Breland: Comfort found at mom’s table
Published 10:40 am Friday, May 6, 2022
Sunday is Mother’s Day and many of us have been thinking about our moms and their influence on our life, remembered during this special time. Gifts and flowers are always popular.
I have written a lot about my mom over the years, as well as my mother-in-law and others who have been like mothers to me. Sometimes I probably repeat … but forgive my repetition when I step back in time.
When I think back to our mother, the memories are still so comforting to me and the rest of the family, which has since grown quite large!
As adults, our favorite family place to gather and talk was always around Mother’s kitchen table. If we happened to be sitting elsewhere, sooner or later we would gravitate to that little round wooden table. There was comfort there.
As we had so many nurses in the family, the conversation often turned to various ailments of first one or the other and stories of medical events.
The non-nurses among us learned a lot from listening to the nurses talk, especially since one was a ER nurse, another an OR nurse and then Mother, who worked the OB/GYN floor for so many years. It was a varied education for us. Many more nurses are now in the family.
There at that table, we could talk about just about anything: sad things, happy things, things we worried about and things we just needed to verbalize and get off our minds.
Mother seldom sat down at the table with us unless we were drinking coffee — and there was always coffee available. She was usually busy cooking or doing numerous odd jobs in the kitchen. She also did a lot of listening and gave comments now and then.
We often teased her of wiping her kitchen counters so much, she had virtually erased all the pattern. She had a lot of nervous energy and it was hard for her to sit still.
She enjoyed having all her children together, but she also liked to have us visit one at a time to talk. Even those visits gravitated to the kitchen table.
The grandchildren knew in that kitchen were goodies to be had for a hug and a smile. Mother kept special treats for different grandchildren. One who liked chips and dip could always depend on her to have it ready. If it was candy, it was usually in the second drawer of the cabinet. Cookies were also found there.
For the older “kids,” we looked for her fresh baked coconut pound cake and a glass of milk. Often she called us at work to come by on our way home as the warm cake would be coming out of the oven about that time.
The conversations around the table were always interesting. One we remember and still laugh about often was on the matter of our husbands’ ages.
On one particular day many, many years ago, a birthday was coming up and my brother’s wife and I were contemplating the horror of being married to 30 year-old husbands.
Mother, with her usual good common sense, commented there was something much worse than being married to a 30-year-old man. We couldn’t imagine anything worse, so we innocently asked what could be worse.
“Being the mother of one,” she replied dryly. We now understand!”
Mom had a comment or good advice for just about any occasion, sometimes serious, sometimes funny, sometimes stern — but always right.
Even at my advanced age, I so miss her good advice. Many times I find myself dispensing her advice to my children and grandchildren … often in words that sound exactly like her!
We are happy we took photos of Mother in her kitchen so that we have a visual record of her in that place where we spent so much time. Those wonderful times around the table are forever imprinted on our hearts.
I was so blessed to have such a good, wise mother and those wonderful memories. If you still have your mother, be thankful and spend time with her. After she is gone, the time to make memories is over.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!
Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.