Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a
child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to
mean?  In my heart, it don't mean a thing. 

 ~Toni Morrison, Beloved,
1987

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. 
If you have not ordered flowers or gotten a card, consider this my
helpful hint to each of you, do something nice for your mothers.

Many of you that follow this blog know my mother and if you don’t
then you’ve still probably heard me tell a zillion stories about Big Sara.  I am without a doubt my mother’s
daughter.  I have her eyes.  I have her sass.  I have her sense of humor and I have her
hands.

 
With mom
My mother is the most amazing person I
know.  She has raised me for most of my
life as a single mother.  She has loved,
lost, and loved again.  She has affected
hundreds if not thousands of young lives as an educator.  However, there are two lives to which her
impact has been the most profound -Elizabeth and me.

Elizabeth and I both have a funny habit.  If we have a question, I mean a question
about ANYTHING, we call her. 

Where does the comma go in this sentence?
How long to you cook a brisket?
What grill cover should I buy?
Is Claritin or Zytrec better?

She always has the answer. 
Well, if she answers her cell phone – she has the answer.

If you knew me first and then you met Big Sara… there is only one
response possible … “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” To me, that is a
blissful compliment.  We have had our
share of hard times and difficulties in our relationship.  However, no matter what I say or what I do,
she always shows that she loves me.  She
doesn’t often agree with me, but I know she loves me.

I have teased her for years for leaving me places, and loving
Elizabeth more.  She might actually love
Elizabeth more.  Nevertheless, she gets
me.  Big Sara is the only person I have
ever encountered that understands me. 
She understands my impulsive nature, my need to make people laugh, the
snarky self that I show the world and she knows that underneath it all is a
very tender heart and a very scared little girl.

My mother can be lovely and crude in the same breath.  My mother can be demanding and entirely
giving in the same action.  My mother
teaches and comforts in the same embrace. 
My mother can grow a garden that rivals most.  My mother can pick a fine red wine, but she
prefers Blackstone.  My mother can hold
my hand through change, then grab on, and pull me back up out of hurt.  My mother did not have a strong and giving
mother in her life, so she found one in a treasured Aunt and passed that love
on to her children.  My mother’s
grandmother biological clock is ticking. 
My mother survived the darkness of losing the love of her life, and has
come out from that darkness as a brighter light in my life than anyone could
have imagined.

She is a sister, to her own brother and to her dead husband’s
sister and brother. She is a beloved Aunt to her nephews.  She is a teacher.  She is a mother.  She is a widow.  She is a wife and sous chef to her new husband.  She is Mimi Sara to his grandchildren.  She is the anchor for a family patched
together through love, loss and rediscovery. 
She is a lover literature and Lifetime Television networks.  She is the producer of the wedding of the
century between Eric and Elizabeth Porterfield. 
She is the most amazing kitchen organizer.  She is a creature of habit.  She will be an amazing grandmother.  She is in love with Christmas.  She is our collective memory… she holds the
stories of her youth, my grandparents, my father and his youth, and my own
youth.  She is our story keeper.  She is sentimental; everything she gives and
does has meaning and depth.  She is a
coach and mentor to dozens of young teachers that have worked with her. 

She is the reason that I read. 
She is the reason I have a tender heart. 
She is the reason I can laugh at myself. 
She is the reason that I want to be successful.  She is the only person I want when I am sick
or tired or have gotten my heart broken. 
She is the reason I speak up and stand up for myself. She is the reason
that I have no domestic skills of note.  She
is the best arm tickler in the world.  She
is the voice in my head and I just can’t drown her out.  She has been both mother and father to
me.  She is a call every Sunday morning at
10 am. She is the creator of the best Christmas stockings EVER. 

She is a legend at Renner Middle School.  She is a teacher of 37 years.  She is master of grammar and a lover of all
things Anne Frank.  She inherently
understands the mind of an eighth grader. This is part of why most instructions
have to be provided to me as if to an eighth grader… it is the voice of
instruction that I know.  She knows
nothing of sports except that the coach can most easily discipline boy students. 

She is a southern belle through and through.  She knows what china and silver should be
used.  She owns Sterling Silver Goblets –
in Grand Baroque.   All good southern women have Grand Baroque or
Francis the Second as their silver pattern. 
She knows that you never wear white before Easter or after Labor Day.
She knows the very best hairspray to use to escape the heat. She has a deviled
egg plate and she wears only real pearls.

She is all those things and more. 
Most importantly, she is my mother. 
My mother that I keep in a constant state of worry.  My mother who loves without question and in
her own special way.

Bottom line…she is Big Sara, my mother… who will always loom
larger than life in my heart and mind.

Since I don’t say it nearly enough, I love you Mommy.  Happy Mother’s Day.