On August 15, 2015, Wilma Jean (Key) Shelburne, my mother, would have been 100 years old.
Now this gets dangerous. As an English major, I’m delving into what for me is higher math. But Mom passed away in 1992, over 23 years ago. Amazing that it’s been that long! She was 77.
The grandson born on her birthday, my son, just turned 32 on their birthday. He was 7 when Mom passed away. If some of my math won’t fly, I’ll not be surprised, but time surely does. And, no surprise, I still miss my amazing mom.
I suppose that in one way or another most of us “play to our mothers” all of our lives. Whenever cameras pan across cheering crowds, the signs folks hold and the words they mouth are, more often than not, “Hi, Mom!”
It’s no accident, on a much more poignant note, that many survivors of bloody battles tell of hearing the wounded and dying lying between the battle lines in “No Man’s Land” crying out for their mothers.
Anything we do, whatever we accomplish, no matter how sweet the success, is for most of us sweeter when we know our moms know about it. Moms are, after all, our biggest fans. They are the leaders of our cheering sections, the un-elected but unimpeachable presidents of our fan clubs.
I’m no exception. In a couple of weeks, my third recorded album, a music CD entitled “For Sentimental Reasons” will be in my hands, and I’m pleased and thankful about that. (I hope some other folks want it in their hands, too!) But it would be an even sweeter experience for even more “sentimental reasons” if I could play the record for Mom. She’d like it. A lot.
Mom was, to borrow author Joyce Landorf Heatherley’s term, one of my very top tier “balcony people.” Always encouraging, supporting, cheering, inspiring, motivating. Always loving.
I know she loved the rest of her kids, too. Fiercely. But let’s be honest here. My surviving siblings just need to face the fact that Mom & Dad’s first three kids were basically a practice group, and that when, seventeen years after the birth of the third, #5 came along, it was clear that he was brought on board primarily just to be a companion and playmate for #4 who was, may I humbly say, sort of the culmination, sweet spot, and focal point of the whole process. Even if I did show up as a “Now, dear husband, don’t forget to breathe when I tell you this” surprise.
My little mama was amazing. Smart. Spunky. Faith-filled. Articulate and great with words. She laughed easily when the time was right, which was often. Sometimes she laughed when the time wasn’t “right” but some wise and wry soul needed to laugh to clear the air of nonsense. She was the defender of the underdog and the scourge of the sanctimonious. She taught us not just to know the Bible but to know the Savior.
I don’t know what other amazing blessings God bestowed on August 15 way back in 1915. But the one I know about was enough to make it a really, really fine day.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com! By the way, click “Play” on the bottom of the Home Page for a song sample from the new album!
Copyright 2015 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.