Things My Mama Taught Me

All the good things that I am, came from my parents. The not-so-good? Well, I’ve  managed those things on my own. This morning I was thinking about things my mother taught me. I had never really tried to itemize them, they were just there. To list them would be like trying to draw a diagram of a rose, a petal and a leaf at a time. Separately, they don’t present the whole picture, but when taken together, they make an easily recognizable flower.

First of all, Mama taught by example. I don’t remember that she ever sat me down and told me rules or a list of do’s and don’t’s. But, by living with her and being influenced by her more than by anyone else, I learned. 

My mother was a quiet person. She didn’t argue or complain. She laughed a lot and, even when she had few of this world’s goods, she found joy in small things. She loved to whistle. I don’t remember her singing except in church, but I do remember her whistling old tunes.

Mom was honest and trusting. Without mentioning that I shouldn’t lie or steal or be mean to others, I knew that I shouldn’t be. Why? Because that’s the way Mom was. I expected everybody else to be the way my parents were. I found out, to my sorrow, that this wasn’t always true.

She taught me to love God. It was just a given, something we children didn’t question–God was our Heavenly Father and He expected us to follow His teachings as set forth in the Bible. All good things, all that was right and wise and beautiful came from God.

Mom taught me to love reading and books. Did she teach me to read? I think so. She taught me by osmosis. She loved to read. I learned that between the covers of those marvelous things called books, I could be somebody else, I could go to interesting places, I could have amazing adventures. 

Not only were swear words off-limits for me, but so was improper grammar usage. Mom didn’t say ain’t. So, I didn’t. Mom didn’t cuss and have temper tantrums, so neither should I.  

Mom moved through life with a quiet grace. Whether mopping a floor, cooking a meal, or working in her garden, she did her best. She also taught me that although I might never have much of this world’s goods, I could properly take care of what I did have and be grateful for it. She taught me to enjoy the day, to expect the best of people, and to always try. Success was in the trying, not the winning. I might not set the world on fire, but I could try to brighten one little corner.

Life and what others value have changed a lot since the time I was a child and Mom was with me. Sometimes, when I hear the filth that spews from people’s mouths, the words that have become commonplace but I would have gotten my mouth washed out for saying, the lies and the selfishness, I wonder what their mamas taught them. Looking back, it seems that she was here only a short time, far too short of a time, but the things that Mama taught me? They’ll stay with me forever.

Manos Mysteries


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