This Mother’s Day week, I am sitting and listening to Don Williams sing “I believe in you” over and over. They played this song at Momma’s funeral at her request… it was her favorite song. And as I listen over and over, I see her caring eyes believing in many things but most of all I could see she “believed in me”. When nobody else did, when I didn’t even believe in myself and I could please no one I respected except my “friends”, she continued to believe in me, and even as I was “killing her’, as my daddy would implore.

How many years did I pain her with my lifestyle and carefree way of living? It’s a sad feeling that goes through my soul when I think of the hours, days, nights, weeks and years I worried my Momma, and failed my Daddy. Please understand I did not see things then as I see them now or surely I would have done differently and been less self centered…..surely.

And I think about the things I “believe in” while I listen to the song over and over and how many of the things I really, really believe came from my Momma’s love and example and are in this song. She was so humble and if not for her there would have been none of that special love in my house. Humbleness is the full understanding of love; I have come to believe as I seek it without victory. But Momma believed in it… and me. And she was humble.

The Barkers, as a family, are loud. Aunt Willie, Aunt Dot, Daddy, me and everybody but Rick Barker were and are loud. We had to be to talk over the other loud people. But Momma was never loud, always quieter than the rest, but yet still heard when she spoke. Her comments were usually light and funny, but her commands of sternness were heard loudly, through her eyes and facial expressions. She could simply grit her teeth or change her eyes to raise the volume and if you were close enough to her, you might end up with a small but painful bruise from a “Momma pinch”. These were always accompanied by gritted teeth. They worked, those pinches and looks, and hurt…. Because she believed in me and I could see it everyday.

The balance of a Mom and Dad is so important in a child’s life and I say that because I see how it saved me. My early life was spent not meeting parental expectations. That was a hard thing back then when pleasing Daddy was the most important thing in my life. Somethings I failed daily at it and had to live with it, then and now. But Momma always let me know she “believed in me”, no matter how short I fell…. over and over. And her love gave our family balance…one thing we miss dearly 2day.

I start the song over and over and tears drop and smiles run them off with a mind’s eye picture of Momma laughing and smiling and sitting with her little leg crossed and rocking in her chair. And I see her sitting in the stands at Little League and by me on the pew at church and how pretty she looked every day. She glowed with love and humility. And I think of all the times she told me, “Don’t make me tell your Daddy about this”. She protected me for years and even though I worried her.

So I want to thank Momma today, for “believing in me”. She taught me how to believe in myself and how to love with humbleness and how to really “believe”. She believed in me till her dying day and asked certain things of me as she lay dying. Still caring about my happiness, still worrying, still loving ever so humbly, she smiled with her eyes with the certainty of death at her side. She still was thinking of others and especially me. And I believe in her love she gave me so freely and constantly and I miss it and Her……

And I play the song again and I see a “Momma slide show” as it goes through my head, and my lip quivers with the love for a lost loved one, and suddenly Momma’s love calms me and sends a single tear running away with pictures that make me smile. She loved 2 laugh and giggle and I feel that joy right now.

I can see her now, pulling for the ever present underdog, like me and you. Believing everything would be alright even when she was the underdog 2 cancers death grip. She just couldn’t believe it was time for her 2 go but she was prepared and humble 2 the greater plan that mandated her departure from earth. She believed in miracles and never stopped praying for one. The day she asked us, “Cease with praying” she was trying say “pray without ceasing”….she held hope humbly.

Like the words of Don Williams song I 2 believe in love, I believe in babies, I believe in Mom and Dad and I believe in you, and momma hugs and fried chicken and Peggy Jean Phillips Barker’s way of loving and living.

Enjoy your Momma, and honor all Mommas this week and everyday… so your “Momma slide show” will be full of humble love and no regrets… cause she “believes in you” and love.