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A Mother's Day Tribute To My Grandmother
by LaBreeska Hemphill
A Mother according to Webster, is a woman who has born a child, or one who nurtures, having responsibility and authority over a child, such as a step-mother, an adoptive mother, etc...
Because of my parent's divorce when I was four, there were several “mothers” that had a hand in raising me. My birth mother, my step-mother, and my two spirit-filled grandmothers. Each of these women are very dear to me, even though they are no longer with us, and made positive deposits into my character. In this article I have chosen to introduce Mama Rogers, one of my precious grandmothers, to commemorate Mothers Day. She was the ultimate example of the word Mother. Some of the things that I have written here are excerpts about her from my latest book My Daddy Played The Guitar.
The Proverbs 31 Woman
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her...Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:10-30).
The Art of Loving
I stood at the kitchen sink, gazing out the window at the hubbub of activity in our backyard. The birds were chirping and flitting, and the bushy tails were scampering from tree to tree. Blue Jays were musically at war, staking their claims in the canopy of green. Summer had finally arrived and the sun was splashing its warm, golden rays with dappled beauty, dazzling everything it touched. For a moment I marveled at God’s magnificent creation. However my mood didn’t match the festive scene before me. My mind was on Mama Rogers. It was hard to believe that my dear grandmother was really gone. Today I had an overwhelming desire, an aching need to talk with her, and wondered how I had let her slip away without learning her secret. I needed to know how she became the lovable, gracious, most even-tempered person I had ever known. All of the virtues that made her who she was loomed before me at that moment as unattainable.
Mama and Papa Rogers had lovingly taken me in with open arms when my parents divorced. They cushioned the separation from my mother with their affection. At the time that Dad and I moved in with them, they had several children still at home, to feed, clothe, and send to school. As I look back, I realize the extra work that our presence must have created; yet they included us and cared for me without hesitation.
The scenes that flash into mind when I think of my sweet grandmother are pleasant ones. The way she hummed around the house as she worked, bringing order to the chaos of howling grandbabies while helping one of her married daughters or daughters-in-law with their wash. I never saw a scowl or heard a harsh word from this gentle soul. That’s not to say she couldn’t demand orderly conduct from her children. She was an expert at that as well.
To rightfully describe Mama Rogers I would have to begin with her heart. It was as warm and ample as her lap that held and rocked me. I remember the well-scrubbed smell of soap, mixed with the delightful odors of starch and sunshine that were always with her and seemed to be her natural fragrance. The sound of her voice was as gentle and pleasant as laughter, as she doled out a well-balanced diet of love and discipline to her children.
Most importantly, Mama Rogers was a Christian, and that was no secret. Everyone that knew her knew she had a personal relationship with the Lord, and it blessed our whole family. Mama Rogers was not overly vocal about her Christian experience. It was mostly her demeanor that won me over and played a big part in my wanting to become a Christian at an early age.