Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day #60

    On Sunday we will celebrate our mothers. I've read many posts and many blogs this week about this special day. It seems most of them are about mothers who have gone on to Heaven and how much we miss them and yearn for them. And we do! I was just old enough to have memories when my mother tragically died from breast cancer at the tender age of thirty-five! I was seven. So I know and understand your pain, especially if this is the first Mother's Day you will not celebrate, but most likely endure.
These are my thoughts about my mother on my 60th Mother's Day without a mother.
 
    She was beautiful, loving and kind. Her name is Eula Florene Berg Dunlap. She was born to Frank and Ruth Berg. Her father was German, born to parents who had only been in America a short time. She was raised on a small farm of a few acres that my Papa Berg either rented or share cropped. My mother grew up in a small, four room house surrounded on three sides by cotton fields and a dirt road in front that bordered the levee of the St. Francis River. A fenced pasture was home to the milk cow and the outhouse. The barn and chicken coop were not far from the back door and the outside pump. No running water, no indoor bathroom and no grass growing and perfectly manicured in the yard. Just a basic little house, warmed in the winter by the wood stove where her daddy sat in his rocker smoking his pipe that filled the room with the aroma of sweet tobacco. My mother was a daughter, a sister, a student, a basketball player,and a friend.
At the young age of seventeen she became a wife when she married my daddy, Harmon Holiday Dunlap. They eventually settled in Lake City with their two boys, Bruce and Charles. She was a stay-at-home mother, except when she worked alongside my daddy at Dunlap's Variety Store on Main Street. After my brothers were in school she would hold my hand as we walked the one block across the Court Square to the back door of our store. There she would help customers, straighten shelves and accompany my daddy (and sometimes me) to Memphis to buy from the wholesale companies. I remember sitting on the counter while she brushed my hair, going to the corner grocery to buy an ice cream bar and spending many hours in the back rooms of the store with my brothers and sometimes cousins as my parents worked late on Saturday nights.She couldn't get far from me, I was fiercely attached to her and that didn't bode well when I started to school. One of my fondest memories is the way she would warm a blanket by the stove in our living room, wrap it around me, and tuck me into bed. She never raised her voice, she was always soft spoken and I never wanted to be anywhere but with her.



Mother believed in Jesus and taught us about Him. Her favorite chapter was the 23rd Psalm. We were members at the First Baptist Church in Lake City, where my daddy served as a deacon and my mother served in the Beginners Sunday School class. There is a story among my cousins that on Sunday morning toward the end of the sermon my mother would pinch me to make me cry so she could leave and finish Sunday dinner and have it ready by the time everyone else arrived. I am not sure that is a true story, but it's a good one!
I remember being told that we were having another baby. I was so excited and I insisted on a sister! I did not want another brother, I already had two! Fortunately for them God granted my wish and on December 14, 1954 my mother gave birth to my sweet sister, Sarah Sue.
She went home to be with Jesus in October, 1955. I have missed her every day of my life. I try to focus on all that she gave me in that short span of time. The knowledge that I was loved, cared for, nurtured, wanted, poured into and the list could go on and on. How blessed I am that God gave her to me to be my mother. She gave me more in that small space of time than some daughters get over an entire lifetime.  I didn't know that when I was young and felt so cheated. But as I have mentored over the years I've discovered that some daughters don't receive from their mothers what I did. So, for that I am thankful. On
Sunday I will remember her with gratitude for the incredible woman she was. Will I still miss her and yearn for her? Absolutely, but as each year passes I get closer and closer to that reunion one day!

  Happy
     Mother's
            Day
                in Heaven,
                       Mother!