Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 9, 2013

DAY: Another hug, kiss for Mom

By Ray Day
Tribune columnist

— As I relive those wonderful days of old, I get a little wet in the eyes. My heart pounds as things that, at the time, did not mean that much to us, now are memories so precious to me and my brothers and sisters.

Mom standing at the cook stove for such a long time, you would think she would want to sit down and rest. But rest was not her way of life when her man and her children were looking forward to some of the best eating there is.

Mom was a great cook, and she was a greater mother. I remember that in the mornings before school, she would have a big platter of bacon and eggs ready for us. We all started the day off right, with a warm, fed belly and, at the door, a nice wonderful hug and kiss.

You couldn’t start any day off better than that.

Dad would still be at the table, taking his time tasting every little bite he took. Dad was never really the type to hug and kiss us, but we knew he loved us anyway. About the only time we would see him would be at the breakfast table, right after he got home from work, or just before he would leave for his midnight turn at the mill.

He was a hard worker. He knew that his family relied on him to bring home a paycheck every two weeks.

While we were in school and he was at work, you would think that Mom would get a little rest. But she always had something to do. If she did have time, she liked to play songs on her piano.

Mom made quilts, and she was good at it, and usually each member of the family would get a quilt when they got married. She was good at darning socks, and she always laughed when I would say that I had the best darned socks ever.

Mom was a cook who stayed with the same type of foods. And tasting the biscuits smothered with butter really hit the spot with a good, hot cup of coffee.

To set it straight, we boys in the family were started on coffee early in life, and we have never changed. Cornbread and beans with fried taters and onions made a meal for a king, and sometimes she would surprise us with a big pan of mush made from scratch. She would slice it and fry it in a little lard or bacon grease and, boy, that sure hit the spot. Always, there were some beans left over, and Mom would make bean cakes by adding flour and seasoning with chopped onions, and she would fry them like she did the mush.

Boy, this old man is getting hungry just writing about the things that our mother cooked. She would make homemade pancakes, and the syrup she used was made of sugar and water heated up until it had some thickness to it.

Eating meals at the Day household was a happening that was made by the best cook ever. And Mom just kept doing and doing, finding something to do until her family got home. And when you got home, there she was, standing at the door with a smile on her face that would light up the whole neighborhood.

I could go on and on writing about my mother, but the hardest thing we ever had to do was give her back to God. She had done her time to the fullest down here on Earth, and God said, “Come, my child, it is time to come home.”

For those of you out there who still have your mothers with you, I ask you to go to them and give them a good hug and kiss. Even though you think you did that a lot, there is always one more that you can give her. Mothers are a gift to us, and we should show that we appreciated it.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.