I was cleaning out my purse the other day and I ran across a whole bunch of I.O.U.'s. Some of them nearly 70 years overdue. The funny thing is, all these I.O.U.'s are owed to one person, and I kinda feel that right now might be a pretty good time for an accounting. "MOM"?
YOU LISTENING? "Mom"? I owe you for so many things, a lot of services, like, Night Watchman for instance, for lying awake nights, listening for coughs, cries, creakin' floorboards, and me coming in too late. You had the eye of an eagle, the patience of a angel.. but you always had a heart as big as a house.
I owe you for services as a short order cook, chef, baker, for making sirloin out of hamburger, turkey out of tuna fish and a healthy family out of leftovers.
I owe you for cleaning services, for the daily scrubbing of face and ears, all work done by hand, and the licking the end of hanky or your loving fingers to wipe the smudges off my face.
For washing and ironing no laundry could ever do, and for drying the tears of childhood, and for ironing out the problems of growing up.
I owe you for service as a bodyguard, for protecting me from the terrors of thunderstorms and nightmares, and too many green apples.
And I owe you for medical attention, for nursing me through measles, mumps, bruises, bumps, and spring fever. And let's not forget medical advice either. Important things like don't scratch it or it won't get well. If you make a face or cross your eyes they're gonna stick like that, and probably most important of all, be sure you've got on clean underwear in case you're in an accident.
And I owe you for veterinarian services, for feeding every lost dog for the cats, birds, and hampsters and for healing the pains of puppy love.
And I owe you for entertainment. Entertainment that kept the household going through some pretty tough times, for wonderful productions at Christmas, fourth of July and birthdays, and for making "make-believe" come true on a very limited budget.
I owe you for construction work, for building kites, making rag dolls, confidence, hopes and dreams, and somehow you made them all touch the sky, and our hearts, and for cementing a family together, so it could stand the worst kinds of shocks and blows, and for laying down a good, strong foundation to build a life on.
I owe you for carrying charges, for carrying us on your books for the necessities of life that a growing family just gotta have. Things like a pair of saddle shoes, a poodle skirt and a peasant blouse you sewed from a flour sack.
And one thing Mom, I will never ever forget when there were not enough pieces of apple pie, I noticed that you were the one who suddenly decided that you really didn't like apple pie in the first place.
These are just a very few of the things for which payment is long overdue. The person I owe them to worked very cheap. She managed by simply doing without a whole lotta things she needed herself.
My I.O.U.'s add up to much more than I could ever hope to repay. But you know the nicest thing of it all is that I know she'll mark the entire bill "paid in full' for just one kiss, and four little words......
"MOM, I LOVE YOU."
Adapted from Jimmy Dean and Larry Markes by SimplySallyŠ2011