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What your mama wants most today is you

POSTED: May 8, 2011 1:00 a.m.

I'm back and just in time to opine about Mother's Day.

Quite frankly, Mother's Day is a commercial creation designed to stimulate sales. Folks want to sell you something to give to your mama.

I'm not against it; I just have an aversion to any seasonal event that can have the word "sale" affixed to it.

We first started honoring George Washington's birthday because he was the father of our country. Now they have a mattress sale to commemorate the day.

I heard a commercial on the radio this week for an outfit that has a toll-free number you can call and have a pair of pajamas sent to your mama with a nicely printed card that tells her they are from you. Unless your mama is confined to a bed, don't send her some toll-free, mail-order pajamas.

What your mama wants is you.

If she is the woman who gave birth to you, she carried you for the better part of nine months. She likes to look at the end result of her work, whether you are age 5 or 50. If you spent nine months with a baby growing inside you, it's your right.

If she became your mother out of love, she deserves to look at you, too. Her genes may not have shaped you, but her hands guided you through life. If you turned out OK, then she has something to be proud of.

Years ago, after my mama died, I was going through her belongings. Among them were things my brother and I made for her, either at school or church. Sometimes they were made from pictures of models cuts out of the Sears Roebuck catalog. I always picked a shapely woman for my mama and a taller boy to portray me. I indicated this with the word "me" and an arrow pointing to the tall lad.

But mama particularly liked things made from tracings of my hands or feet. They used to let us step into a tray of paint and then step on a piece of construction paper. Nothing says love like a hand or footprint, unless it was made by a law enforcement agency.

I have a little bronze imprint plaque of my hand that Mama hung in the hall, next to one from my brother. That hand is no bigger than my palm. Mama held that hand many times as it grew nearer to its current size.

In my first school pictures, I managed to get my face all skinned up. Mama applied Mercurochrome, a lovely topical liquid that contained mercury. I probably have more toxic substances in me than I should, but Mama was convinced they were good medicine. I still have the pictures in her box of treasures.

This week, I hope you go and see your mama. Give her a big kiss and let her hold the hands that she guided when they were young.

God did a good day's work when he created mamas. He knew that little boys and girls would need the kind of nurturing only a mama can give. I can see evidence of her in my own life.

For the most part, we outlive our mamas. When they are gone, only the memories remain. I hope one of your best memories is a day spent with her.

I'd give a weeks pay, or more, for one more chance to do that.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose column appears on Sunday's Life page.



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