Anyway, I have my share of memories. The memory of being at the county courthouse on lunch break, watching my sister become a married woman. I remember Mama was there. I remember we were crying. I remember a lot.

A crowded restaurant. I’m eating breakfast with my mother and sister.

The newest addition to our family is here, too. My niece. She’s a toddler with reddish hair and the face of a renaissance cherub. Right now, she’s in a highchair, eating crayons, pooping her britches.

She’s a happy little thing.

The waitress comes to take our order, but we’re not ready. We just got here, and we’ve got a lot of talking to do.

“Three coffees, please,” Mama says.

It’s been so long since we ate breakfast together, I almost forgot how to do it. But it all comes back to me.

Mama looks better than she’s ever looked. She’s five-foot-one. All my life, she was five-foot-two, but age has claimed an inch.

She’s tough. She started waiting tables at twelve. During her twenties my father paid for her school by crawling on iron buildings. He worked double shifts; she studied all night to earn her degree.

My father put her through hell, then he left this world unannounced. She worked whatever jobs she could find.

I remember wandering into Chick-fil-A to see Mama behind the counter. I had just gotten off work. She handed me two sandwiches wrapped in foil, and a double-order of fries.

“You’re looking scrawny,” she said—that’s what mothers say.

I reached for my wallet.

“No,” she said. “This meal’s on the house.”

Then, I saw her dig money from her purse and place dollars into the register.

My sister is sitting beside my mother. She is magnificent. She’s a living rendition of my mother’s high-school senior portrait.

I remember when Sarah was born. I can still remember holding the gangly baby. I remember her sticky cheeks. I remember when she ate crayons.

I remember when she sat in the dugout at my Little League games. I remember when she stood beside me at my father’s funeral, holding my hand, saying, “What’s gonna happen to us?”

I remember sleeping on the floor beside her bed, every night for years. I did it because she was afraid to be alone. She’d wake up after a bad dream and squeeze me until I choked.

Later in life, I remember the three of us, cramming into an old Nissan at three in the morning. We were delivering newspapers to the sleeping world. It was decent money, but hard on the body.

I remember my sister saying once: “I hate this stupid job, Mama! Why do you hafta throw a paper so early?”

My mother smiled and said:

“Someday, life isn’t gonna be this hard. I promise. And one morning, you’ll wake up and say, ‘Look, Mama. We made it. I can’t believe it, but we made it.’”

We must’ve thrown seventeen million papers in our day.

Anyway, I have my share of memories. The memory of being at the county courthouse on lunch break, watching my sister become a married woman. I remember Mama was there. I remember we were crying. I remember a lot.

These are my women. We grew up together. We learned how to be human together. We made mistakes together. Too many mistakes. But we tried hard, and we loved harder.

I’ve been calling one of these women “Mama” for as long as I’ve been breathing. The other has called me her “brudder” for almost that long.

My mother holds my niece in her lap. She uses a high-pitched voice when she wipes crayon bits from my niece’s little mouth. You’ve never seen a more tender sight in all your life.

Look, Mama.

We made it. I can’t believe it, but we made it.

32 comments

  1. CaroG87 - March 26, 2018 9:44 am

    I love this.

    Reply
  2. Steven P Bailey - March 26, 2018 9:47 am

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  3. Sherry - March 26, 2018 10:17 am

    So glad you made it…all the better for us!

    Reply
  4. Jan - March 26, 2018 10:48 am

    Another beautiful story … the best of all beautiful stories … love and family triumph!

    Reply
  5. Kathy - March 26, 2018 10:55 am

    ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  6. LeAnne - March 26, 2018 11:28 am

    Oh my! Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you, Sean! (sniffling–again!!)

    Reply
  7. Theresa Clark - March 26, 2018 11:30 am

    I have family like this. They are my heart and soul. Thank you once again. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Jo Ann - March 26, 2018 11:49 am

    Yes, you did. How wonderful! Congratulations to you, Sean, & your family. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  9. Carol Houston Rothwell - March 26, 2018 12:30 pm

    Yes you did..!
    Love ya.👼!

    Reply
  10. Connie - March 26, 2018 12:50 pm

    Yep. You did good. Your momma must be so proud. Hugs and love to you all.

    Reply
  11. Jack - March 26, 2018 12:56 pm

    And you brought joy to all of us who have daily followed your journey!

    Reply
  12. agracefilledhome77 - March 26, 2018 1:31 pm

    One of the best stories ever!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Minnie Tate Bourque - March 26, 2018 1:32 pm

    What would we do without our memories? They keep us strong, give us comfort, keep us humble.
    Beautiful thoughts, Sean.

    Reply
  14. Jack Darnell - March 26, 2018 1:41 pm

    Beyond Sweet my friend, I am glad y’all made it. Great read (Much easier than the living it I know!)

    Reply
  15. Sue Cronkite - March 26, 2018 1:53 pm

    Another good one!

    Reply
  16. Candice - March 26, 2018 1:58 pm

    I love that you call your sister magnificent! I had a wonderful brother who felt that way about me and let me tell you there is nothing like that special relationship. I miss him every day.

    Reply
  17. Joe Breault - March 26, 2018 2:27 pm

    I would love to share some pancakes with your family.

    Reply
  18. Judy - March 26, 2018 3:01 pm

    Another beautiful story today, I read your posts every day, but hard to comment with the tears in my eyes. You are such a beautiful, kind, soul…I have recommended you to many of my friends, and they love your writings as much as I do…

    Reply
  19. Melodie - March 26, 2018 3:08 pm

    Yes! You made it!!! We, too, made it. Mama was a widow with a 9, 4, and 2 yr. old, (me). I remember those days/and many, many years, and the hard work my mama did, but, we made it, and we made it with lots and lots of love in our household. Great memories. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  20. Linda Daughtry - March 26, 2018 3:10 pm

    My mama and daddy both grew up with very little. Yet they were the wealthiest people I ever knew: like your mama!

    Reply
  21. Sandra Smith - March 26, 2018 3:20 pm

    Happy tears !!!
    ❤❤❤

    Reply
  22. Edna B. - March 26, 2018 4:10 pm

    With family and lots of love to hold on to, one can make it through the toughest times. You did, I did, lots of us did. And we thank God for that. Thank you for another beautiful story.

    Reply
  23. Jack Quanstrum - March 26, 2018 4:30 pm

    You sure did. What great story to read this morning! Inspirational!

    Reply
  24. Judith Pierce Croxton - March 26, 2018 4:56 pm

    I’m just loving your life stories!

    Reply
  25. Arlene - March 26, 2018 6:43 pm

    Love conquers all. You made it….and you are helping all of us make it, too. Thank you.

    Reply
  26. Deena - March 26, 2018 7:23 pm

    I do love this one so very much Sean. You are all so fortunate to have such love and devotion among you. 💖

    Reply
  27. Linda Allen - March 26, 2018 11:14 pm

    So incredibly sweet! ❤️

    Reply
  28. Wendy Franks - March 26, 2018 11:16 pm

    Silly me…I thought yesterday’s was the best ever. Then you come along & top it today. There’s never been a mediocre one so I’ve no idea why I should be surprised. Thank you, Sean!

    Reply
  29. LARRY WALL - March 27, 2018 4:40 pm

    There are numerous ways that a person can be wealthy. Having and being surrounded by a truly loving family makes a person the richest, and happiest, that can be alive. That is why the New Testament’s scriptures speak so often about love of one another.

    Reply
  30. Aunt Linda - March 28, 2018 3:38 am

    Loved this story, it makes me miss my Mama! I want to go back in time and tell her “Look we made it!”
    My Dad died and left my Mama with 6 children, a grandmother and little money when he passed at the young age of 45 from a Heart Attack. We often weren’t sure if we were gonna make it but with my Mother saying “Where there’s a Will there a Way”. We made it! I truly miss that women, every day. You are blessed to have yours still here, please cherish this time!

    Reply
  31. Susan Hammett Poole - March 28, 2018 8:59 am

    Yes, y’all did make it. Praise God. Life has a way of doing just that, one step at a time. I’d say you and your kin are Overcomers. Thanks be to God!

    Reply
  32. Lucretia - March 29, 2018 10:18 am

    Tears to my eyes and tears to my heart…tears of joy. We can make it. Thank you, Sean. Lucretia

    Reply

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