Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mama's Hands

Mama would be 71 on June 20. She's been gone for nine years. Has it been that long? For a long time after she died I still reached for the phone to call her and when I drove past her neighborhood I would get a lump in my throat or tears would gather in the corner of my eyes. I miss her so! There are little things I miss the most; going by to see her on a Saturday before she went to work. She always had fresh coffee made and a cake or something sweet to eat. That was the German in her - she would show her love by feeding you.

She always put her family first. Mama was not a modern, liberated woman. The only thing she ever wanted to be was a wife and mother.  She had a sweet and caring spirit and a sensitive soul and a forgiving heart. And she loved her grandchildren. I remember her last Christmas. Weak from her illness she had still managed to buy toys for the little ones and store them in the closet. I wrapped the presents for her and she gave me money to buy the rest.

Mama was never going to grow old. She had that European porcelain skin, not a wrinkle in sight. Mama believed in cold cream. And at 61 she still dyed her hair a rich, auburn color. Her hands were beautiful and didn't look like the hands of a waitress at all. Mama took care of her hands and she didn't go to a salon.

I look at my raggedy cuticles and chewed off nails and my wrinkled hands and wonder if there is some miracle cream that would give me hands like my mother had. I doubt it.

Happy Mother's Day,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"I Had a Choice Today"

I had a choice today
to feel sorry for myself
or wake up with a smile

I had a choice today
to speak with anger
or stop a careless word

I had a choice today
to break a promise I had made
or keep my word and follow through

I had a choice today
to lie, cheat, or to deceive
or be honest and tell the truth

I had a choice today
to hold myself in high esteem
or humble myself before the Lord

I had a choice today
to turn my back on someone who needed me
or bend over and help them back up

I had a choice today
to speak words of hatred
or speak encouraging words

I had a choice today
to nurse a grudge and carry a chip on my shoulder
or forgive as the Lord as forgiven me

I had a choice today
to wish that I was someone else
or accept the person God wants me to be

I had a choice today
to cry bitter tears for things I cannot change
or hope for a brighter future

I had a choice today
to reject my faith and turn my back on God
or accept him fully in my heart

I had a choice today
Did I make the wrong choice?
 Or did I choose the right way?

I had a choice today
because it's never too late
to get down on your knees and pray


c Anita M. Ashworth 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"A Southern Childhood" - a Poem

I have been inspired to write a poem beginning with "I am" by published author and blogger Sheryl Ann Crawford, here, who has written many children's books. She recently highlighted a beautiful poem written by Janet, from West Virginia. I wrote this one with thoughts of my Tennessee cousins in mind.

“I Am”

I am from poor dirt farmers
Working in the fields
With backs hunched over
Wiping the sweat from their brow

And I am from the blue collar workers
Who worked a 40-hour week
Never asking for a hand-out
Just wanting to make a living

I am a singer of Gospel songs
Saved in a little country church
With folks waving their funeral parlor fans
In a chorus of “Amens”

I am from playing outside after dusk
Swatting mosquitoes on a hot, summer's eve
Walking to the corner grocery store
For a cold bottle of Coca Cola

I am from rusty pick-up trucks
Fishing ponds and coon dogs,
Cotton fields and tire swings
Listening to the whistle of a train

I am from a Southern childhood
From biscuits made from scratch
Sweet tea, and wraparound porches
And Jesus as my Savior

(c) Anita M. Ashworth 2010