My Beautiful Mother


Josie Dee Reynolds McClain and Brenda at wedding in Iowa.


“Tough to lose your mother. Now, years later, it’s still tough. I’d give up worlds to be able to give her a gentle, easy, slow-moving hug today. One that wouldn’t frighten her. One that maybe couldn’t be returned. Or understood.”                          – CINDY ADAMS, NY POST 


Not a day goes by I don’t think about  my Mother*, want to call her, ask her forgiveness when I treated her unkindly. Missing her is the hardest. I didn’t always cherish her. Why can’t we get “do-overs”?

“Each year, reliving their own unopened wounds or hurts, people mention this column to me. They ask that I reprise some version of my annual Mother’s Day column. And, my eyes flooding with tears, I recall my own bad time. It was my little third grade class’ outdoor maypole dance. The morning, chilly. My mother brought a sweater. I pushed her away. It was awful. She left mortified. I still cannot wipe that image from my mind. And it was civilizations ago.” – Cindy Adams, NY POST today.

THANKFUL for last 13 years with her.  Weeping as I write, it’s the reason no real pictures of her are showing in my house, only paintings. Pictures are too real, just remind of the trips we took, the prayers we said, and the laughter. They were abundant. 

One day my Mother and sisters went to lunch at McAlister’s. Their big, clear, plastic drinking glasses with tea were a favorite. Taking our tea with us as we were leaving, Mother looked shocked, asking “Can we take these glasses with us?”

For that moment she wasn’t thinking they were plastic.  We all laughed til we cried…for her birthday the next month went to McAlister’s and purchased a set of 8 glasses and wrapped them beautifully as her Birthday present. More laughs. She was always able to laugh at herself. 

Thirty years ago i would’ve been embarrassed to admit I moved my bed into her bedroom for the last few years of her life. In reality, I fought this request from her for ‘too long’. In retrospect it was the best thing i could have done.

“I wanted to crawl into that bed alongside her. But no possibility. No room. I was also terrified this would frighten her. Worse, the bed might collapse. All I could do was stroke that small head. I remembered that gorgeous head when it was full of information — big and strong and knowledgeable and featured a powerful mane of thick red hair. It seemed tiny now. Hair, white. Sparse. Shiny.”   – Cindy Adams’ NY Post today.

She was my biggest fan, my encourager. She believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.  My first national television appearance, she took a picture of the screen credit!

Nobody loved church like my Mother.  We went every time the Church doors were open. we loved it, she loved and my Father eventually did too. One morning, more than twenty years ago she called me, whispering “He’s going to church with me this morning.”

Still remember her call. He had been baptized years before, for years now he stayed home when Mother went – by herself – as we had all left home. She never complained. Never.  

Eternally grateful, and blessed and…I could go on for days.

Finally understand the term, “just one more day.”

my favorite memory…

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Proverbs 31

A PROVERBS 31 Woman is in our midst.

Ruth Brooks Langford

A virtuous woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. She watches her tongue and speaks with wisdom. She understands that beauty is a temporal thing.

She is wise “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). The godly woman speaks with wisdom. She doesn’t throw her words in vain. She does not harm with words, is always ready to give advice.


There is not a job that’s too small or trivial for Ruth. She has called me daily for these last few months: to remind me to take my medicine and to check in and see  if I’d done my exercises. Who does this? 

Ruth does. I feel lucky to be in her aura during this time in  my life. 

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Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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Of course I did.



Forgot friends who have been invaluable to me during this current journey. Earlier this week Paris and Charity Broyles came to visit. Met Paris and family when they moved next door one month after we moved into our house. Her children were babies.  

So here’s the thing: Paris has been with me through thick and thin. She has never waivered in her support of me (or my Mother when she was alive.) Paris is a Wife, Mom, Daughter, Aunt, and FRIEND to many, I’m lucky to be in her aura. Her children have integrity out the ying yang. 

Paris, Charity and Brenda.

Seque last night: Paris and Charity took me (still cannot drive) to deliver my Aunts’ Christmas present and out to dinner. Paris, and so  many others who’ve helped me – well I have no idea how they get it all done. But the do with a smile on their faces. And I was on the receiving end just as I’ve been with so many during this time. 

Next up:

Ruth Brooks Langford

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