What Mama Said

What Mama Said

What Mama Said                         February 2018

My mom was a stunningly beautiful woman who loved her husband through their 45-year marriage.   Dad was a true Marine, surviving five plane crashes and shoot downs in WWII, but that is for a later story.   She always said, “I will follow you wherever they send you.” Mama D, as she was called by the three cousins who Mama and Daddy Bob adopted, always knew what to say.   Here are some of her gems.

When I was about nine, she saw me stooping down to pick up a quarter I saw on the ground in a parking lot.   Mama said, “Bobby, does that belong to you?” I said, “No Mama.” She said, “Then put it back.”

She wanted me to know about unsuccessful efforts on causes and said, “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”

Mama had a sure fire formula for pleasing the dinner needs of our family of seven. She used the 7+1 technique. She prepared eight different dishes that caused them to shift the day of the week on which they were served, never falling on the same day.   They included fish sticks, porcupine meatballs with rice, fried chicken, tuna casserole, spaghetti and meat balls, hamburgers and fries, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. I remember all eight.

While complaining to her, before I married, about one of my cars, she said, “Bobby, you have to pay for your toys.”

When the car wouldn’t start, she would always say, “Slam the hood down.” Dad told her she was crazy; then he would get angry and slam the hood. It always started right up as Mama smiled at him through the windshield.

In church Mama would say, “This is important. Stay awake.”

She once asked me what I thought about having Duke Snider, the left field slugger for the Dodgers, as my church counselor. When I said he was a regular guy, Mama said, “Never forget that the people who look special to the world, should all be regular guys to those they love.”

For us five kids, one of Mama’s favorite questions was, “What do you want to eat for your birthday?” One year I picked a lemon meringue pie, and I was allowed all of it to myself. It was so rich. I think I can still taste it. I made it through half of it.

To reduce dental cavities in her five kids, we heard Mama say, “You better eat the candy you want because I hear the Halloween Pig is coming tonight.” That was on November 2nd every year. While we slept, she packed it all up. Mama also had an Easter Goat.

Days before dying she whispered, “Death is the ultimate embarrassment.”

On her death bed Mama called out , “Tell Jesus I’ve got my bags packed and I know where I am going.”

And always when we headed out for choir practice, “Sing pretty.”

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