I know her favorite TV shows. She won't miss American Idol. Or Letterman. She likes Regis. And Nancy Grace. Her favorite candy bar is a Mounds. I know her favorite place to eat out. Her favorite singer? Willie Nelson. I've watched her many nights sit in the floor and cry when he was on TV.
Her favorite book is "A Farewell To Arms." She loves turnip greens. She likes sports. Likes Brett Favre. Doesn't care much about the NBA anymore. But she loved Michael Jordan. And Larry Bird. And Pete Rose. Loves Alabama football. I've seen her cry when they lose. More than once. Funny how much we have in common.
I remember when I started to preschool. I would cling to her waist for dear life. Crying. Begging her not to leave me there. Now I realize that she was crying, too. Probably a lot more than I was. As soon as she was out of sight.
I remember how she'd take my sister and me to see our grandmother. Seems like we'd go several times a week during the summer. Then it seemed like just a fun thing to do. Now I'm so thankful we visited so often.
I remember she'd always fix me soft potatoes and chicken noodle soup when I was sick. And I know it was only Campbell's. But she must have done something to that soup. Because I always got better.
I remember how she used to push me to excel. If I so much as made a B on my report card, she wasn't happy. At all. And I knew it.
I remember having frequent nightmares when I was a kid. And Mom would always be there when I woke up, with a wet washcloth in hand, telling me everything would be alright.
I remember any time I acted up in church, she would inconspicuously pinch the living daylights out of me. It worked.
I remember her always taking less so that we could have more.
I remember her giving. To anyone who asked. Loaning money to relatives. Sometimes never being paid back. Although she'd never bring it up to them. And would probably be mad if she knew I mentioned it here.
I remember her always making time to visit friends and relatives in the hospital. And sending flowers and visiting when someone passed away.
I remember how she'd yell at me when I pitched in little league baseball. At the top of her lungs. Pitch after pitch.
I'd almost forgotten about that until a couple of years ago when I was playing softball. And I was standing in left field and heard her yelling from the stands. It's not quite the same when you're thirty as it is when you're seven.
I remember everytime I've seen her cry. She usually hides it well. But there have been a few times when she couldn't hold back in front of me. There is no feeling in the world like seeing tears in your mother's eyes.
I remember the day I moved out of my parents' house. She stood in the driveway with tears pouring down her face. I didn't really get it. But she did. Even though I was only moving a few blocks away. She knew that part of life was over. And things would never be the same again.
In that moment, she was saying goodbye to all the years. And maybe even remembering some of these very same moments that I have mentioned today. I never grasped the significance of that moment at the time.
As the years have flown by, and they do fly... Well, I understand it a lot more now.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom. And Happy Mothers Day to you, if you're a mom.
"Sometimes I think the devil has got me by the sleeve. Oh, Mama, don't forget to pray for me..."