June 06, 2022

A Mama’s Love

Charles D. Williams, MD, FACR

Mother’s Day is the day we set aside to honor those who brought us into this world and cared for us. If your mama is still alive, go see her. Tell her she is appreciated. I wished I could.

So often we don’t appreciate the best moments of our lives and the most important people until it’s too late. Life is about change, and today’s joys may be tomorrow’s memories, but on Mother’s Day I’m at least thankful for the memories. We need to pay more attention to the treasures in our lives while we still have them. Mama once said to Pedro, “Enjoy the little things in your life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Mama had about as little as anybody I’d ever known, but I never heard her complain about anything she didn’t have. My mama lived through a depression and a world war. She placed value on truth and honor. She wanted a brighter future for her son, and she delivered.

My mama was a praying woman, and I know this ‘cause she walked through the storms of life with her head held up to the heavens. One time she was looking up and I heard her say, “Oh Lord, some way, somehow help my son git the schooling I never got, which he needs to help him on in life.”

She listened to my prayers at night, and she woke me in the mornings. She listened to my concerns and gave me encouragement. Pedro did not feel very smart until mama kept telling him he was, and then he was.

My mama loved me enough to teach me right from wrong. She loved me enough not to give me ever’thang I wanted. She made sure I knew the importance of education, and that gift has taken me places I never dreamed of. Most of all she gave me love. One time, mama said, “Pedro, you’ve outgrown my lap but you’ll never outgrow my love.”

Some of my best memories of mama were at the supper table. The supper table was the center for teaching values, expressing feelings, sharing and hearing mama’s sayings. I think we’d all be better off spending more time with our own children at the supper table, even if you want to call it dinner.

Pedro learned a lot from mama at the supper table. First, I learned I had a place in the family and that I belonged. I also learned to share and pay attention to the number of folks at the table, so I could take the proper portions. I was grown before I realized the neck wasn’t really mama’s favorite piece of chicken.

Mama watched our manners, and I cudn’t fill my plate until ever’body was seated and the blessing had been said. When you wanted something passed, you said “please” and then “thank you.”

One time, mama asked Pedro if he wanted some beans. Pedro replied, “No.” Mama said,” No what?” Pedro replied, “No beans.” Mama then said she wanted us to say, “No, ma’am,” “Yes, ma’am,” “No, thank you” and “Please.”

Mama’s sayings at the supper table still ring true in my ears, even on Mother’s Day:

  • “Being nice don’t cost a dime and is worth a fortune.”
  • “Please and thank you will take your further than a Cadillac, for a lot less money.”

One time she said to Pedro, “I know you licked the plate clean, but I still have to wash it.”

Of all mama’s sayings, the one I remember the most and that meant the most was, “I love you, son.”

On this Mother’s Day, I wish with all my heart I could once again go back to the old homeplace, see mama and say, “I love you too, mom.”