Saturday, May 7, 2011

Photo of My Mom—What Does It Say?

The black and white photo of my mom, Lula Capps, is worth a thousand words, but a million words remain unsaid. The picture doesn’t show the color of the rich auburn hair that she always called red. It doesn’t show it pulled back into the ponytail that I remember her wearing on a regular basis. You can’t see that she looked so youthful that she was often mistaken as a sister to her eight children.

The picture doesn’t show her talent as songwriter, singer, and musician. It merely hints of the intelligence of a woman who worked her way up from a sewing machine to management without a high-school diploma. She always taught us to believe in ourselves and that we could do anything we set our minds to do. She wanted her children to grow up to be independent adults with a good education and to have a better life.

She was not the typical mother of the 50s. She didn’t wear housedresses, cook and clean all day, or grow potted plants. She worked at a factory, wore blue jeans, read novels, played her guitar, and drank lots of coffee. On a Saturday night, you would usually find her at Grandma and Grandpa Whittle’s house jamming with her brothers.

The picture does not show the wonderful, complex woman that gave life to the eight Capps kids. It doesn’t show the struggles and triumphs of a lifetime. It doesn’t show the love she has given and received from her family. You see no hint of sadness for the future when she outlived every member of her birth family or the heartache of a woman who held a son in her arms only one time before he died. The picture doesn’t show her beautiful soul, only her lovely face and smile.

My mom was there for me when Jim developed dementia. She drove more than an hour each way to stay with Jim while I worked. She didn’t do this because she had to, but out of love for Jim and me.

To this day, my mom is my role model. She is full of life, healthy and active. She and my Aunt Labetta are always plotting something to add fun to their lives. They sing at nursing homes, plan vacations, and frequent jaunts to the casino.

Mom is spiritual without being overly religious. She talks about God as if she has a direct line to heaven, and won’t take a bite of her meal until she has asked a blessing.

I feel so lucky that God gave me to her and gave her to me, and I want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world.

Copyright © May 2011 by L. S. Fisher


Carol Noren Johnson said...

Lovely! I wish I had my wonderful mom alive as I go through my own husband's Alzhemier's.


L S Fisher said...

Carol, I am fortunate! I'm sorry about your mom.

Anonymous said...

I love this tribute to your mom, "sis". Reminds me of the woman I didn't know for all the years before I came into the family, the lovely accepting mother-in-law I had for a few years, and the sweet friend I still claim as a little bit mine!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute and an important story. Thank you.

L S Fisher said...

Thank you, Kathy, aka anonymous! Mom still loves you too. I'll always remember that you came to my dad's funeral, unlike my brother's other ex.

Thanks, River, Blood and Corn. My mom is a very special lady.