I don’t know if I have the words to adequately describe the value meaning and purpose that my mother gave to me but given the opportunity here I thought I would try. Although she was a woman of few words those of us old enough to remember the old 70’s EF Hutton commercial “…When EF Hutton speaks people Listen.” That phrase adequately describes the significance of my mother’s guidance and words to me and my brothers and sisters. Although there were many such statements that come to mind throughout my childhood and adult life, I think I liked to share one that I think a few people could relate to and it goes as follows-
In my family besides myself I had four other brothers and just as many sisters so getting new clothes and new shoes was often problematic, It’s was not something that you focused on but every now and then especially when you are a teenager in high school trying to fit in, not look too poor, or trying to find a girlfriend, etc. sometimes having new clothes and shoes helps one’s ego.
It was August, back to school time and I was in my Sophomore year in H.S., I remember getting ready for school the next morning. Now in our household being late for school was something akin to remaining seated when the General enters – it just wasn’t done, so to make sure we were out of the house on time each morning we would have to get our clothes, books, and school supplies ready the night before. For me this meant selecting the clothes I would wear , ( the same old clothes I wore last year ) hand wash them, the washer with the mechanical wringer attached was often broke or in use by one my sisters who had priority. I would then hang the clothes up to dry and get up the next morning to iron them.
I remember aligning my semi wet pants on the ironing board and pressing down watching the steam come up feeling particularly down for not having any of the new clothes or shoes advertised in commercials by Sears, Goldblatt’s, Zayres, or Venture’s and my mother Observing my behavior saying out loud to no one in particular the words “ They may not be much but they are yours”.
Those words! Just those words those nine little words gave me a new attitude and perspective not only about going to school that Day -but life itself.
No matter who you are or where you come from take pride in what is yours because it is yours no matter what it happens to be, – Your clothes, your car, your marraige, your family , your work, your writing, your church, your neighbor, community, – Whatever is yours have pride in it and take care of it.
As for school that day when I arrived to my surprise none of my friends or popular kids had on new clothes –and I fit right in.
Thank you, Mom,