Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Legacy!

My ole home place: Kyle & Kamren
Rt. 1
Brillant,AL 35548

Leatrice Joy South Overton & Avery Lawler(#10 great gran) 12-24-07... My Mother, ( This picture is probably what mother enjoys the most, rocking babies)

Most of my life has been made around memories, some good, happy and some bad, sad. Easter has really put me in some kind of I can't get a grip on life, down in the dumps mood. I started off last week (spring break) down in the dumps because I knew I had to work and couldn't go see the grand babies for Easter and then I kinda got better Sunday with all my Easter guest, and now today I'm down over getting pics from Matt & Avery. I live from day to day, week to week for pictures of the babies, saying all of this brings me to this: When my children all grown and gone how will they remember me as a mom. I look back at my mother and grandmother and I remember that they both worked full time jobs, ALL children wanted to be around them and they were always cooking up something good and holidays were great.

My grandmother worked night shift at the cotton mill that she walk to each night, then kept me, my sister, brother and three other children, I will never forget her homemade Mac & Cheese (not box mac & cheese), potato soup, Chicken & dumplings and always cornbread she cooked for us. We always had to take naps and one day we were being bad and hid under the bed thinking she couldn't reach us with a hickory switch, every time she would swipe at us we would grab the switch and try to break it, we were sooooo bad. My grandmother loved flowers and taught me the love of gardening. She loved to cook and bake. She sewed for us, made most of our clothes. She loved to host parties, most of my Christmas memories were at her house. She also loved God and taught us about Jesus. She had two chairs that were in a oval shape and we would pretend they were our organ and piano. Then somewhere back around 1975 she had cancer and suddenly my time with Grandmother was quickly jerked away. If only I'd know how short that time would be, I could have ask all those questions, wrote them all down for later use. To this day I have a few handwritten things of hers I take out from time to time just to feel her presence. The day she died I think a part of me died with her, but her LEGACY lives on.

My mother has as long as I can remember worked full time as a Dental Hygienist or at the Eye Doctor office as his assistant. There was a time when she had Wayne she kept babies in our home, it seemed like she kept around Ten. We always had a garden and until I was old enough she would come home from work and cook, clean and do laundry ( back then we had no dryers, we used a clothes line outside, and our washer was an old wringer style). We had a bus route on Sunday's and children were always around her, she taught Sunday School. I can remember most Sunday's all my little girls Friends would come home with us and Mother would make us barbie doll clothes(we didn't have Walmart back then), we would take our Friends each Saturday to a near by cave or forest for a picnic. We had a old Station Wagon so we could all pile in, back then there were no seat belt laws or we would pile in the back of daddy's truck. I learn how to work in the garden, most of our summers were spent putting up veggies from the garden, plucking chickens to freeze, every summer we took every thing out of each room in the house to SPRING CLEAN. We worked very hard during the week but there was fun times each weekend. Most of our fun times were made at church or church activities. I will never forget our huge family room daddy built on to our house so we could have lots of guest at one time and each Sunday night we would go to someones home for snacks and I loved it when it was our time to host I was so proud of our shiny hardwood floors and the food my mom would prepare. We had a piano and organ in our family room so I thought we were really special. Our long dinning room table was always set just right for the occasions I can remember mom coming home one night with bugles for our party and thinking what a treat. We always fed the preachers when we had a church meetings and one meal mom served Tomato juice in wine glasses and I thought we were really RICH!!!! She made homemade corn dogs, can you believe I can remember the first time she fixed boneless chicken and we thought we were really, really rich. Mom like my grand mother taught me some many things, you see, when my grand mother became sick what now takes less than 2 hrs to get to B'ham from my hometown took about three and a half in 1975, so she had to be with her and I was left to take care of the house for my Dad, sister and brother. I learned to cook fast, clean well, do laundry and all the other stuff. I was a skinny thing back then with lots of bad eating(not eating) habits, and I will never forget one night I had to go next door and get a YARD CHICKEN for supper(in my neck of the woods, we called "dinner" supper). I had cleaned that bird the best I could but could not get all the feathers off but I cooked it anyway. That night at supper my dad was determined I was going to eat and he made me eat that bird and I choked and cried and told daddy it taste like chicken feed and to this day I hate meat. By my mom's absence I was forced to learn a lot of things I would use later in life. My mother doesn't entertain like she use to but she like my grand mother put the foundations of the makings of me. They were the Martha Stewart's of Winfield.

Now, How does my children look at me and how will they remember me?

I can't answer this, but I would hope at some time in their memories they will remember the parties, the Christmas, the holidays, the trips, the decorations, the hosting parties, sleep overs, making their birthday cakes and their number fan at the ballpark.

The mother who worked for the most part teaching school at LCA and now working in the office. I know that we do not live in a perfect world and I'm sure my mom and grandmother were not always on" HAPPY PILLS" and the Lord knows I am not always a happy mom. Do I want to be remember that way ? I want them to remember their home as a place all their Friends want to hang out. I hope they remember their mom as a great host, a mom that took pride in her home, decorating it for every season and yes I would love to be remembered as a happy mom, a mom that Loves and fears the Lord. The mom who saw to it their homework was done and taxi them back and front from school to ballgames to church activities. I could only hope that they took the memories of me and start traditions with their families. The famous gingerbread houses that MeLeah and I started making each Christmas. With each Holiday the girls will call me with questions about some recipe or decoration I have done over the years, so they can do it with their children. I hope they will remember me as a listener, a mom that would do anything in my power for them. A mom that would do for others in need. I know sometimes they may think she did for others and not for me, but I would hope not. I do want to be remembered as a mother that would go the extra mile to get what ever they needed, putting my needs last. I do know one thing for certain, my life here on earth would only been in vain had it not been for my Five children and would have certainly been over had not been for theses precious Five plus five. I love my kids and only hope you can remember me as I treasure and dream daily of my mom & grand mother. I wish you could have know Thelma South but you do have the honor of knowing her daughter who is her twin. I love you more than my own life and it is you that gives me breath in all I do.

I have said all of this to say to you, make your own Legacy. Pick ma maw's brain, write down all the things you want to know while you can. I still wish I could have learned how to make Grandma's Egg Dumplings and moms gravy. Melanie & Meleah, I see so much of Grand mother, Mother and me in you. You two are very talented and you do the same things we did, in your cooking, decorating and hosting, Make your own Legacy!!!
Love, Mom

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