chose to use Proverbs 31 as a scripture reading. But as he began reading, it became clear that it was quite apropos. Oftentimes, it is the scripture held up as a mirror to women of the church to see if you "measure up". And it often seems an arduous task. But here, as Shane read the passage, I realized that most of it fit Mama well. Granted there are a couple of things -- like the whole getting up early to feed/take care of your family and plan your daily business -- yeah, not so much that one ;-) What a blessing to know, in spite of faults and flaws, that the bulk of that description fits.
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Over 50 people came to celebrate her life with us and honor her memory. There are more that would liked to have been here and could not. My dear friend, Janet, spoke of 2 memories of Mama -- Mama came to their house when Janet was a young wife and said, "Janet, what are you doing?" Janet said, "I'm trying to cut up this chicken, Mona." Mama said, "You are massacring that thing. Here, let me show you how to cut up a chicken." And she did. That is quintessential Mama -- the brash, know-it-all, tell-you-the-truth-whether-you-want-to-hear-it-or-not Mama. . . But then she also told the story of Mama's honesty, friendship, and integrity when Janet said some things after surgery while still under the affects of anesthesia, and Mama promised to take those words to the grave and never tell a soul -- and she didn't; not even to Janet :-)
Then, my other best friend (since fourth grade) stood up and told of how Mama's hospitality shone and how she enjoyed spending time at our house and how she cherished some special moments when her family wasn't present and I shared my family with her. Mama accepted her and treated her like family, because she was. Rachel knew she was loved by Mama and that she was truly part of our family.
Mama wasn't perfect -- far from it. But she was a virtuous woman, a hospitable woman, an honorable woman, a loved woman, a woman of faith and integrity. I am so thankful that I learned to appreciate her before it was too late. I'm grateful that she knew I loved her and that I knew she loved me.
There are no words to say how much she is missed. Every day brings some little (or big) conversation that I want to share with her, ask her advice about. The pain of not being able to do that is palpable at times. Grief still hits hard sometimes, but less often. That, in no way makes the love any less.
We will continue to rise and call her blessed, and we all look forward to the day when we can see her again and catch up, and I sure do hope that when I get to Heaven, she'll have a big pot of stew beef ready. We'll have lots of catching up to do!
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!