Every time a new nurse would approach my mom, I would say, “Be careful, that is a mean mean woman right there.” I enjoyed watching the nurse stop in her tracks and look at me surprised and with a tad of fear but the main reason was to have my mom cut her eyes at me and give me “the look”. I loved getting “the look”, in my 61 years with her I have received “the look” at least 10,000 times. You see, the look was comforting to me at this point. After months of chemo therapy to battle acute myeloid leukemia the look let me know that she was near her right mind. For one minute she would be sharp as a tack and the next sentence she was the owner of the San Antonio Spurs.
She had the fastest backhand in the west. When I was growing up she did not allow talking back to her. I remember saying “but mom” before I could get the second “m” out of mom. “but mo” SPLAT right in the mouth. Believe me, the Sundance Kid did not want anything to do with her. She was fast.
One time she reached down to give me a swat and I reflex jerked my foot to cover my rear and she broke her wrist when she hit my cowboy boot. I told her it is a good thing I blocked that one because it could have been my bone that was broken. Yes, I would get another look.
She had eyes in the back of her head and she could see through walls. When her back was turned I would reach and try to sneak a cookie or a piece of her delicious fudge and she would say Bubba, I said NO! There was the time I was picking at a ham that had been sliced and she got so upset with me she told me go ahead eat the whole ham. I wanted to eat it but I knew better than to touch it again. Even with her telling me “I said eat it! Eat it all!” The devil on one shoulder was telling me “Show her! Show her you can eat it!” the angel on the other shoulder was saying “If you touch it again you are dumb as a box of rocks.” Some things you just never forget.
My earliest recollection of her was when we would eat breakfast and then go lay in bed and watch movies together on a black and white television. This was when I was 3-4 years old. I know because my little brother was born 4 years and two days after me and this was before my little brother. After my little brother was born we continued our movie watching but it wasn’t the same. It was still good but not the same. We recalled those days many times over the years as some of our most precious memories. Memories I will treasure forever.
My mom was beautiful with light blue eyes dark hair and a gorgeous smile. Her sense of humor was contagious and evident in her children and grandchildren who were infected by her.
She was a hard worker, my dad went to night school for eight straight years and held down a full time job during the day but when they decided for him to go to school full time to finish college faster my mom started working 2 jobs to help put him through school. She was an excellent homemaker and a great cook and I can remember when she was sick my dad would hold her up so she could iron his shirt. The only time she complained was when we would mess something up that she had just cleaned up. However, if she really got upset with us we would hear these words. “Wait till your daddy gets home.” We would kiss up all day long and think we made up for it and my dad’s first step in the house she would say, “Let me tell you what your boys did today!”
She was an awesome prayer warrior and she got it honestly because her mother was the greatest prayer warrior of all time. My mom was full of love. Never did I ever question her love for me or my family.
She was fearless. When she was the mayor of our city after working as the city secretary for years she held her own against the Ku Klux Klan who tried to run her out of town. Threatening to kill her and her children and burn all of our houses down. She held her course, and did the right thing.
She was fearless when she was told that she had the worst possible kind of leukemia and that she had days to weeks left to live. It was after this news she decided to go to MD Anderson hospital in Houston, Texas and fight for her life. She decided to take a clinical trial chemo and after the second round she went into a coma for two weeks and her kidneys shut down. After overcoming the coma when they took that feeding tube out and wanted her to eat even though she was so sick to her stomach knowing she was going to throw it up she tried to eat anyway. She was fearless while going to dialysis three times a week and the physical therapist. I was amazed at her determination to get out of bed get in the wheel chair and go to those treatments. She fought even though she was being moved from hospital to critical care unit to nursing home to hospital to her assisted living facility back and forth and never complained until she went back to Houston in the ambulance for the second time. She told me don’t ever put me back in an ambulance to go to Houston again. The cancer and the kidney doctors both recommended hospice. They said the chemo and the dialysis was too hard on her. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make but finally after really seeking the Lord’s will, He made it clear to me. When she was moved to hospice she was fearless.
All the workers at the hospice facility loved her. She was so grateful and thankful to them. We were told she would not make it two weeks in hospice but she made it two months. She was diagnosed with this dreadful disease the week before Thanksgiving 2015 and she fought until she died peacefully July 9, 2016. Exactly one month before her 83rd birthday.
We celebrate her birthday today 08-09-1933 and are so thankful to our Lord for blessing us with her. Rest in God’s Peace my sweet mom.