Mothers — a sweet refrain

Mother’s Day is now past, but Mother still lives clearly within my being. She died in 1985, but my mother made me go to church with her and my sister, taught me about Christ, read Bible stories to me at bedtime, prayed and taught me to pray, instilled in me some God-given sense, planted the seeds of my “delightful” sense of ornery humor; showed me how to sweep, vacuum, mop, dust, wash dishes by hand, and do laundry, basic sewing, and basic cooking; and how to treat a woman, come in outta the rain, never back-talk her, and possess a tender heart.

(Dad infused into my being that if I ever got into trouble at school, disrespected Mother, did stupid stuff — such as breaking the law — I would die before the courts ever had a chance to convict me.)

Mother firmly guided me by Bible, switch, wooden spoon, a loving hand upon my rebellious butt to abide upon the narrow way, and to go hungry if I didn’t want to eat what she made.

(Dad was street-raised, a 1937 3 C’s member, World War II veteran, took no “shtuff,” and was Mother’s backup. If Dad got involved, it was all over but the funeral.)

Sadly, Mother died before my three toddlers were long under her umbrella. I see my three, now grown into their own families, and believe Mother’s prayers are still working.  Here is something I wrote that Mother never got to read.  I think she’d like it:

Sweet Refrain

Child, listen now to this sweet refrain

From an older man with a graying mane.

Its chorus is a life-filled tune of passing years,

Of unspoken cheers,

Of dreams and memories kept,

Of children’s laughter, of toddler’s step,

Of gurgling glasses, of happy squeals,

Of conversations at family meals,

Of silent nights while babies sleep.

These are the things so dear I keep,

Remembering the wealth of such riches,

And feeling the freshness of loving kisses.

I can see those little prints of hands and feet,

And smile that I thought things had to be so neat,

On cleaned windows or carpet floors,

Or crayon art on refrigerator doors,

Or tracks by cars or pen upon the wall,

Left by little people not so tall,

Or special forks and spoons and cups,

For the little folks that I cleaned up,

Or child-filled wonder that I did so much,

And hugs that on sleepy mornings woke me up.

So, now the silence of these things

Are the songs that make us sing.

Who rocked the cradle or held their hand

When we were in another land

Of parenthood, you see,

I knew a younger you with a younger me.

©Oct. 18, 1999, H.R. Grimm

Warning: These musings may be serious or may be humorous. Enjoy! H.R. Grimm is a self-described lovable, prone to blunt, witty, tending toward sarcastic, saved-by-grace, constantly thinking storyteller. Grimm, a military veteran, and his wife now call La Vernia home. Email

Behind the pulpit

H.R. Grimm, an ordained clergyman and a former pastor, will be the guest preacher at Marcelina Baptist Church Sunday, May 15, at the 11 a.m. worship service.

The church is located at 510 C.R. 404, off S.H. 97 northeast of Floresville.