Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mama On: Working With What You've Got

"Life may not be fair, but this one is all you get -- make the most of it."

Maybe this bit of Mamaknology should have been put in place on Mother's Day, but I think that it is appropriate to all the days of a life lived with Mamaknowledge -- yes, that's the proper noun for what we're practicing here.

Anyway, I took a look at a special picture the other day. It was a very old picture, the kind people throw away with hardly a thought -- mostly because they look like junk or trash. Heck, it was old! But like I said, this picture is special. The woman pictured is named Betsy Sims Cyrus. She is my grandmother's grandmother.

That makes Betsy my great-great-grandmother.

Which made me think. It makes me wonder what her words of wisdom would be for those of us trying to do the math. See, Betsy trekked from Georgia to Texas on the Trail Of Tears -- about 170 years ago, for the history and math impaired among us. The cool thing is not just that she made it. The amazing thing is that Betsy found a way to make a life for herself and her family, and it must have been a good one, because here we all are today.

The exciting thing is that just looking at this picture, I get to lock real value into the Mamaknology of working with what you've got. Betsy's son Moses was my great-grandfather, and he took great pride in providing and educating all thirteen of his children. Happily, my Grandmother Bert shared his pride, forced it through my father (Leon) and into me. And because Leon married my mom, the original Mamaknologist, it stuck.

Now, that's some powerful Mamaknology!

But, I guess I should tell you what the cool thing is, huh? The cool thing is that all of my cousins and I get to look at this picture, all these years later. Even through things she could never have imagined -- from World Wars and moon landings, to women sitting on the Supreme Court and an American President with skin the color of her generational children, more than just her image has survived. Egyptian pharoahs built great monuments to their glory, but Betsy left this picture and us. She has survived, not just in the features we share, but in the fact that I can look at this little picture and love her for working with what God and her own mama gave her.

Thank you, Betsy, for working it out!