By Ralphine Major

The picture looks like a duplicate of the one used earlier. But this photo is more special. Besides my brother and me, it includes our mother standing between us; and in this picture, King—my brother’s German Shepherd—is distracted by something in the woods behind us.

One look at the photo and my thoughts went back to earlier times. It was only a few years before that our mother had returned to working full time on a public job, as she became the breadwinner of our family after our father was diagnosed with heart disease that ended his dairy farming days. I thought of her working at C. M. McClung & Company and later at East Tennessee Chest Disease Hospital. I thought of the days in summer when she came home from work and often spent evenings canning a garden full of vegetables or preparing greens from the garden for our father’s parents to put in the freezer. I thought of the times when she made a big pot of chili or a three-layer iced cake and dished up servings for our dad to deliver to our elderly neighbors up the road. I thought of the times she helped me make pans full of the popular Mississippi Mud dessert to help a friend’s fundraising efforts in her run for homecoming queen at our school. She hand-made her outfit as well as ours in the Easter picture shown here. At church, she taught a Children’s Primary Sunday School class. Sixteen years ago, she survived a heart attack. Recently, my brother and I celebrated with her as she turned 90 years old! I do not even remember the day our father made this picture, but it was such a gift to us when it surfaced among some hidden files.

As this special holiday in May arrives for 2023, may those whose mothers have passed on be blessed with countless memories of happy times. May those with mothers still living be blessed with a wonderful day full of fun and laughter. To all—have a blessed and Happy Mother’s Day! Cherish the moments!