Happy 76th Birthday, Mother!

MotherDidn’t we just do this a couple of months ago? How do you keep having so many birthdays without seeming to actually age?

Why is it that today I’m remembering an outfit I got you for one of your birthdays? I’ve no idea how long ago it was, but I’d be willing to bet a dollar and a quarter that it’s still in your closet. Hunter green it was and you looked like a million dollars wearing it. There was a rakishly sexy hat that went with the ensemble, but I don’t remember ever seeing you wear it. You wore hats often when I was a wee tyke. You wore them so well; I can’t imagine why you ever stopped. Fashion be damned!

You’ve been there for me, haven’t you? Back during the war in Lebanon, I remember you cooked a boatload (you should pardon the pun) of teacakes and loaves of your fabulous banana nut bread. As luck would have it, Hezbollah re-captured the airport and my “Care Package”. When our forces took it back and my box finally arrived on the ship it was smashed, with a tire track across one corner.

Mother2No matter about the condition, I ripped into that box like it was my very last Christmas on earth! Imagine my initial dismay when I discovered the banana bread was shot through and through with mold! Mold, do you hear me? Lord, I had a lump in my throat as big as your fist. But then I turned my attention to the teacakes. Crushed, I tell you. Nothing but crumbs!

One of my compatriots allowed as the whole thing would have to be thrown over the side. After I banished him from the Holy Presence, I marched down to the mess decks and grabbed two spoons. My friend and I ate all those teacakes with a spoon and I promise you I wouldn’t have traded them for manna from heaven!

HPIM0967I can’t imagine your experiences or your private thoughts as you tried to raise me, my brothers, and sister. At this point in the year I usually find myself contemplating it, though. What must it have been like for you in the 50s and 60s as you tried to raise a houseful of young’uns? We usually had someone ‘visiting’ with us for a few months at a time.

I remember one summer our tiny little house somehow managed to hold eleven people! Three times a day you made 48 biscuits to feed everyone. That’s one hundred forty-four biscuits per day! We laugh nowadays and tell folks that you alternated our meals; beans and taters one day, taters and beans the next. But, I suspect it wasn’t funny back then trying to cook for a mob like that. You did it, though, didn’t you?

I never miss an opportunity to post this one!

I never miss an opportunity to post this one!

And how many times did I hear, “And you can just march your smart tail outside and get me a hickory!” just before you striped me from top to toe? Oh, the injustice of it all was all I could think of in those days, but I know I never got a lick I didn’t have coming and there was so, so much you didn’t know about! So, I reckon it all evens out in the end, doesn’t it?

I said all that to say this. I’m damned fortunate to have you as my Mother and I wish you the happiest birthday you ever had in your whole, wide life! I wish I could be there with you to help you celebrate, but know that you fill my thoughts today and every day. I love you to pieces.


IMG_0414-1Happy birthday, Mother!






I love to hear Mother laugh!


It’s the whole famn damily


Mother and Dad, 2011


Well, I reckon I’ll get up from here and make some biscuits…



About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
This entry was posted in Random Musings, Wright Tales and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Happy 76th Birthday, Mother!

  1. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    … nice piece from olbigjim, Jim Wright ..


  2. Best post ever!


  3. David says:

    Have a wonderful b’day, Jim’s Mom! David


  4. Aleasha Merriman says:

    I love to hear you tell stories! And yes I can hear you when I read whatever you write! I love you and miss you!


  5. RickD says:

    Thanks JW. My sweet mother went home at age 57. What little good is in me came from her. The message you wrote to your mother placed me on a gentle river of fond memories about mine.


  6. Glynis Smy says:

    What a beautiful birthday tribute, Jim. Lovely 🙂


  7. Absolutely beautiful, Jim. And, loved that you included pictures. Tell her Happy Birthday for us! 🙂


  8. Jaraad says:

    Love this! Family pictures are always the best


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