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Voice: Mama made the difference

May 11, 2001

I remember as a child, during the Depression years, we lived on a farm in Oklahoma. We had no running water in our house, but there was a well at the foot of the hill from which we drew our water.

Whenever someone came to visit in the summer, Mama would take them to the shady side of the house to sit down. She would tell me, "Run to the well and draw up a cool drink of water for our company."

I didn't realize then how poor we were. Mama made me feel it was such a blessed privilege to be able to offer a cold drink of water. I felt rich as I came up the hill with the bucket. I didn't even think about it being the only drink we had to offer a guest.

I remember one winter when everything froze. It was so cold that winter even the eggs had frozen. It was my brother's birthday and Mama made his cake anyway. There were little specks of egg yolk all through that cake caused by the frozen eggs. Mama made that the one birthday we all remember because of the "gold nuggets" in the cake.


When we had overnight guests, the kids all had to sleep on a pallet on the floor so the grown-ups could have the beds. Again, Mama made it seem like a glorious adventure. What great fun to sleep on the hard floor with just a single quilt. We were real pioneers, all right, and it was because Mama's attitude made the difference.

Sometimes one of us would acquire a candy bar. In those days, a candy bar was considered an appropriate gift for a birthday or other special occasion. Mama would take it for granted that we wanted to share, so she would take the candy bar, carefully slice it and put it on a pretty plate. Whoever it had belonged to would have the privilege of passing around the plate to serve everyone.

Mama always offered the best she had to her guests and taught us to be thankful for company and the opportunity to share with others. I am grateful now for the things my mother taught, things that really matter. Though she has been gone from this earth for many years, she still lives on in the hearts of those who knew her. Sometimes a cold drink of water will bring back the memory of running to the well to draw a cold drink for a friend.

"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name … shall not lose his reward." (Mark 9:41)

Mamas still make the difference. If they make a loving, caring, sharing atmosphere in their homes, it will make a difference in the attitudes and values of their families.

"Her children will rise up and call her blessed, her husband also and he will praise her." (Proverbs 31:28)



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