The Bible says “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” And, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:10, 28).
My mother wasn’t perfect. She was human just like the rest of us. She had her faults too, but I have nothing but praise for her.
My mother grew up in Bemiss. She went to Pine Grove school. She played on the women’s basketball team. She graduated from school, and soon after married.
Being a mother was a full-time job with my mother. She had eight children, and anybody knows looking out for eight children is a full-time job. That meant she also had eight dish-washers in the house. She had a crew for picking, shelling, shucking, steaming and putting away all manner of vegetables. She had a crew for hanging out and taking in and folding laundry. She had a housekeeping crew and landscape crew, and a crew for running down a couple of yard birds (chickens) on Saturday for Sunday’s dinner.
Being a mother is not an act, but an occupation. The moment a mother brings a child into this world their time from then on is occupied with taking care of that child.
My mother never neglected her duties as a mother. She was always there for her children. And whether with her or away we occupied her thoughts.
After her children were grown, she applied and got a job as a bus driver in Lowndes County. In her later years while she could still drive she house-sat and looked after others.
As a child I failed to see how special my mother was. I thought all mothers were like mine. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered how special she was and that there were very few like her.
While still at home children do not understand the strict rules they’re made to follow. They don’t understand the weight of the parent’s responsibility and all that goes into having a home and raising a family. The children may be critical while still at home but a little taste of real responsible parenting and their criticism turns to love, respect and admiration.
It wasn’t until after my mother’s death that I discovered what a great woman she really was. My mother was great because she was a friend to any and everybody. She was great because she cared about people. She was great and I praise her because of how courageously, with great long suffering, she bore up under tremendous suffering, heartache and pain, to be there for her children and be the mother they needed. And most of her suffering her children knew nothing about until after her passing, because she kept it hid from their eyes.
Shirley Caesar sings a song entitled, “I Remember Mama in a Happy Way.” And that’s how I remember my mother.
In May we honor those women who are special, who sacrificed, and made a difference in the lives of others. Well, my mother is at the top of the list. She is my hero and always will be.
My hero, my mother, passed away peacefully in her sleep July 4, 2014, and went to be with her Savior Jesus Christ. And I praise God for the mother I had then and now for the memories.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.