Mar 13, 2012
My mom was my hero.
She truly was “Jesus with skin on” to literarily hundreds of people through her life.
I wrote a poem to honor her that I had planned to read at her memorial service.
I could hardly get through the first few lines before breaking into tears.
Thankfully, my son Ryan stepped in and saved the day by agreeing to read it to our family and friends.
My mother, or as the grandchildren knew her “Granny Hulsey”, spent hours on end rocking in her recliner.
It was actually a “glider” that was designed to rock babies in. She loved it and spent countless hours a day rocking/gliding away in it.
Are There Gliders In Glory?
Born in the foothills of Rome
A slice of pure heaven
Clara Louise Gresham
One child of eleven
Life was simple back in the day
Get up, do your chores with your kin
Walk to school, and if you’re lucky
Do it all over again.
No tweeting or Facebook
No TV or texting
Milking cows and picking beans
In their spare time they were probably resting!
Mama was a great athlete
She was awesome on the court
But it’s still hard for me to believe
That “tumbling” was a sport?!
I had big dreams as a kid
To make it to “the show”
But not many people knew
That mom, not dad taught me everything I know
She grew up and got married
Had four kids who turned out to be jocks
I can see how that could happen
Because she was a stone-cold fox!
Things got kinda ugly
Married to an abusive husband and father
Mama wouldn’t stand for that!
She took her kids and said ” holla”
She kicked the jerk out
And set out on her own
Her focus was on her babies
But, how could she have known?
A knock on the door
After just a few weeks
The bank foreclosed on our home
We had to hit the streets
We moved to government housing
Government food and cheese
Mom worked at the I Hop
More syrup, please
Then something wonderful happened
You see, God had a plan
She met a “real” husband
His name was Dan
A hard worker and loving
Wow, what a man
Four crazy step kids
For a year, we owned that man!
Slowly he came to his senses and thought
What have I done?
It wasn’t long to we were saying
“He’s got a belt, run!”
We were a true family
Since mom found a real man
But surprises kept coming
Can you say, little Dan?
He married a woman with four kids?!
Surely, he must be soft.
No, not really. Clara put something on him
That Ajax wouldn’t get off!
He showed us what real dad was
A better father you will never see
I hope I can be half the dad
He didn’t have to be.
Then we all started growing up
You know that’s the way life goes
Mom and dad would have time
For vacations, movies, and shows
But life had other plans
Sometimes things don’t go so great
Through out every situation
Papa and Granny stepped up to the plate
I won’t go through all of the details
We really don’t have the time right now
But believe me, if you knew them
All you could say is…wow!
All the children grew up
And went our own separate ways
But we all get together
On Christmas and birthdays
Granny has mellowed out now
It’s not hard to see it
Instead of whippings and spankings
She now says “so be it”
The woman who used to threaten to whip me
“Within an inch of my life”
Now tells her grand kids to “love, love, love”
There is no need for strife
Now she sits in her glider
Watches Oprah and reads her mags
She was once a trained assassin
Now she’s a dishrag!
A candy drawer for the grand kids
Neighborhood kids swim in mass
What happened to that single mom
Who would tear up that a__?
Clara is gone! She’s put in her time
With all of life’s worries
She deserves to relax
And not get in a hurry
Now we call her Granny
Clara is no more
Hey, where is Papa?
He’s gone to the store
Now she rocks the days away
Spreading love and wisdom
If you are willing listen
You are sure to get some
Her 72nd birthday
Was just the other day
Daniel and Kelly came over Saturday
My family visited Sunday
I noticed she wasn’t feeling to well
But she would never say so
It was just a little over a week later
We were forced to let her go.
I walked in her house yesterday
And knew she wouldn’t be there
That didn’t keep me from looking
For her in that big brown chair
The ole trusty glider
You would always find her in it
Laughing, smiling, and singing
Why you could even spin it!
The glider now sits there empty
The TV screen is black
It’s slowly starting to set in
That she’s not coming back
I picked up the phone to call her
Aunt Inez is in the hospital for care
My heart sunk when it hit me
My mama isn’t there
I still can’t believe it
It’s happened all so fast
One day she’s rocking and smiling
And the next day she has passed
I’m trying to deal with this
In my own unique way
That’s why I sat down and wrote
This poem today
I just want to tell the world
That even though she’s gone
She’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen
To Jesus with skin on.
She’s a wife, a friend, a teacher
The best mother you could be
I am everything I am
Because she loved me.
So Granny, Clara, mama
You are on your way
I believe you are in heaven
And I’ll see you again some day
But until that day comes
And you are able to tell the whole story
Just answer me this one question,
Are there gliders in Glory?