Blog 2206 – 11.01.2021
Thinking About Mama
The motto on the front of my pickup reads, “Think Happy Thoughts.” Many of the happiest thoughts that I have carried in my head and my heart throughout my life have been and still are about my beloved mama.
Alene Florence Davidson White was born on November first, nineteen hundred thirty one. She would have turned ninety today. She would not have cared very much for that. I recall that she was not very happy even turning thirty just after Halloween in nineteen sixty.
Just three years after my daddy passed in 1997 mama chose to end her own life. Always one who suffered life’s slings and arrows deeper than most and one who saw her own cup as not even half empty but broken, she came to loath each new day. She was not a happy camper. But my mama loved me and for most of my life I thought that I would never find anyone who could or would love me as much as she did. Fortunately I was wrong about that and many other things.
Upon meeting my then new girlfriend and soon to be last lovely wife, Linda, my mother took me aside and in her blunt and forthright way announced, “You know, Son, this woman is never going to let you go.”For many years I misunderstood her remark as some kind of dire warning. It was not, but something that gave my mama some peace. I think she knew she had met her equal and superior, someone who could and would out love even her in the Baby David department.
Less than a year after that historic meeting of the two great loves of my life, Linda and I were married and she gave birth to our baby boy Jonathan David James Wallace White. Oh, Lordy how she loved and still does that boy, me too.
Linda told me recently that I did not have to be jealous of her love for Jay because I was her first love. I know that my mama loved my younger brother and even my dad, but I always believed that she loved me best. That is an expression that some people like to use as if it were a point to be argued – “I love you best.” One of the things named as proofs of love in the Apostle Paul’s “things love is list” is that love does not keep score i.e. “keeps no list of wrongs.” Love does not just forgive and forget. Love is blind to our faults and shortcomings and sees us at our best even when we do not.
Today on what would have been the ninetieth birthday of the first woman who ever loved me, even before my heart grew big enough to love her back, I’d like to tell her and the whole Universe, “Thanks for loving me” especially that pretty and petite little South Carolina Girl with a heart even more fierce and determined that my mama’s to love me and hold on to me no matter what. Everyone should be so lucky as I am and so loved.
Linda reminds me of my Mama and is like her in so many ways that it is sometimes a bit scary, but one important way in which she is not like my mama at all is that one of her favorite poems has always been: “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.” Like my mama’s first assessment of Linda I did not always understand that poem, but I am beginning too. A love song from my youth comes to me: “I wanna love my life away. I wanna love my life away. I wanna love, love, love, love my life away with you” – my loving and lovely wife, Linda Lee Stokes.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
Author’s footnote regarding the picture above: Last week another Baby that Linda loves almost as much as me took her to see the first game of the World Series at home in Houston. Her beloved Astros lost but she had a great time with our boy. And hey the Astros won a big one last night in Atlanta to keep the Series alive and bring it back home to Houston. Go Astros. May the best team win.