Saturday, May 7, 2011


What can I say about a mother who paraded around Geneva, Alabama in colorful clothes, big hats, big jewelry, gossips be damned?

What can I say about a mother whose many bracelets clanged as she played the piano at the Baptist church and sang louder than the choir?

What can I say about a mother who encouraged us to sing while she accompanied us on the piano, as if we were giving a grand performance for Liberace?

What can I say about a mother who took me and my sister out of school in the middle of the year, and drove from Alabama to New Mexico to see the Caverns? And during the summer, she stuck us in camp while she studied art.

What can I say about this oldest daughter of Norwegian immigrants who married a man—our daddy—because he promised to buy her a piano and teach her to drive? Or so she claimed. After Daddy died, she chose not to marry again.

What can I say about a mother who loved water and painted beautiful pictures of water, but never learned to swim? Yet, she encouraged us to become good swimmers.

What can I say about her? A mother who raised two daughters alone while preaching: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness. A stitch in time saves nine. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And you won’t like most of what you do every day, but if you do one thing you like, you should be happy.”

What can I say about a mother who drove us to New York City to see “My Fair Lady” on Broadway, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, and in the middle of the night, when we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge, said, “Wake up, girls, New York City”?

What can I say about such a woman?

Words fail me, because it isn’t easy to honor a mother who chronicled our lives in movies?

Yes, she filmed us, as if we were stars in a reality show, long before it became popular. Thank God, she took the time to do that, because Alice Kay and I were able to salvage some of that film.

When Mother suffered the first of many strokes and was in a coma, I was certain the end had come. But then, she opened her eyes and said, “I’m so proud of you.”

Unfortunately, Mother is no longer on this earth, but in looking back, I know she did her best in raising me, and when she said she was proud of me, her words meant more than my words can say.

Now I have two grown daughters and a granddaughter and I hope they know how proud I am of them.


  1. I'm so glad you had a special relationship with your mother, Sandy. I miss my mom, too. But their spirit lives on in us. Good luck with your books! Hugs & Love

  2. Thank you Rachael. I hoped you enjoyed reading about my mother a truly remarkable woman as I'm sure your mother was. Sending hugs and love back.


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