May 12, 2019

The Saddest Day of My Life

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 12, 2019

Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

My mother’s memorial service this past year was the saddest day of my life. The reality of my  mom’s love began to settle in and stretch my soul. Her love was unique, never to be replaced fully by any human substitute. My mom was a single parent, so her love was even weightier, as she carried an expanded capacity to fill the void of a father. So I wept and mourned over my mother. 

My tears were a tribute to her love, how she raised me in an honorable way. Thankfully, I did not weep alone, as teary hugs from friends and family dampened my cheeks and shoulders. Love and grief wept together to bring comfort and peace. Comforted sorrow expands my capacity to care.

Life consists of losses. The loss of a child. Opportunity loss. Financial loss. Relational loss. Physical loss. Every day we lose a day of life. But one of the most significant is the loss of someone who is dearly loved. When Momma died, a part of me died. How can a mother’s love ever be replaced? The one whose body I came out of lies horizontal 6 feet in the earth, never to verbally communicate her care for me again. Momma is gone and that still makes me sad.

I wish I could call Momma. Our every other day phone call doesn’t seem frequent enough now. Perhaps we should have talked daily, and I shouldn’t have been weary of her warnings about the weather and her complaints about her health. Ashamedly, I skeptically listened to what was to be her last self diagnosis of severe abdominal pain—which turned out to be a body ravaged with cancer in the stomach area. A son cannot call his mom too many times. A five minute chat with momma was the highlight of her day and a reminder of who raised me. Momma deserved my listening ear. 

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).

Yes life is busy, but what matters most before we bury our parents? Working extra hours, making more money for some uncertain day, maybe having more time at our disposal or taking a day off and hanging out with the one who brought us into this world and who prepared us to live life to the fullest. 

What would I do differentlyif I knew twelve months ago mom would be gone in a year?

I would walk with her a dozen more times around her garden and hear how too much or too little rain is affecting the tomatoes, since nobody romanced home grown tomatoes like Momma. I would sit on the back porch with her, sip strong dark coffee, and listen to Momma’s latest schemes to keep the deer out of her vegetables. I would brush off her three legged dog Dango a few more aggravating times and send him away with disgust at his smell and deformity. I know I should have more compassion and regard for animals, Momma was working on me, because she sure loved her dogs and cats. 

Momma’s gone, but the memories of her influence remain alive and well, like a rugged kitchen table beautifully stained and naturally scarred by boiling pots, food spills or permanent moisture rings from water glasses, she will forever mark my life with her warts, wisdom and hard work. 

“But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19).

I tie a bow on Momma’s memory with my tribute only a southern momma could portray:

MY MOMMA RAISED ME

My momma raised me to:

Clean my plate.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Gargle with Listerine, floss, brush my teeth,

and kiss girls who do the same.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Wash my hands before dinner—which was lunch, 

and before supper—which was dinner.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Feed the animals or not have any.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Say yes m’am, no m’am, thank you m’am, please.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Shoot a squirrel with a .22,

a quail with a .410,

a rabbit with a 16 gauge,

a dove with a 12 gauge,

and a deer with a 30/30.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Walk barefooted,

carry a cane pool,

dig up red worms,

wet a hook,

catch a fish,

scale ‘em, gut ‘em, fry ‘em up and eat ‘em. 

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Gig bullfrogs at night

with a spotlight,

fry up their legs, 

and watch ‘em jump around in the pan.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Catch fireflies, display them in 

a quart mason jar and nail holes in

the tin lid with an 8 penny nail.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Skip rocks on a small pond, 

and dream big dreams.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Eat homemade buttermilk biscuits

with real butter, sorghum syrup and sweet milk,

homemade cornbread cooked in a cast iron black skillet,

fried potatoes covered with catsup,

fried okra, fried chicken, fried livers and onions,

black eyed peas, field peas, crowder peas and english peas,

pinto beans, green beans, baked beans and white beans.  

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Pick blackberries, blueberries and plums.

To bust open a yellow meat watermelon in the field, 

suck up the juice, and spit out the slippery black seeds

and to kill snakes in the creek with a hoe.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Cut down our Christmas tree on her grandmother’s land,

somehow tie it on the back and top of our yellow Volkswagen,

and display it proudly in our home, like it was unveiled at

Rockefeller Center in New York City.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Work hard, tell the truth and be kind to everyone.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to: 

Be polite, be grateful and be compassionate.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Look people in the eye

and greet ‘em with

hello, howdy, good morning, 

good afternoon or how you doing?

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Say a blessing before a meal,

enjoy my food or at least act like I did,

take my dishes to the sink and wash ‘em.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Sweep and mop the floor, and vacuum the carpet.

Make my bed, wash my clothes, rake the leaves, mow the grass.

Pick up pecans and shell ‘em.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Dab alcohol, methylate or mercurochrome on a cut.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Believe castor oil and duct tape

solved most ailments and fixed broken things.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Play sports. Play my best. Play fair.

Play for fun. Play when I was hurt.

Play to help my teammates,

and play to win.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Read, be curious and ask questions.

Go to college, go to graduate school, 

and never stop learning.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Travel, learn from other cultures and serve people.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Love all people as individuals made in God’s image,

all races, all religions, all political persuasions.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Drive a stick shift,

change the oil,

wash the outside,

and vacuum out the inside.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Believe sweat is good, and debt is bad.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to: 

Cry, and to be willing to die, for someone I love.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Believe comfort relates to proximity, 

so when I found her daddy dead,

as a 12 year old boy,

she let me sleep on the floor 

next to her bed for a week.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Date girls from the south.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Love the Lord, 

and to marry someone, 

who loved the Lord more than me.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

Read the Bible and do what it says.

That’s how my momma raised me!

 

My momma raised me to:

 Be my very best.

To be the best Christian.

To be the best co-worker.

To be the best friend.

To be the best husband, dad, granddad, and father-in-law.

To be the best son-in-law.

To be best brother, cousin and grandson.

To be the best son.

 

Momma, this is how you raised me!

 

You done good momma, you done good.

No more pain, no more worries Mom.

Enjoy your rest, and your gardening,

 

 I’ll see you soon. I love you.

Listen to Boyd’s tribute to his mom, from Wisdom Hunters Podcast Episode 41

Prayer

Heavenly Father, fill me with your love and grace to love my mother well, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Application

How can I honor and love my mom in a way that makes her feel special?


Related Reading

Genesis 24:67; Deuteronomy 21:18; Psalm 113:9; John 19:26


Post/Tweet today

A son or daughter cannot call their mom too many times.  #WisdomHunters #momma


Worship Resource

4 minute video- Gena Hill- 


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