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I miss my mother

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By David Davis

It is early Sunday morning; Mother’s Day.

I do not need a special day to remember momma. I miss her being around. I wish she were here right now to do my laundry, fold my clothes and put them away.

I think of my momma every morning when I straighten my bed and especially on laundry day when it is time to change the bed clothes. 

I wish the smell of sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy came from the kitchen every morning, but it does not.

I wish I could set down with her at the kitchen table and tell her what I learned in high school or college.

I wish I could finally make her understand what I did in the Navy. Every time I went home on leave she asked, “Now what is it you do on ships?” I was proud of my job as an Interior Communications Electrician. I explained to her in detail that my job entailed working on all kinds of alarms and indicators, the General Announcing System, shipboard radio and closed-circuit television systems, intercoms, sound powered telephones and the shipboard telephone system. Finally, onetime out of desperation, I said, “Momma, I work on telephones. I am the telephone man.” I saw in her eyes that I finally gave her something identifiable. She looked at me and said, “That’s good, you can go to work with the phone company when you get out.”

I wish she were here to give me that “look” of disappointment that only a mother can give a son.

If she were here right now, I would purposely make her mad to see her stomp her foot and get so frustrated she would blurt out, “dad-durn-it!” instead of “dad-blame-it!” or “dad-gummit!” She never said it very loudly or stomped her foot very hard, she could not.

In stature, momma was a small woman at 4-feet 11-inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. There was a hump between her shoulder blades and one leg was shorter than the other. She never talked about those characteristics and I would never have known momma had polio when she was 7 years old if not for her younger sisters. They said momma cried when she got her Medicare card because she did not think she would live that long and it was sheer willpower that she survived until her 50th wedding anniversary.

I had three brothers and one sister. I was the youngest. My oldest brother died in a car wreck. Momma never filled that hole in her heart. One brother died in childbirth, and many years after my mother’s death, my remaining brother committed suicide. Now, it is just my sister and me.

The fact that my momma was a strong woman was never lost on me even though she never complained about her health. I never could and still cannot imagine her birthing me, because I weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces at birth. 

When momma died, her doctor expressed amazement that she had lived until she was 70 years old because, “None of her internal organs were where they were supposed to be.”