We all have Mothers, and some are more fortunate than others are. Mothers have extreme power and influence on our lives. In fact, they can legally kill us before birth or sacrifice to make us successful citizens throughout our lives.

In nature, mothers nurture and protect their young. Animals in the wild will kill to protect their young. I was blessed with a mother who was very protective of me. That protection was not always welcome. She would not allow me to go to farm ponds without adult supervision so as not to expose me to some of the activities going on at those locations. The negative part of that was that I never learned to swim and generally had a fear of water.

She had a list of girls I was forbidden to date or become too friendly with. The result was that I had to find a girlfriend at least ten miles from home. She did not want me marrying into the families of mountain people. She knew too much of their family histories and believed that the wages of the sins of the parents could be passed on to future generations. She did not want that burden on her grandchildren.

She was a strong-willed woman and succeeded at most things she was determined to accomplish.

She failed at one goal due to the strong will of her first born child. For eighteen years she tried to get me to eat raw “sunny-side-up” eggs. She failed and I ate my first scrambled eggs on the morning after my wedding. My new bride knew how to scramble eggs and cooks them well.

My mother was the daughter of a farmer, house painter, Pentecostal preacher who believed organized denominations and salaried pastors were causing compromises of the Gospel. My grandfather had a profound impact on my life.

My mother had no tolerance for people who did not tell the truth and she would call them out when she was impacted.

I met up with a State Senator at a Corn Festival in Travelers rest. He greeted me with: “Bob, Your mama got my goat!” He rushed on to participate in the corn-shucking contest and later I asked him what he meant. My mother was about 90 at the time and she was milking two goats and providing milk to people with stomach problems, but the Senator did not have goats. What was he talking about?

“You misunderstand me Bob. Your mother asked me a question that I could not answer and she ‘got my goat’”

Then he explained: About once a year, your mother or one of her sisters would invite me to speak to their UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) chapter in Greer.They always asked me to protect the flag on the capital dome. I always promised to protect it. Then came a proposed compromise. We would build a memorial to African-Americans on State House grounds and move the battle flag to the Confederate soldier’s statue where it could never be removed by law. I thought that was a reasonable solution to resolve the controversy once and for all.”

“After that decision, your mother called me.” She said, “you came before our group and said that flag would be removed over your dead body. My question for you is: ‘Are you dead or are you a liar?’”
“She got my goat: I didn’t have an answer.”

Happy Mothers Day!

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