Someone We Don’t Deserve
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know there’s over a dozen theories of the origin of Mother’s Day. They range from the ancient Greece festival of Cybete to Anna Jarvis of West Virginia after the Civil War.
While the origins of most memorial days, Mother’s Day included, are usually murky, it is the one that ever soul in the world should honor.
I’ve always enjoyed poetry, but not to the extent where I’d sit and listen for hours. No, I enjoy reading it for many of them contain golden nuggets of wisdom that can enhance our living.
One of my favorite poets is Robert Frost, a New Englander whom I firmly believe had his thumb on the pulse of humanity with more sensitivity than any other poet.
One of his poems he titled, “Death of a Hired Man.” The story involved Silas, an old hired man, who jumped from farm to farm, but always returned to the home of Mary and Warren.
Warren doesn’t want Silas back because he is so undependable. Mary tells him, ‘he’s come home to die.’
“Home,” says Warren, “Is when you go there, they have to take you in.”
Mary replied, “I should have called it something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”
Every time I read the poem, I substitute the word, ‘Mother’ for home. To paraphrase Frost, ‘Mother is something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”
That’s true with me as I’m sure it is with you
Mom was a farm girl who, along with three sisters and four brothers, fed chickens, milked cows, slopped hogs, grained cows, pulled cotton, and any of another number of tedious farm chores from Montague County in North Texas to Wheeler County in the Texas Panhandle.
She was like all Mothers who, when food was scarce or money was tight, put herself last. I wish I had a dollar for every meal she made for herself from the leftovers on her children’s plates.
She was a true Texas girl, unwilling to back away from any challenge she considered worth facing.
When Dad was sent to Los Angeles during the war, she was right with him. A family of four couldn’t carry a great deal in an automobile, so once we settled in on the coast, Mother made do with what we had, but not once did my brother, Sam, or I go without necessities. She saw to that.
We returned to Wheeler when Dad went overseas. Mom planted corn on our five acres, harvested it, loaded it in the car, and drove to neighboring towns to sell it door to door. That we didn’t sell, we ate. She came up with dozens of ways to prepare corn.
There was no task she’d refuse to tackle if it had to do with the welfare of her children.
I can’t count the number of jobs she held down, but always while we were in school. She was always home when we came in.
And, like all mothers, she was snoopy. There was nothing of mine private. She knew everything. Fortunately, she never told Dad everything. Otherwise, I might not be here.
There’s no way, I, or anyone else, can name everything our mothers did for us. One of the most valuable gifts she gave me was the opportunity to explore the world beyond the farm.
That was all she had known, but through her travels with Dad, she realized there was a whole world out there for her sons.
When Dad had a job offer in the Fort Worth-Dallas area, she urged him to do take it. For me, it was like Bubba goes to town. I discovered worlds I never knew existed, worlds completely alien to my uncles and aunts as children on the farm.
Mom wanted Sam and me to have the opportunity, and she didn’t rest until we had it.
I was fortunate to have a mother like that. Oh, we had our ups and downs, sometimes big ups and downs, but we managed to work through them to our own separate peace.
So, you can see why that whenever I read Frost, I think to myself, “A mother is something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”