Remembering the Melodies

4 min readFeb 26, 2020

Another year has rolled around and it’s that time of year… it’s Momma’s birthday. I remember the Sundays we all gathered at home. She always said, “give me my flowers while I’m living.” We understood, and we did not wait until she was gone to celebrate her life. She was so right.

The pineapple chiffon cake she loved. The gifts. The cards. She always said, “you didn’t need to do that.” But most of all I remember all of us gathered around the table with our little ones, laughing and enjoying the time we had. That’s what she loved. Good memories. Those were special family times.

Momma was her own person for sure. She was born in the Western mountains of North Carolina, one of twelve children. To say they were poor would be an understatement. The large family picked up and for reasons unknown moved to the foothills. I imagine in the pre-WWII days it was for economic reasons.

The mountain spirit lived in my mother’s bones. She was proud and determined to rise above any disadvantage that was in her path. And that she did. The quote by Henry David Thoreau has always reminded of her, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” And oh, did she!!!

Even though she was a small woman, she had an iron will. She had a desire for her children to have a better life. With sheer grit, she saw that goal through to the end.

But that was not the essence of my mother. It was if she wore armor on the outside. Although she was a fierce protector, on the inside was a tender woman that could cry and giggle… yes, giggle. She loved to laugh.

Her love for her God I’m sure was her empowering glue. Second to God was her family. Lovingly intertwined in the very fibers of her being was her music. She would not have been able to stand without her song.

She could not have praised God, nor could she have swept the house, cooked dinner, or rocked her children without music. Her beautiful alto…




RB is a retired psychotherapist, storyteller, genealogists and lover of family.