Happy Birthday, Mama

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Me and Mama when I was in 5th Grade.

Today is Mama’s birthday. For years, I’d take whatever money I got for Christmas and beg a ride to the store from someone, until I could drive myself, and get Mama a birthday present and a card. One year when I didn’t get any money, I sold my collection of Harbinger comics to buy her a CD organizer and case. Today, per her wishes, I had to bake her a homemade New York cheesecake to go with the card. No card and I could get her a Cadillac and it wouldn’t matter. She’s always been a card fanatic.

I won’t go into her age because even though she doesn’t read my blog because she doesn’t fool with computers much, she would sense through the Mama Force that I had posted her age online where God and everyone else could see it. She would not be pleased. I’m sure y’all know about the Mama Force. It is the supernatural ability to tell just where your child is, who they are with, and what they are doing. It is especially strong and accurate when they are somewhere they are not supposed to be, with someone they are forbidden to see, and doing something they’ve no business doing. The Mama Force is a fearsome thing and it kept me more or less in line.

Not wanting to worry Mama picked up where the Mama Force left off. As long as I can remember, Mama worked hard, crappy jobs to put a roof over my head and food on the table. As you can tell by this picture, Mama was an extraordinarily beautiful woman in her prime. That prime was spent largely raising me. Mama had me at 18 and she and Daddy divorced when Mama was 26.

She had a lot of offers from other men over the years, but once she made it perfectly clear that I was an unquestionable part of the deal, they all pretty much hit the road. It’s because of all the lonely years Mama spent taking care of me when she could have been out having her own fun that I have no patience with young mothers, single or otherwise, who pawn their children off on grandparents or relatives so they can “do their own thing.” I hear them say, “I’m young, I shouldn’t have to settle down.” To which I’ve always wanted to reply, and actually have on more than one occasion, “You should have thought about that while you were on your back with your legs spread.” Mama always told me I hadn’t asked to be brought into this world and since she had drug me here, she has a responsibility.

Mama and me when she finished eye school.

Mama always took care of me, watched over me, looked out for me. She was always there for me. These days, she doesn’t get around as easily as she used to. She’s not elderly by any stretch, but a lifetime of hard work, heartbreak, and hard times has taken it’s toll. The once shiny blonde hair is a respectable iron-grey now, for the most part. It pains me to admit it, but I put more than one of those grey hairs in that head. Truth be told, I put most all of those grey hairs in that head.

Right from the start, I was trouble. She almost died bringing me into the world because her idiotic doctor let her stay in labor for 36 hours before it finally dawned on the doofus that there was no way in Hell a 5’2″ 89 lbs woman was going to bring a 10 lbs baby into the world without some help. The scar she carries from that Cesarean Section has always reminded me of what I cost her. She nearly died having me then gave up her life to raise me.  As a result, Mama has always been perfect in my eyes — the eyes of a child. Even older and wiser as I am now, I cut Mama more slack than anyone else on the planet, including myself. She’s my hero in a lot of different ways and if you haven’t guessed by now, I am 100% a Mama’s Boy. I take little to nothing from Mama in looks or personality. In both respects, I am a close clone of Daddy and the good Lord knows I love him too, but Mama has always been here when everyone else has been gone. Children, even grown children, don’t forget things like that.

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you.

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