There is such a bond between mothers and their children, and there is nothing like a Mother’s love and pride in her children. So if this Cameo is slanted toward any any segment of Minden’s population it would be toward the mothers.
My friend, Melba Lowery, mailed me several poems and one touched my heart, especially. She is the Mother of two sons, and her love is evident and her pride is justified. This poem is a Clarion call to stop and spend a little more time with the children, because they grow up so quickly.
In the Broadway show, “Fiddler on the Roof,” there is a song, “Sunrise, Sunset” that has always touched my heart. The words are “Is this the little girl I carried? I don’t remember growing older, when did they? When did she get to be a beauty, when did he grow to be so tall? Wasn’t it just yesterday when they were small? Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, swiftly fly the years, one season following another, laden with happiness and tears.” Perry Como sang this song long ago when my children were still growing up, and I realized then that time was swiftly passing. There was so much to do, with a bed-ridden mother, who was ill for nineteen years, and then the care of my husband’s parents. I had to spread myself thin to cover all the roles I must play. There crowded to the periphery was the husband, willing to do anything to help, loving and caring for all of us.
Mothers, listen to me. I felt that I had to put up bushels and bushels of peas in the freezer, cut of a couple of hundred ears of corn off the cob, process and freeze, put up 16 dozen jars of fig preserves, and give them to those who could not can for themselves. Freeze Mayhaw juice and make fresh jelly all during the year. Make the clothes for the family, give God time in the church activities, wash, iron, cook, and all the things the Mother in the home must do. I did the needful for the children, but if I had my life to live over, I’d spend a little more time reading to them, playing games with them and just generally listening to their ideas and problems.
Please read the following poem and take a little more time to play with your children, since they stay little such a short time. When Mr. and Mrs. Frank Corbin lost their daughter to Hurricane Audrey, she made a statement that really impressed me. She said “God never gave me a quit claim deed to her, He only loaned her to me for about eighteen years.” That’s true, folks, only for a few years will they be at home with you. Take time to enjoy these years.
Time To Play
“May hands were busy through the day
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes and sew and cook.
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun
I’d say “A little later, son.”
I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light.
Then tiptoe softly to the door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more
For life is short, the years rush past
A little boy grows up so fast
No longer is he at your side
His precious secrets to confide
The pictures books are put away
There are no longer games to play.
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear…
That all belongs in yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long, and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.”
Time to Reflect
And now this is the end of the way for me at 83 years of age. There is time to remember, time to wish I had done some things differently. And there is so much time for loneliness as I spend my days looking at four walls with the exception of the times that my son or my daughter takes me out to eat or for a ride, even to the doctor’s office.
There is time to reflect and wonder if I did all that I could for the children were little. There are precious memories of a loving and caring husband who has been gone for over 17 years now, and only the children he gave me are here to see about my well being.
The son has the primary care since he lives in the home, so many things that I can no longer do for myself. The coffee at the early hour of 5 each day brought to my bed, and later the breakfast, the oxygen tank to be filled during the day and the long cord at night, the lights to be adjusted, the clothes to be removed and night clothes put on.
The list is endless.
I hope his memories of his growing up years reflect the love I had for him as I tried to do the best I could.
Please listen to me. Make memories for yourself as well as for your children. And then there will be no regrets, or wishing you had done differently. “Happy Memories make warm companions.” If this column sounds like I am depressed, I am in a deep depression right now, but tomorrow is another day and maybe I will see a reason God allows me to go on living. You readers make me happy when you tell me I helped you to remember. Love you!
Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years until her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing select articles from Mrs. Agan’s Cameos column every Wednesday.