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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

What Mama didn't say

Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012, at 3:31 PM

Mothers are full of advice.

From the time we are born, our mothers direct, guide, and teach the rules of life.

My mother told me to wear clean underwear in case I was in a wreck. I usually walked wherever I was going, but then, someone in a vehicle might have struck me down.

Of course, that never happened.

She taught me to respect my elders; to say, "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir."

I was to eat with my mouth closed and to sit up straight. I was to keep my skirt over my knees, ladylike.

There were lots of life's rules for my two brothers and sister.

But mama wasn't strict. We had lots of freedom to do our own things.

She just expected us to behave, to excel in school, and to be a credit to our community. She didn't preach; she suggested.

There were some things she didn't tell me.

She didn't tell me that the honeymoon doesn't last forever.

She did hint at it.

She told me that I'd get tired of washing dishes.

She didn't tell me I would cook about a million meals and wash as many dishes.

I didn't know my kitchen and I would be wed for most of my life.

After I married the man who won my heart, I learned the bloom eventually fades, that life settles into a more humdrum daily existence.

I learned life is not like the soap operas with drama at every turn.

I learned Hollywood is not the model to follow.

Mama didn't prepare me for the homesickness I would feel at being separated miles from my hometown and my family.

When it came time for me to have my first child, Mama took me aside and told me I wouldn't die.

"Wouldn't die?"

That wasn't too comforting.

But she was right. Giving birth was the most painful experience I'd ever encountered.

I didn't know that was biblical, ordained after Eve sinned in the Garden.

What mama didn't tell me was how that first baby and the son to follow would capture my heart for a lifetime.

She didn't tell me about the joy of seeing a little mind sponge up everything around it.

She didn't tell me about the triumphs and the challenges I would face.

Or the curves that life would throw at me.

She didn't tell me how to squeeze a dime or how to live on love.

But she left with me a sense that "everything would be okay."

I did learn on my own everything isn't always okay.

We live with emotional and physical hurts.

We learn life isn't fair and not everyone is trustworthy.

Those are hard lessons to learn.

Those are things Mama didn't say.



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From these hills
By Peggy Johnson
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