Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner. Do you have plans? I know lots of people celebrate their love this time of the year. I think that’s great. However, showing your love for someone should be all about how you live every day. Because you never know when the other person may be gone. Which brings me to one of my most favorite love stories of all. The one about my Mama & Daddy. I will try my best to not let this be drawn out. I will also ask your patience as I squall like a baby the whole time I am telling this.
As most of you know, my mother passed away in 2002 from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. Leading up to that, I have to tell you, she was so sick. My Daddy had some choices to make. He could either stay around & try to take care of her the best he could or he could tuck tail & run as fast as he could. Well, he hung around.
Up until her sickness, they had been that couple. You know the ones. The ones that had it all together. The ones that people went to for help. The ones that were always there to support others. The ones that loved everybody. They were “the preacher & his wife”. Don’t get me wrong. Just like any couple, they had their problems. But in the end, they were right there for each other.
My Daddy got the job as caregiver far too early. When Mama was hurting & sick & tired of it all & she would call him to her bedside to pray for her, she would say,
“Just pray. Pray for me to go.” Well, good grief. Most people would have fell apart right there at such a request.
My Daddy has always been the positive one. He would say,
“You shouldn’t say that. Just think of all the treasures you are laying up in heaven.”
Confused at where he was going with this, she replied,
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“Well, “ Daddy explained. “you being sick, has been a blessing to others. Just look at all the good deeds people have done because of you. Our friends & family are here all the time, bringing food, paying visits, calling to see if you need anything. You are helping people to store up treasures in heaven.”
With that, she said, “Then store you up some treasures in heaven & go get me a bowl of ice cream.”
Daddy would get her ready for church, pick her up, put her in the van, & push her in sitting in a wheelchair. Some Sundays when Daddy finally made it to church with Mama, he would be exhausted. But he never complained. He worked 3 jobs so that he could make enough to pay for Mama’s medical expenses.
He got up every morning & made her breakfast before he set out on his 1st job. Not something frozen, warmed up. Homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, sawmill gravy, bacon, country ham, or sausage & fresh brewed coffee.
Daddy learned, from Mama, how to make the best biscuits in the world. He would be in the kitchen hollerin’ how much of what needed to go in the bowl. And she would be telling him, from the bedroom, how to make a well out of the flour & put the liquid ingredients in the middle of the bowl. That’s how my Daddy learned how to make the buttermilk biscuits, I would put them up against any granny’s out there. They. Are. That. Good.
When she finally had to go in the nursing home, he went to see her EVERY day. She had fresh flowers in her room, from him, at all times. On Daddy’s request, the manager at the local Hardee’s would make sure Mama had a smoked sausage & biscuit, day or night. If anything was wrong or amiss, it was my Daddy’s name my Mama was calling. When you ask Daddy how he did it all, he will kindly tell you he didn’t have to do it. He got to do it. Mama & Daddy loved each other before she got sick. But their real love story came after she got sick. That’s when the rubber met the road, so to speak. When the cream rose to the top. That’s when it really counted. It was a true, Godly love they had.
The one God said was between a man & woman.
My Daddy stepped up, out of love & honor, for my Mama. And she let him. That’s my favorite love story.
Lord have mercy, I am an emotional wreck after all that. But it’s ok. I wanted to share it with you all. Now that I’ve bawled my eyes out, I should feel better. I hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s Day. One with chocolate & the like. I should be getting some chocolate. When I say should be, I mean hope someone gets me some because, if I don’t receive any, I will be purchasing some. Just for the comradery of it all. Here’s wishing you chocolate kisses & Russell Stover heart shaped candy boxes filled with chocolates this Valentine’s Day. Until I get my own Valentine’s candy, I will be going because I should be washing clothes.