Don't take your mother for granted

Posted 5/12/19

The old quote says that time heals all wounds, but I don’t think this includes losing our mothers. It’s been seven years, and at times my heart still feels bruised.Each year on Mother’s Day, I …

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Don't take your mother for granted


The old quote says that time heals all wounds, but I don’t think this includes losing our mothers. It’s been seven years, and at times my heart still feels bruised.

Each year on Mother’s Day, I flip through the Facebook timelines of my friends. I love seeing the pictures and reading the stories about each of their mothers. Some of the posts are funny, but some are poignant. For those of us who’ve lost our moms, it can be an emotional time.

Losing my dad knocked the wind out of my sail, but losing my mother, took away my rudder leaving me adrift. 

My mom was not always an angel. She didn’t have a verbal filter. When she saw things that she didn’t agree with, her words could cut to the bone. She didn’t intentionally hurt feelings, but she sometimes did.

I’ve joked that my mama used to whip me with a rosebush if I messed up. She never did. But if I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to cut a keen hickory, I could settle the national debt with enough left over for a world cruise.

Dr. Benjamin Spock would not have approved of her methods, but I can honestly say that all of her kids knew how to behave at home and in public. We still do.

My mama had a soft spot for the underdogs. She pulled for the Braves when fans in the stands wore bags over their heads. 

If there was a kid in the neighborhood that needed a meal or a place to stay, there was always a welcome mat at our house. 

When I was in grammar school, we took in two sisters whose family was going through hard times. They lived with us for months in the old two-bedroom house in Sloss. When things turned around in their home, they moved out.  

We took in a young boy when I was in the fifth grade. He was a year younger than me, and his dad lost his job in the coal mines and couldn’t find work. At first, I wasn’t thrilled to share my bedroom with Billy, but he stayed with us for a year while his dad went to Montana and found work in the copper mines. By the time he left, we were like brothers and I teared up when he walked away. Mama cried, too.

She did laundry for people in Dora who were more affluent. My dad earned enough money to keep the lights on and food on the table, but mama used the money she earned on the side to buy the extras. She started shopping for Christmas each year at New Years and by the time Santa’s sleigh was airborne later that year, there were gifts for all of her kids and a few for the less fortunate kids we knew.

Later in her life, she was among the first in the community to help out at the Mission of Hope. She took the clothes that people donated to the mission and washed them at her house. When someone’s home burned, or they were in need, they could pick up clothes that were as good as new at the mission. I could go on about my mom, but I won’t. 

I will say this: If you still have your mom, never take her for granted. One day you may find yourself flipping through Facebook on Mother’s Day and wishing you could tell her one more time that you appreciate all she did for you. And that you love and miss her every day.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book, “Life Goes On,” is available on You can contact him via email at