Thursday, May 11, 2005

Fielder’s Choice
By Barry Burleson

Honoring our mothers

I didn’t forget Mother’s Day on Sunday.

If fact, son Andy and I spent part of Saturday looking for the perfect gift for Pam, plus some greeting cards.

Pam, Emma and Erin were out of town Friday evening and Saturday, so the guys worked in a couple of baseball games (Dizzy Dean and Byhalia High School in state playoffs), some lawn mowing and a brief shopping spree.

Then we took Pam out for lunch Sunday after church services – no use of Mom cooking on her special day.

Sunday night (yes, I did wait until then) I called my mother in Alabama. She had not given up on me. She knew I would call.

She did say my sister had asked earlier in the day, “Have you heard from Barry?”

We actually got to see my mom and deliver her gift a week earlier, when we traveled to Alabama for a decoration day at Cedar Tree Cemetery, where my dad, grandparents and other relatives are buried.

Mothers, I believe, are too often taken for granted. They deserve hugs, thank yous and I love yous every day.

As I get older, I think about that more, about the many sacrifices Mother made for me when I was growing up.

Good friend Les Walters, who edits the newspaper in the town where I was raised, Hamilton, Ala., sent me this e-mail last week. It’s titled, “Priceless.”

“A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

“The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

“Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

“In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

“In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

“He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill or that something serious had happened.

“He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

“As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

“She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?”

“She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous replied.

“She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”

I hope you didn’t forget your mom on Mother’s Day. If you did, it’s not too late.

And even if you did remember to honor your mother on May 8, take advantage of every day, while you have the opportunity, and tell her you love her.

I love you, Mother (she does still read my columns).


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