I am going to dedicate my column today to sharing some memorable and truly remarkable thoughts about, arguably, the one person in most of our lives who have been indispensable.
With all of us, it was the world of our mother’s womb that was the place of our conception and fetal development.
Then there are many with adoptive mothers who serve as an indispensable influence to why they are who they are today.
I have secured an unforgettable memory of their mothers from quite a few distinguished people I know.
These collective memories help to comprise a composite of the unforgettable mom, who’s the topic of our discussion today.
Mom, the Nurturer
When I think in terms of my mama and all the other true mothers who ever lived, one of the things that stand out about them that I will never forget was that they were nurturers.
Even before we were born, our mothers nurtured and fed us in the womb through the aid of an umbilical cord.
For many of us, it was the milk from our mother’s breasts that physically sustained us for the first few months of our lives. Then how can we forget the food that she fed us during our early stages?
I well remember my mom and others who would put the meats in their mouths (during the time of weaning) and chewed it to a mush, so that their precious baby could eat a little beef without being choked.
Oh, do we all remember mom the nurturer who, in many cases, would prepare breakfast for the family before she went to work. Then, cook supper in the afternoon once she came home from a hard day of toiling to make ends meet. Oh, how I remember mom.
Mom, the Breadwinner
Many mothers of various ethnicities are well remembered for their labor of love in order to keep food on the table.
Perhaps, at the top of the list of mothers who had to function in the role of being either the primary breadwinner or at least the secondary one, are African American mothers.
From as far back as I can remember, my mother and the vast majority of the others in our neighborhood had to work in order to make ends meet.
Even if there were fathers in the house who worked, these remarkable and unforgettable moms toiled on various low paying and often-grueling jobs, to keep the family afloat.
Back in the day, long before nlacks were allowed to work at Dixianna Mills, Hamer Spinning Mills, Craftex, and a few other places where folks were paid decent wages for the time and area, African -American women had to work in homes of many whites who could afford their services, as well as seasonal work in the cotton fields and under the tobacco barns.
I well remember when many of these maternal breadwinners were given jobs at South of the Border and the Basket Factory. These jobs afforded them a steady source of income.
So in our reflection of these unforgettable moms, one of the things that are fixed in our memories is the fact that they were hard working women and breadwinners, who helped to afford us a place to stay, food to eat, and clothes to wear.
One of the areas where all true mothers excelled was in the area of being a health care provider.
The first line of defense that we knew we could turn to when we were sick or had an accident was doctor mom.
Nobody came a close second to her when we were feverish, in agony due to a cold or flu, or had burned ourselves on a potbelly stove.
I well remember when I was young and growing up in Newtown, I jumped off of a woodpile onto a rusty nail that went almost through my right foot.
Oh, how it hurt and sent pain through my entire body! My doctor mom immediately came to the sound of my distress calls. She pulled the old rusty nail, which was in a piece of wood, out of my foot and went to work to apply her home remedy.
After soaking the wound with alcohol, she cut a piece of fat back meat and applied it to the punctured wound with a copper penny and some turpentine, which was secured around my foot with a piece of cloth.
Amazingly in a few days, the home remedy worked drawing all the pus and poison out of my foot.
Certainly all of you can recall a time or incident when your doctor mom, who was on duty twenty-four seven, had to come to your rescue and help bring you back to health.
Where would we be if it were not for these truly wonderful women who kept us healthy, whole, and in many cases, alive.
Mom, the Encourager
Can any of us deny that our first and greatest sources of encouragement and motivation came from our mothers?
From the time that we came into the world to this present hour (for many of us with living moms), she has been the one who came alongside to encourage and motivate us when we were going through a time of trouble and great difficulty in many things we were involved in that were challenging and downright hard while growing up.
Whether it was in the field of athletics, academics, or some other area that greatly challenged us to the point of throwing in the towel, most of the time it was our mom who encouraged and motivated us to not quit.
All of us can remember these trying times when we were in a ditch of discouragement and frustration about an issue of life that we were unable to get ourselves out of.
We were under siege, like a wagon train being attacked by hostile Indians and we thought all was lost until mom showed up like the U.S. Calvary and delivered us from certain destruction.
Like me, all of you can recall the times when your mom showed up to supply you with the necessary encouragement and motivation that proved to be the influence, the inspiration, and the force that made the difference at a very strategic time.
Mom, the Intercessor
Though there are many more areas that our unforgettable moms have served and sacrificed in for us that we lack space to include in my column today, we are going to conclude with the category of mothers who intercede and pray for their children.
Like SusannaWesley, the mother of the renowned Wesley brothers, John and Charles, many mothers’ prayers have been the primary reason why their children succeeded in life. Speaking for myself, I know that it was the praying of my mama that God honored and kept me out of trouble, prison, and perhaps even dying prematurely.
Do not underestimate, underappreciate, or in no way diminish the essential role that your mother’s prayers played in your life from conception to where you are today. I have been cited and told by many that one of the things they admire and respect about me is my passion and the priority I give to praying, apart from the grace of God (who deserves all credit and glory).
It was my mama, Marie Smith Goings, who instilled this magnificent obsession in me about praying. As a little boy, I would often hear her praying out loud in her room, with tears, about an issue or serious problem that had arisen in the family.
There was just no way I could fall off to sleep with my mama weeping and crying out to God like that. I know I speak for everyone who had and have praying mothers when I say, thanks, mom, for praying for me. Your prayers helped to make me who I am today. Truly, they will forever remain unforgettable!