My mother loved to sing. She sang all the time. She sang in the car. She sang at the kitchen sink. She sang while dusting and vacuuming. She had music in her and it had to come out! I think that’s a wonderful thing, because all she ever sang was hymns or other Christian music….but hymns mostly or songs they were working on in choir.
Our family was a church going family. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, every revival, every associational meeting, ever Week of Prayer (twice a year), every committee meeting, every choir meeting, every Sunbeams, GA’s, Acteens, Every social, every special missionary speaker, every winter Bible study, every VBS early bird clinic, every association wide sing, every youth meeting on Saturday night,every circle meeting, every class meeting, every BYW, every children’s choir, every Mission Friends, every Sunday night after church fellowship, every dinner on the grounds after service on Sunday morning. Every single thing that was made available to us, we were there and on the front row! The only exception to this rule was the one night a year that The Wizard of Oz came on TV. That night Daddy and Joy and I were allowed to stay home and watch the movie. Mother fixed us snacks and settled the three of us in front of the TV…before she went on to church. And, we watched. And, Joy cried at the same spot every year! Ahhh! Those monkeys were not that scary!
Now, our church attendance was not a bad thing. Actually, it was a good thing….though I didn’t realize it at the time. Our life existed in learning about our Lord. Our dearest friends were right there in those meetings with us. This is what we put our time and talent into. And, we were very happy. My parents had wonderful friends, and their children were our friends. They liked to get together when we weren’t at church, and so we got together with them. And, so at almost all times of my life I was surrounded by people who thought like us, and talked like us and worshipped like us. My parents friends became extended family to us. (Ours all lived far away) They were Aunt Katherine and Uncle Allison and Aunt Eunice and Uncle Robert…and others.
My Mom always sang in the choir and occasionally would sing solos. My Aunt Eunice Williams was my piano teacher for 12 years (,,,I’m sorry Aunt Eunice, for not practicing more…) She was also our church organist. And, our Youth Choir director for a while! I can still recall an anthem she taught us in choir some 45 years ago. Joy and I can still do a pretty good rendition of it when we are together…in the car…by ourselves.
But, though my Mom was forever singing…I could not remember a song she taught me to sing. Now she had a couple of fun songs she always liked to sing…like Shoo Fly Pie, Gonna Dance By the Light of the Moon. And, she had a few poems she would recite…The Moo Cow Moo. But, as far as a song she taught me the words and how to sing, I could not remember a single one.
What brought this up is I found a file of songs I have taught to Levi. Some you would know and some came straight out this convoluted mind of mine…and only Levi and I would understand. We’ve been making up our own songs since he was a baby! All along he will ask me to sing the song about the chicken or the Hands Song, etc.
Because I am such a stickler for him listening to the right kind of music, I have several CDs and DVDs that we listen to in the car. He knows them all by heart now! But, I purchased a new one a few weeks ago and this week, we played on the way to school. A song came on that was vaguely familiar to me. I knew it was a song I had learned long ago…but the words were a little different. They were alike enough that I knew it was the song. After Levi got out of the car at school, I sat and listened to the song a few times…rewinding and listening again. And, then I had the most beautiful remembrance.
It was a song my Mother had taught me. I can see us sitting together and her singing a line, then me repeating it. Then changing up the words and singing it again. You may even know it…with slightly different words. But this is the way Mom taught me.
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
Our heavenly Father made the BIRDS, He showed them what to do
If God so loves the little BIRDS, I know He loves me, too.
He loves me , too. He loves me, too. I know He loves me, too.
If God so loves the little BIRDS, I know He loves me, too!
Wow! what a sweet memory I had sitting in the car, in the cold, in the parking lot at FPP. That’s the great thing about memories, isn’t it? They pop up out of nowhere, but take you right back to a moment in time long ago. I just wanted to be still and revel in it! I was thinking of that as I drove home, and to my surprise, I remembered another song Mom taught me. I have not heard this song in forever, but there it was seared into my memory bank.
WHO CAN MAKE A FLOWER?
O who can make a FLOWER?
I’m sure I can’t, can you?
O, who can make a FLOWER?
No one but God; It’s true!
Yes, there she was singing that song and teaching me the word and motions to it! So sweet! So comforting! I remember it vividly…now!
Don’t ever think that the things you teach your children are for naught. What goes in this brain of ours, is there. And, at some time, it’ll just rise to the surface. Perhaps at a time when we need a lift. Or maybe at a time God just wants to give us a little wink and say “Remember this?”
Oh the responsibility it is on us as parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles,teachers, friends. Someone… sometime… somewhere… will recall a memory of us. Will we be pleased with what they remember? Will we be ashamed? Will it be a memory that is worth sharing with others?
Well those decisions are all up to you. But as for me…I am thrilled when I can share such happiness and remembrance with you!
This is one of the most precious things I've ever read…..for our memories were very intertwined! Even though you were a grade above me, I always looked up to you in many ways other than 'older'! Thank you for sharing this cherished memory….so thankful our lives are forever connected through Jesus! Oh what a time they all are having with Him in Heaven!
Aunt Eunice/Uncle Robert
I loved this, Tonja. It was such a sweet and uplifting way to begin my day.
I thoroughly enjoyed this walk down memory lane with you. I definitely remember Our Heavenly Father. I think we sang that one in school during my early elementary years at Manheim Christian.
Thank you for making me stop an remember my memories of growing up, with a wonderful Grandmother!!!
You always love it.