Happy Birthday, Mama!

I have had this blog post on my mind for over a month now, but today is the appropriate day to share it.

I was driving to work one morning when the story of the oldest person in a neighboring county came on the radio.  She was celebrating her 110th birthday.

It’s not the fact that she was turning 110 that made me love this story so much.  Or the fact that during the radio interview (click on link and see the “Listen” link in the story to hear the actual interview) you hear her social worker yelling, “HOW DOES THAT FEEL [to be the oldest person in the county]?”

110 year-old Sina Hayes takes a break after eating breakfast in the meeting room at Brookridge Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, N.C. She displays one of her favorite quilts she has made over the years.Credit Keri Brown

110 year-old Sina Hayes takes a break after eating breakfast in the meeting room at Brookridge Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, N.C. She displays one of her favorite quilts she has made over the years.Credit Keri Brown

What I loved about this story was that her 88-year-old and 90-year-old sons flew into town to help her celebrate her 110th birthday.

How awesome would that be to be 90 years old and still have your mama around?  Of course, I can see her 90-year-old son telling his friends at his rest home, “I’m flying home to see my mom for her birthday.”  They’re probably thinking, “Oh, Bob has stopped taking his medicine again…”

I hope that when I am 87, I still have my 110 year mama around.  And maybe, instead of flying into town to celebrate her birthday, my nurse can just roll me from room in the nursing home into her room in the nursing home.  And we can complain that my sister never visits us, how the green beans just aren’t as good as the ones that she used to make, that we wished we could still see so that we could pluck those chin hairs, that someone would change the channel to Discovery ID because our favorite true crime show is getting ready to come on, and how happy we are that they made chocolate cake for her birthday because we both love chocolate.

Happy Birthday today, Mama!  Here’s to at least 44 more — let’s aim for 110!  Hugs and kisses.  Cristy

Lady Mama

I named my blog “My Mama Always Said” because someone once pointed out to me that I started a lot of my stories with the phrase, “Well, my mama always said…”  And she really did have a lot to say, as I wrote about in one of my very first blogs.  I didn’t realize until I was Googling one day that most people associate that phrase with “Forrest Gump”, followed by “that life is like a box of chocolates.”  My mama never said that.  She said life isn’t always fair.  She said that you should eat chocolate if you get the chance.  But she never put life and chocolate in the same sentence.

So, I’ve spent my life hearing, listening (because there is a difference between “hearing” and “listening”) and repeating my mama’s words of wisdom, I was nonetheless shocked to realize just how hip she is.  This morning as I was driving to work, Lady Gaga came on the radio singing “Born This Way”.  Compare my mama to Lady Gaga.

me as a teenager:  I feel ugly / fat.  My hair is ugly.  I’m stupid.

My mama:  You are none of those.  You are beautiful.  God made you the way you are.  And He doesn’t make any mistakes.

Lady Gaga:  I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes

Who knew that my mama and Lady Gaga had so much in common?  I’m thinking of buying her a meat dress for Christmas.  My mama, that is.  Lady Gaga has been there, done that.

The Things My Mama Said

As implied by the title, I have learned a lot from my mother. God blessed me when He gave me to this woman. She is very wise and full of knowledge, all of it useful, but some more relevant than the rest.

My mom always talked to me and my sister, willing to explain the “why” behind her actions. Except for a brief time while I was 15 years old, I usually was on the same side as my mama. And she has been a great ally.

The older I get, the more I appreciate her teachings. She was right many more times than she was wrong. I find myself drawing on the things that she taught me as I deal with daily problems, and even with bizarre problems.

Here are some of the most memorable things that she has said.

  • Any man worth having has three things: tools that he knows how to use, a pickup truck and a chainsaw
  • If you always ask for what you have always asked for, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got
  • You’ll get over it (whatever “it” was) before you’re married twice
  • Pretty is as pretty does
  • You’ll never get a job / husband / education / house (fill in blank) if you have sex before you are married (please note: I guarantee that there will be several individual blogs around this one)
  • No one stands by you like your family
  • Sleeping naked doesn’t get you anything except a bed full of pubic hair

All these have served me well the last several decades. They have served well those with whom I have shared them.