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Holidays are when we miss loved ones the most

By Kay S. Pedrotti

Those of you who still have your mothers with you, rejoice! Nobody loves you like your mother (with a few exceptions- not all moms are good to their kids, and some dads can be your best friends).

Whenever November and December come around, I really miss my mother, Sarah Katherine Biggers Smith. She was born July 19, 1915, in Haralson County, Ga., and died on Nov. 18 , 1993, in Hilliard, Fla., where my parents lived. For the last three years of her life, she was mostly bedridden and not in her right mind.

Her folks were farmers; Mama had five sisters and two brothers.

When she graduated Rebecca High School in 1934, she followed her older sister Elsie to Trevecca Nazarene College in Tennessee and earned what amounted to a teaching degree at the time. Teaching first grade became her lifelong career. Mama was so good with children that they were mostly ready for third grade by the time they reached second.

My earliest memories of her were from the times my parents lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and Dothan, Ala. I can remember holding on to her for dear life as she tried to reassure me that Daddy would not fall out the apartment window – he was trying to fix the old “reel-in” clothesline that was such a feature of apartment buildings in the 1940s.

I honestly cannot remember what my father’s job was in Jacksonville then. The next one was as state editor for The Dothan Eagle.

But this is for Mama – the one who made all the moves, cooked all the meals, looked after a handful of trouble named Kay, washed clothes in the bathtub, and made our lives a lot of fun. She took me to baseball games to see Daddy play. She even used a $2 bill Daddy had given her to get a taxi to the hospital once – I had tripped and hit my forehead on the leg of an overturned doll’s bed, and she knew I needed stitches. When I was three, “911” was unheard of.

It was a move to Fitzgerald that brought the birth of my sister Vicki; I loved that little one, but Mama loved us more.

She always appreciated anything she received as birthday or Christmas presents, but many times she passed those on to people she thought needed them more.

It’s strange to say now that she actually cried one year when I brought her a cake from the local bakery – everybody had been willing to bake for her, but she really treasured that store-bought creation.
And to this day, I treasure her, and always will.

Kay S. Pedrotti has spent some 50 years writing for newspapers. She is a past president of Lamar Arts Inc. and now serves on the board of directors. She lives in Milner with her husband Bob Pedrotti.

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