Happy Birthday Mama

Today is my mothers birthday! When I think about mama, a sweet peaceful feeling comes over me!  She was a quiet, funny, wonderful woman.  But she would tan our hides when we disobeyed her or talked back to her! So many precious memories steal over me. It seems in every memory, she is working in the kitchen, cooking our meals or washing our clothes! You see, with all those kids, clothes were not a luxury we had! She would string our clothes across the kitchen, so they would be dry for us to wear to school the next day!

I can still see her lining up paper bags and putting our lunch into them! We were a poor ministers family but we didn’t know it! No one ever told us because they were all poor, too! I’ve heard my daddy tell about how we would be down to our last meal but when he woke up the next morning, he would find a basket full of potatoes, or cabbage  or something on the back porch! Glory to God! He is always on time!

In all my life, I never heard my mama complain! The only way we could tell she had a headache, she would have a cloth tied around her forehead. I never saw her laying down to rest, like we all do now! Her mother died when mama was fifteen.  She was sent to Kings Mountain to stay with a Pearson family ( I think they were relatives!).  She got a job working in a cotton mill nearby and there she met daddy and they married when they were both nineteen.

We sat around her at night as she told us all kinds of stories. I remember parts of a song she must have sung to me; “Little one you’re crying, I know why you’re blue, Someone stole your kiddie car away, Time to go to sleep now, little one you’ve had a busy day. Johnny stole your marbles, tell you what I’ll do, mama will buy you new ones right away, Time to go to sleep now, little one you’ve had a busy day. What if God decides to take you, then what will I do, He must know how much you mean , so let him take me too! Close your eyes and when you do, angels will watch over you. When they open, I’ll appear, Mama loves you, mama’s here!”  I don’t know if it was mama or daddy who sang that to me, but I suspect it was my mama!

Aunt Lottie (My daddy’s sister ) and my mama were real close! I can remember sitting on the front porch, listening to them talking and laughing  for hours! Back then children played outside until dark. Then we were called in, bathed and put to bed! There wasn’t any street lights . When it got dark, it was pitch black DARK! I was always scared to sleep in front. Loretta and I took turns sleeping in front! I would cry and beg her to let me sleep behind but she wouldn’t !!!  She wasn’t afraid but she still made me cry before she would give in!

I remember Mama warming blankets by the heater and wrapping them around our legs at night in the winter time.  We sometimes slept three to a bed, especially if we had company to come in! Every time one would turn over, all turned over! It wasn’t much fun, I can tell you that!

One of the funniest things I can recall is the time Lucille made mama a green dress with leaves printed all over it but every time she wore that dress, bees would chase her back inside! It was so funny!!  Maybe that’s just one of those times ‘you had to be there’ to experience it!

I still miss my mama every day! I look back sometimes and think…. I wish I had told her I loved her more, I wish I had spent more time with her that last year of her life,  I wish I had got to know her as a woman, her thoughts and feelings!

If your mother is still living, make more time for her!  Call her everyday, if it’s just to tell her how much you love and need her in your life. I guarantee you, you will be the one who receives a blessing!

My mama and daddy have all their children in Heaven with them, except for Sue, Jack, myself and Sherry! We all have our reservations and it won’t belong before we board that Glory train for heaven. Can you imagine the homecoming that will be for all of that Chaney Bunch?????

About Peggy

Peggy Chaney was best known as cook and co-owner of Peggy's Restaurant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (which she and her sister, Loretta, ran for over two decades). You can find her pages on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. One of eleven siblings, she was the daughter of a Baptist preacher, and was well remembered for her kind spirit and regard for others. Her genuine warmth and grace is sorely missed.
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