Sometimes children call their Mothers different names depending on where they grow up:  Mom – Mommy – Ma – Mum – Mommy.  But, my love word for Mother is “Mama.”  The love she poured out to all of us 12 children would fill barrels and barrels and barrels that continually flooded over.  There was never a time when I did not know of her love; it was never-ending.

Proverbs talks about  “ Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trust in her….. She will do him good ….. all the days of her life. (31:10, 11a, 12)

Mama would probably say that to use the word “virtuous“ to describe herself was too big of a word.  She was a very down to earth person; she would probably use the word “plain.” But, good, humble, upright, moral, decent, compassionate, loving, hardworking, sacrificing only start to describe my wonderful “Mama.”

“She rises while it is yet night (still dark), and giveth meat (food) to her household …..with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard (gardens and fields).”  (Proverbs 31:15a,16b)

The sacrifices she made for us were unending. Usually, she was up at 5:00 in the morning preparing breakfast, biscuits and grits. Daddy was cooking bacon, sausage, or fatback as a meat with Mama. This was their special time together with no kids underfoot. The sweetest sound to this child was waking up to hear them talking, cutting up, and laughing together.  I can still hear her voice saying, “Now, Harvie, cut that out!”  Daddy loved to pick, so I can’t imagine what he was up to at those times.  Precious memories!!

After Daddy and my brothers finished plowing the garden by the house and laying the rows out, Mama would get us to help plant all the vegetables; corn, peas, butter beans, okra, tomatoes, onions, radishes, turnip greens, collards, beets, squash, and anything else you could think of.

Mama was always working in the fields planting, hoeing, chopping, picking, and harvesting when needed. Many nights after picking and shelling peas and other vegetables, she would be canning until close to midnight. Then, she would start the next day’s work again at 5 o’clock.  She sacrificed so much for our family.

“She stretched out her hand to the poor; yes, she reached forth her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20)

Another reason Mama and Daddy planted so many vegetables in the gardens and fields was because their hearts always wanted to help to bless others. There were so many times when people, black and white, would stop by to visit.  I never saw anyone who came to visit our home leave without bunches of fresh vegetables to help them out.

“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and her tongue with the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household.” (Proverbs 31:25, 26,27a)

I never realized how wise my Mama was until I got married. This realization hits most of us when we start our married lives.  She taught us so many things – how to treat others, how to cook, how to work and be responsible with our chores, how not to be selfish, and etc.  She taught us by example in every one of these things.

One day, Mama and I were talking about the importance of prayer. She told me, “I pray for everyone of you kids each day, without fail.” One of my brothers was prayed for more than the rest of us cause he had a habit of getting in trouble, and I know that his life was spared on more than one occasion. There is no doubt that Mama’s prayers made the difference in his life and the rest of us. God heard and He answered them.

Lord, I thank you for blessing our family with a Mother like our “Mama“ !!!

Love forever,

Tricia Cook

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