Gut Rumbles

March 12, 2005

my mama

Just a few things I was thinking about:

*Mama was a great cook. Not a CHEF, but a COOK. She made the best chicken and dumplings, the best pinto beans and the best cornbread I ever tasted. Once I wondered whether her cooking was that good, or if I just liked it because I grew up eating it. Naw, no doubt. It was that good.

*Mama had a green thumb. She never outgrew being a Kentucky farm-girl and tended a garden for years. She liked playing in the dirt. When I started growing my own crops, we were competitive (as all in the Smith family are). My squash always out-did hers, but she produced better bell peppers. We called it a draw.

*Mama always had shuck beans for Thanksgiving. She grew them and dried them herself, just FOR Thanksgiving. And if you don't know what shuck beans are, you need to be dragged off and shot.

*Mama was the sweetest, most kind person I've ever known. But she had a temper and you NEVER wanted to see that come out. She could turn into a 5' 2" Tazmanian devil in a heartbeat when she got pissed. The few times I saw that happen, it was over somebody fucking with her children. She would not tolerate that.

*Mama always loved kids, and kids always loved my mama.

*Mama was smart, witty, active and excellent at many different skills. She was a superb seamstress before arthritus took her hands, and I still have a quilt she made for me two years ago that I will keep forever. She sang with a wonderful voice and could play the piano, too. The music in me came from her. (My dad couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.)

*Mama always smiled a lot more than she frowned. She was a naturally happy person.

*Mama was beautiful when she was young. My dad caught himself a hottie when he married her.

*Mama would never admit that I worked crossword puzzles better than she did, no matter how much evidence I provided.

*Mama didn't approve of gambling, but she was a sharp card-player. She'd hand you your bloody ass in a game of Pedro, Gin, Pinocle or Canasta. As long as you weren't playing for money.

*I never knew anyone else who embraced life the way my mama did. She was a loving person. She had a heart as big as the moon and she put up with my sorry ass for 53 years. I am glad that I had time to talk to her--- SERIOUSLY talk to her--- before she died. I never had the chance to do that with my father.

*She's gone from this earth now, but she'll never leave my memory.

I'll love my mama forever.


I've never been very good at this kind of thing..

Just know that you are in my thoughts and your mama is in a better place..


Posted by: dawn on March 12, 2005 04:42 PM

She was a wonderful woman for sure. My thoughts are with you at this time. But you were blessed Rob, blessed to have been raised by her and blessed to have had the opportunity to tell her how you felt about her before she died. Your recent writings have been both moving and inspiring and I will be taking what I have learned from you ito my relationships with my much beloved and aging parents.

Posted by: Nelly on March 12, 2005 04:46 PM

Your mama sounds a lot like my mama. I dread the day you're confronting now and sorry you're having to confront it.

Posted by: Buster on March 12, 2005 04:51 PM

God bless her, the way you always said such good things of her, she must have been quite the Lady. I'm glad you got to talk with her too. We'll be thinking of you. Holler if you need anything.

Posted by: jmon on March 12, 2005 05:11 PM

Dang, yer gonna shoot me!! I don't know what shuck beans are but I bet your mama's were good!
For sure the essence of our lives is measured in the memories we leave behind. Sure sounds like your mama left you a boat-load of them!

Posted by: PattiG on March 12, 2005 05:25 PM

What a beautiful tribute - Rob. I'm so sorry that you lost your mama. But I'm glad that you were able to have the time to talk with her - and share with us...

Posted by: moos on March 12, 2005 05:39 PM

I have a feeling you're going to put all your thoughts about your mom together into a book of something. You should, if you haven't already. I can actually SEE her from what you have written.

The fact that you were able to seriously talk to her before she died is so rare and is such a jewel to have in your heart. Two weeks before my mom died, 15 years ago the night we moved to the Houston area, we sat up one night, drinking wine and she and I clarified many things, including her distaste for my m-i-l (mine, too, for that matter) but she was able to realize it was my work to do. Not hers. She was just worried about me. It was the most amazing reconciliation of unspoken muddles and I am forever grateful for it. She was every bit as self-absorbed as my hub's mother, but she was MINE. And we used to talk about everything. We were very close for a very long time and I still miss her. I know she loved her kids with all her heart.

God bless you, Rob. You have many friends and family who care about you.

Posted by: Kim on March 12, 2005 05:45 PM

sorry for your trouble,
as we say in ireland.
been there too, but
did`nt get a chance
to say goodbye to my
dad, two years ago,
think about him all
the time.

Posted by: charlie on March 12, 2005 06:28 PM

So sorry, Rob. I lost my mother two years ago. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of making cornbread as good as hers.

Posted by: Janis Gore on March 12, 2005 06:44 PM

Bummer. Best way to send 'em on is to celebrate their life - like you just did.


Posted by: John of Argghhh! on March 12, 2005 07:22 PM

So sorry to hear about your Mom. It's the worst thing that can happen to anybody... to lose your Mother. May your memories hold you and keep you strong. Know that she loved you more than life itself.

Posted by: Doon on March 12, 2005 07:48 PM

Rob, I've not been around for a while, so didn't know your mom passed. Please accept my condolences.

Posted by: the friendly grizzly on March 12, 2005 08:05 PM

I'm pretty lousy sometimes at knowing just what to say. This is one of those times.

I am so sorry for your loss.

God bless you and your family.

Posted by: jmflynny on March 12, 2005 08:23 PM

What a lovely tribute to your mother's life.

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

You and your extended family are in my thoughts.

Posted by: Anne on March 12, 2005 08:47 PM

Please accept my sympathy.
Dads are important, but your mother is your bedrock,
and she leaves you with your good memories.
The passing of your mother is a LIFE milestone.
You learn to carry on,
but occasionally out of nowhere it hits you - "she's gone".

Those of us who grew up with both parents are SO LUCKY.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on March 12, 2005 08:52 PM

When I first met your Mama, I loved her, she was working at KMart with Sally and Sally's daughter and I were dating and ended up married. She could not believe the big money I was making, she cashed my checks for free. then I met your Dad, years before I went to work for him, I told him, you have a very nice wife and someday I hope I can find one just like her. Your Dad liked me from that day on and when I worked for him at the plant, he remembered from the old days. They were a great pair. I never found a woman like Elva, wished I had. I will be thinking about you and your family and if I can do anything, call, you know I will be there, Cat.

Posted by: catfish on March 12, 2005 09:08 PM

As long as She is always in your memory, she will always be a part of you.

Your Mama may be gone from this Earth but if She's in your memory that's the part of Her that will always be "alive" in you.

You'll find that you will still hear Her voice in your head from time to time just "settin you straight"!

Posted by: The Wizard on March 12, 2005 09:15 PM

I wanted to take a minute to express my sympathies to you in your time of loss.

Posted by: Kim on March 12, 2005 09:24 PM

I want to express my sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Posted by: Dancusa on March 12, 2005 09:39 PM

God, I which my list would be as long and loving when I pass. No way. You were lucky to be her son. Ya Know?

Posted by: gretchen on March 12, 2005 10:08 PM

I feel your loss in your words and in every post you have ever written about your Mama. {I remember them all} She is shining down on you now... without pain and with a smile. She WILL live on in memory and with everything you do. Thank-YOU for sharing your grief. WE are richer!

Posted by: Sallie on March 12, 2005 10:19 PM

I'm sorry for your loss but know that a woman with that much heart and vitality is God's eternal kingdom. I will say a final prayer for her tomorrow in church. I have been praying for her this whole time. Thank you for being man enough to share this with all of us. I have learned much from you.

Posted by: Shelley on March 12, 2005 10:42 PM

I just wanted to express my sympathy too, Rob. I'm not good with words at a time like this either. I hope the thoughts reach you though. I'm glad you both had the chance to say goodbye.

Posted by: StinKerr on March 13, 2005 01:33 AM

My sincerest sympathies and condolences, Acidman.

Posted by: Val Prieto on March 13, 2005 06:20 AM

She's probably hammering St. Peter in a game of Gin right now... condolences from another Southern...

Posted by: emdfl on March 13, 2005 07:03 AM

I haven't been awake a whole half an hour yet and already ya got me in tears...
Grinning a little, too, though...

This makes it official, by the way. I have now cried about 5 times as much for (you and) your Mama as I did my own.

And, I'm glad you got to talk to her, too.

You'll both be on my mind and in my heart all day today, even more than usual.... if possible.

Be strong, Darlin' and try as hard as you can to celebrate her life as joyfully as she lived it.

And, please remember... you are loved.

Posted by: Stevie on March 13, 2005 07:34 AM

I feel like I know your Mama as well as I knew my own.

Thanks for the tales, and for sharing your love for her.

You are a good man. Stay strong, amigo.

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on March 13, 2005 09:30 AM

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Even though she is not here in the physcial with you, remember she will always be around you.

Posted by: Maeve on March 13, 2005 10:00 AM

You can always tell a man who loved his mom, and you can always tell that she loved him right back - even when he was screwing up by the numbers.

Another guy I know said it the best I ever heard of: "Though you be dead and gone, so long as just one remembers, you shall never truly die."

Posted by: Ward Gerlach on March 13, 2005 10:42 PM

Rob, you and your mother are in my prayers. I lost my aunt 2 months ago, she was 89. she raised me as much as my mother did, she was the tops at raising tomatoes and making homemade egg noodles. There was no sweeter kinder person on this earth. I knew that she had been declining for some years, but it was still hard to let her go.

Posted by: John Cunningham on March 13, 2005 10:59 PM

From the remote glances I as a visitor have it seems that you had a great relationship with your mother. Take solace in the thought that your relationship was strong and good. As you say you will miss her everyday but only because that relationship was so good.

God bless you and your family.

Posted by: Dishonorable Schoolboy on March 14, 2005 07:18 AM

That was the best eulogy that a person could hope for, the unblemished love of a child for his parent.

She is still alive within your heart, and that's a precious thing, hold on to it.

Remember that your friends are here for you if you have any need. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask.

Posted by: delftsman3 on March 14, 2005 12:26 PM

I am sure your Momma loved you from the top of her heart. I love my son so very much and I pray that he will speak of me as you have spoken of her. She smiles down upon you. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. May your memories and her spirit sustain you in the difficult days to come.

Posted by: Anastasia on March 14, 2005 12:27 PM

I read you everyday and love it.

I am truly sorry to hear about your mama. I can't imagine what I would do or how I would react.

You are in my prayers.

Posted by: Stephanie on March 14, 2005 02:33 PM

I am sorry to hear about your mom's passing, Acidman. Sounds like she left you with a lot of warm memories and I hope they will be of consolation.

Posted by: Jim on March 16, 2005 08:30 PM
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