“But first and foremost, I remember Mama.”  This was the last line of Katrin’s autobiography in the story, "I Remember Mama," a story of Norwegian immigrants struggling to try to keep the family budget in balance and find a way to see that their son had enough money to go to school.  As the story goes, Katrin who aspired to be a writer but had received rejections of her work, set out to write an autobiography of her own family in San Francisco; the time frame was 1910.  This effort was a success.


The original story told in a book, "Mama’s Bank Account" written by Kathryn Forbes, was so popular that it was told again in a play in 1944 and then in a popular film in 1948.  The “Mama,” Marta Hanson was an adhesive for her family in tough times.


A story that could be told over and over again in every generation:  Time and again, Mama’s love and devotion for her family kept the family afloat, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  This doesn’t diminish Papa’s contribution, but he had a different role.  And that was the way God intended their lives to be.  We have been designed to perform certain roles in life that no one else can understudy successfully for.


“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).


My own “Mama” was very different from my “Papa.”  They each made an impact on my life in their own way.  Different doesn’t take anything away from their influence on each other and their family.  God loves diversity!  All we have to do is observe the variety in human beings and in nature to realize that God is never boring!


I, too, “remember Mama.”  I remember that Mother saw that her family was fed and clothed before she would even consider anything for herself.  I remember that she was the first one up in the morning so we could enjoy a nice breakfast before our day got under way.  Mother was the last one in the bed at night.  Even though we never missed church, many Sundays we woke to the aroma of fried chicken, biscuits and gravy; and we made it to church on time!


When the family business began to wan due to closing of the coal mines in Southeastern Kentucky, Daddy headed North to Detroit and got a job.  Soon he found a house and moved the family there.  Times were hard even though they both worked and sacrifices had to be made, but they persevered.  I am sure many families could inject their names into our family’s history and write it as their own, but in my eyes my Mother stood out from the others that I knew.  No, she wasn’t perfect, but she was filled with love!


In her last years when Alzheimer’s Disease began to rob her of her ability to reason and make judgments for herself, she was still that caring, selfless “Mama” that I had known all my life.  She worried about others and went out of her way to reach out to them and put herself in a lower priority.


Mother has gone on to be with Jesus, Daddy and our twins, Kelsey and Alice; but her influence and her memory have not faded.  I miss her very much.  I miss being able to pick her up to go shopping with me, stopping by Long John Silver’s and eating a fish sandwich, her favorite.  She was great company and a good sport no matter what she was called on to do.  I miss seeing her walk to the pulpit in church and singing her favorite song, visiting those in the congregation that she thought might be neglected.  I miss our telephone calls and long conversation at her house or mine. 


Yes, “I remember Mama” and look forward to the time that we will all be reunited again around God’s family table.  In the meantime, I think she makes God smile often with her love for Him and her family.  I am proud to be one of hers!


“Honour thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12).



For more on my “Mama” click here.


PS.  The rose on this page  (except the floater) is from my yard in Kentucky where Mother lived with me before AD claimed her mind and ability to enjoy it.  Imagine the beauty  and aroma of God's "rose garden"  where she is now!




  What Rules the World?

Blessings on the hand of women!  Angels guard its strength and grace,

In the palace, cottage, hovel, Oh, no matter the place;

Would that never storms assailed it, Rainbows ever gently curled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy’s the tender fountain, Power may with the beauty flow,

Mother’s first to guide the streamlets, From them souls unresting grow—

Grow on for the good or evil, Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.


Woman, how divine your mission Here upon our natal sod!

Keep, oh, keep the young heart open Always to the breath of God!

All true trophies of the ages Are from mother-love impearled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!  Fathers, sons, and daughter cry,

And the sacred song is mingled With the worship in the sky—

Mingled where no tempest darkens, Rainbows evermore are hurled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.

.....William Ross Wallace, 1865









@  There's Good News May 2009

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