In a recent conversation with my wife about the role of a mother, I made this observation.
You see, my mother did it right. She was my parent during my growing up years. When I became an adult, she became my best friend.
She did the best that she could do in raising my brother and me. We grew up in a very strict environment, especially with our father who was of the "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality.
Our mother also believed in corporal punishment; as a matter of fact, we had a bush next to our front porch that got dubbed "the switch bush," because of its long and limber branches.
My brother was a handful on a good day and that didn’t happen often. Most days he would get a “whipping” at least a dozen times.
Eddie was so bad, she would wear a belt around her neck just to have it nearby when he did something that deserved a spanking.
At the time, they did not know it; however, if it were today, he would certainly be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, maybe even a double case of it.
I did not get nearly as many spankings as Eddie, but I did get them on occasion.
It is funny now, looking back at growing up and those spankings. We got those spankings because we had done something wrong and as a result, we were punished for it.
As for me, I learned fairly quickly to avoid doing anything that would bring on a spanking, especially from my father.
Eddie, on the other hand, needed more convincing.
When I turned 16, my relationship with my mother started to change. She was still my parent, but now I went to her for advice, especially about girls. My father died while I was still in high school, so she became my only parent.
As an adult, our relationship made a dramatic change. She became my best friend, someone I could talk with about life’s many problems.
I had my share of issues, divorce, raising children and, of course, work issues. Through it all, she supported me 100 percent.
After talking with her about a problem, I would always ask her, “What should I do?”
Each time she would tell me the same thing: “Do what your heart tells you to do.”
She passed away almost 30 years ago and I miss her every day. I would love to hear her voice again. In my heart, I know she taught me well and gave me the best she had to offer.
That is why I consider her to be a saint.
Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. Byron has been involved with local theatre having done over 50 musicals, a dozen stage plays and wrote and directed an original play “Splintered Judgement.” He is available for speaking engagements. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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