MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: SHE WAS LIKE A MOTHER TO ME

Sunday, March 11, 2007

SHE WAS LIKE A MOTHER TO ME

I attended Opal Harmon’s funeral services tonight and it brought back a flood of good memories. Opal was my son’s grandmother, mother to his mother (simply stated – my x-mother-in-law). However, I hate calling her that because she was like a mother to me. Her and her sister’s and brother-in-law’s were precious things I hated giving up after Connie and I divorced.

When Connie and I first married, Opal and I had a few heated moments that seemed to doom our relationship. However, we were finally able to figure things out once everyone left us alone to find our way. On our own, we grew close and came to a great understanding of and devotion to each other.

The first six years of our ten-year marriage was spent within the same household. Connie worked as a beautician and I attend the University of Tennessee. The GI Bill paid for my car payments and tuition, while we mostly saved everything Connie made.

At the end of the sixth year Connie became pregnant with our son Corey and we built a house and moved out soon after he was born. However, those six years were some of the most memorable and precious to me because of Opal and Dub.

Opal was, if nothing else, a wonderful cook and her holiday meals were “to die for!” She was also responsible for my very first birthday party and, as I remember, I cried from the emotion of it all.

She was so full of love, but tended to show it through her cooking. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, any occasion were excuses to fill the house with smells that usually only come from a grandmother’s home.

I remember most the carrot cakes, the pecan pies, the divinity and chocolate covered cherry candies, the dressing, and yellow cake dough (some of which was always saved for me to eat raw), even the pinto beans and cornbread she made. All wonderful things that still make me crave, smell, and taste.

As I watched her husband, “Dub,” break down tonight, the first time I ever remember seeing him do so, I was flooded with wonderful memories of watching her cook while I sat at the bar across from her work area. Such devotion she put into everything…little pieces of her love spread throughout and passed on to those for whom she cared the most.

We spent a lot of time in that kitchen, eating slowly while watching birds dance on the feeders outside, and soft words exchanged behind smiles of contentment.

I was so blessed to have known her. Every time we met over the next thirty years after I left, I could still see the love she had for me in her eyes. I was also honored that she never missed an opportunity to introduce me to people as "my son."

I have been asked to serve as an honorary pallbearer tomorrow – honorary since I cannot lift with my right arm. I will walk quietly and proudly behind her as she is moved to her final resting place. She was, after all, like a mother to me.

12 comments:

Miss Trashahassee said...

Mushy,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. After reading your post, I can see that you were very blessed to have had her in your life. May she rest in peace and may you be comforted by the many good memories you hold in your heart.

Ron Southern said...

Not every loss is like getting kicked by a mule, but some are...

Fathairybastard said...

You've had a lot of cool women in your life. God bless her. A lot of our lives have been enriched by these traditional women. They've left a mark on all of us.

Les Becker said...

I never know quite what to say at times like this. Please just know I'm thinking of you...

EC said...

I'm so sorry you lost someone you cared for so much :( I'm thinking about you!

Suldog said...

The treats you described her cooking! My mouth is watering right now!

Sorry to hear of your loss. She'll be in my prayers tonight.

Michele said...

It's wonderful that you have your great memories and remained 'family'. Sorry to hear of your family's loss.

Mushy said...

Thanks guys...these comments mean a lot to me. Thanks for being there.

Becky said...

I know that I'm repeating what others said above, but I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

Marie said...

"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Nice, Mushy. More words escape me.

Kate said...

Through my tears I want to offer my condolences to you and your family. That was a beautiful post that showed the love and respect you had for a woman who truly deserved it. Thank you for sharing that with your loyal readers.