When Mama was alive, my two sisters and I called her “a character.” And she was. Fesity, opinionated, intelligent, independent, funny, sometimes maddening. She made the best peach cobbler in Lee County. Her chicken with dressing was unsurpassed and appeared on the table every Thanksgiving and Christmas. She read everything she could get her hands on. She was such an expert at working crossword puzzles, she did them in ink! She played piano by ear, loved gardening and travel and shopping.
And, oh, how she loved to laugh! I can picture her sitting at the head of the dining room table, laughing at something one of her grandchildren said, laughing so hard tears rolled down her cheeks.
Mama was such a staunch Democrat, she fell into that category called yellow dog, meaning she’d vote for a yellow dog before she’d vote for a Republican. Since we’re a family of mixed political viewpoints, I always warned my children not to discuss politics with Mama.
Even when her time came to leave, she still had a spark that could reduce us to stitches. It was 2004, and incumbent President George Bush was running for a second term. The night before she died, she was adamant about voting on the Democratic ticket. In her eulogy, I told a large gathering of family and friends that I was certain Mama was storming around Heaven searching for an absentee ballot.
After she died, I lost my spark to write. It was only six months later, when I got an opportunity to write for Harlequin’s NEXT imprint, that I started writing again. That book, Driving Me Crazy, written as Peggy Webb, resurrected my mama.
And I’ve been resurrecting her ever since. Queen in The Sweetest Hallelujah (Elaine Hussey) was another version of my mama. Sweet Mama in The Oleander Sisters shows many sides of my mama, particularly the fierce side. Like Sweet Mama, my own mother who would fight a cross-cut saw for her family.
If your mother is still with you, you are blessed. If she isn’t, I hope you’re blessed with wonderful memories!
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Thanks for stopping by. See you next Monday! (More or less. Sometimes life has a way to derailing my plans.)