A Day for My Momma

“My mom and I are close,” can be taken a lot of different ways. I’ll put it this way. Up until the age of 25, my mom and I talked every night on the phone. I would tell her how I was feeling and what was going on. As every Southern momma does, she would catch me up on what was going on and who died. It got to a point that, when I was living in New York and my cousin moved in with me, my cousin prefaced a story by asking me “not to tell your mom about this.” BUSTED! I couldn’t argue. I scoffed at first, but she was right.

Here are a few reasons why I can’t stop praising, talking to, and loving my momma:

  1. She will always let me call her “momma.”
  2. My mom is my first call. I know she will be able to do something about the problem, listen with a sympathetic ear, or be excited for and with me.
  3. I have never doubted her support and love for me. She will always believe in me. When I didn’t know what I believed in, she sent me a card saying she loves me no matter what I believe. She hugged me and told me she loved me when I came out to her.
  4. She let me talk about topics that made her uncomfortable and ask uncomfortable questions. She listened, offered advice, and didn’t judge. She let me have an opinion that was different from hers without arguing or scolding.
  5. She’ll always be my #1 fan. As a kid, she came to all our games and shows. Now, she likes every picture and comment on every Facebook post. She knows how to use her emojis and isn’t shy about using them.
  6. She has always been my role model in ways big and small. She worked. She took care of us. She took a job that allowed her to come to all our events. She played on an adult soccer team when my sister and I played as kids.
  7. She answers her phone or immediately calls back. Only once did she not answer her phone or call back within five minutes. I could only assume she had been in accident and called every member of my immediate family.
  8. She gets all the hand-me-downs. My parents would buy us new phones, cameras, or computers. My mom would take our old ones. She didn’t ask for new things. Now, we know to give her new things without her asking because she takes care of her things and appreciates them.
  9. She always has a coupon. She carries them in a coupon book in her purse, looks them up on her phone when we are at the store, and searches for them online at home. She triple-checks for any rebates or refunds. She looks for sales and is a smart shopper. She buys her clothes at Steinmart. She’s never been concerned with labels. She pulls it off, too.
  10. She cleans the house for hours on end. My dad tried to get a housekeeper when we were younger. No one can beat my mom’s cleanliness. She does the dishes, laundry, yardwork, and washes our cars.
  11. She’s not afraid to try to fix something first. She has saved at least hundreds, probably thousands, of dollars by ordering and installing parts herself. Car, dishwasher, washer, dryer, refrigerator. You name it. She’s done it.
  12. Every weekend, she would wake up early, put on her cotton shirt, a pair of shorts or jeans, tennis shoes, and a headband to keep her thick hair out of the way, and she would mow the lawn. She mowed our lawn, which had a steep incline, with a broken mower that didn’t self-propel. She and my dad finally bought a new one.
  13. She and my dad moved me in and out of every house and apartment without hiring movers. I found out I had to work on moving day, and my whole family moved me out of my apartment.
  14. When she offers her help, she genuinely wants to help. Even if you, like me, are horrible about accepting help and get easily angered if she does something you don’t agree with while she’s helping. Sorry, mom.
  15. She cries and lets it show when she’s sad or hurt.
  16. She forgives when she is hurt. When I was sad and scared about leaving, we were listening to “Wide Open Spaces” in the car driving up to New York. She was helping move me there. She asked if I was playing the song because I related to it, I curtly said, “No.” We both started crying—her out of frustration with my mood and because I was leaving, and me for the same reasons. I told her I was sorry. A few minutes later, all was forgiven and forgotten. We were back to joking and laughing. She helped me with everything with a smile on her face.
  17. She has the patience of a saint. She waits in line for tickets. She waits for me to get ready. She will call any company for anyone. Whether it’s to set up or cancel a service, resolve a dispute or complaint, or handle anything, she’s on it. She has stayed on the phone for over four hours to talk with a representative.
  18. She used to drive for 3 and half hours one way to come celebrate my birthday. She would drive back the same night to be at work in the morning. She would do the same for her nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, parents, and friends. When Deaven and I were planning our wedding, she would drive for an hour after work to meet us at our apartment at least once a week.
  19. She loves her dogs like her kiddos. She sleeps on the floor with them when they’re not feeling well. She feeds them chicken noodle soup to nurse them back to health. After my grandparent’s dog accidentally ingested a toxin, she fed him chicken noodle soup. He had lost his eyesight and the ability to walk. She nursed him back to health. He regained the ability to walk and his eyesight through her love and care. She sings songs to the dogs while she brushes their teeth. She had an Easter Egg hunt for our dog. She asks to see our dog Waylon while we FaceTime. She tells him she loves him on our birthday cards.
  20. She sends my sister and me a goodie basket for every major-themed holiday, including Easter to St. Patrick’s Day. In college, I got a ticket for jaywalking close to my birthday. The fine was over $100. For my birthday, she gave me a candle holder shaped like a bird. She put cash for the fine inside. She joked that it was my jaybird.
  21. She likes telling fart jokes. She laughs loudly at herself. She doesn’t mind telling embarrassing stories and taught me the value of laughing at yourself.
  22. She sings and dances in public. By “in public”, I mean at the grocery store, a restaurant, or clothing store if her song comes on. At the end of movies, we would always get up and dance together. I now keep up the tradition and dance while Deaven watches.
  23. She made me feel proud of my body and my butt. I did get it from her. She told me her nickname in high school and college was B.B. for big butt/bubble butt. She showed me where someone wrote “B.B.” in her yearbook.
  24. She would help write succinct, witty titles for my essays. They were always clever.
  25. She keeps me up to date. She knows all the happenings. She calls me immediately to tell me about anyone getting married, having a baby, getting sick, or dying.
  26. As a mother and natural worrier, she tells me the worst-case scenario of any situation.
  27. She taught me how to keep up and keep moving. She walks as if we are running from the apocalypse. She makes it look easy. I would pause to look at something in the store, look up, and she was already gone.
  28. I got my sense of direction from her…so we’re often going the wrong way together.
  29. She tries things even when she’s scared. She isn’t a big fan of skiing, yet we went on many trips growing up. She would take the gondola up and have lunch with us and then happily sit and watch us come down the mountain. She also skied down a black and blue and then decided to stick to the bunny slopes. She knows her limits. She takes joy in watching others enjoy themselves. Until I grew up, I didn’t realize how big a deal it is to be able to have fun just by watching those you love have fun.
  30. She’s a nurse forever and always. She stops at wrecks or whenever medical help is needed. She’s helped save stranger’s lives countless times without anyone’s acknowledgement.
  31. She’s always been the designated driver and responsible one. It’s a rare occasion when she drinks, and it’s usually no more than a beer or Bloody Mary. She did once take tequila shots with me, my sister, and my dad’s family. Her twisted face said it all.
  32. She gets together with all three of her siblings every month. She has a fraternal twin brother. People often mistake her other brother for her twin.
  33. She is loud and proud. I used to be embarrassed but secretly love it when she would yell and cheer. Now I proudly join her.
  34. She knows her high school fight song and will say “Eagle Fight Never Dies.” She also knows her college fight song and will forever be a die-hard Longhorn fan.
  35. After years of saying she wanted to move back to her hometown, she moved back to Walburg. Her and my dad built a house that overlooks my grandparent’s house. I am proud of her for following through with her dreams and making her dream a reality.
  36. We could never thank her enough, yet she still does it all with a smile on her face.

I love you, momma!

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