Hillbilly Mama (This Song is by Ray Wylie Hubbard)
I was born all the way’s in Leotie, Georgia. Done got married down there’s at the 7/11 store. Got married there’s when my wife had ten minutes for a cigarette break. We was asked if we do and she blew out some smoke from that cigarette a hers. Then she shrugged some. Then she said Sure and then I said, “Why hell yes I do, you shitting me?” Her name’s Jeffery-Anne Daisy Honeydew.
I won’t sit here and give any excuse for how I am but you ought to get to know my Mama if you want to know how I come to be.
See, she’s from up yonder in Marion County, that’s where the men are men and the cows are scared. She’s awful pretty and it means she had to grow up fighting, only other choice was her to be scared too. And she ain’t no scaredy cat, she’ll whoop your ass now, just watch out. She’s as pretty as she is tough and is as tough as much as she holds the red light of love in her heart. I ain’t done one thing right in this here lifetime, except for what I’ve done learned from her.
Now I don’t know what all mama’s teach their youngern’s but mine raised me right. Raised me on Jesus, how to fish like him too, longneck Budweiser’s and how to win a scrap. Whenever I quote scripture, drink down a bud in 2.4 seconds, knock the hell out a some disrespecting hippie, or catch catfish with my bare hands and somebody done ask me, “Dale, how’d you do such a thing,” I tell ’em all the same thing, I say, “Shit, Mama done learned me everything there is to know in this here world.”
Ole sheriff raided my marijuana fields about twelve, thirteen years ago and turned me in to the authorities, course not before I beat him silly. Hell, weed ain’t no real crime, surer’n shit ain’t a sin, and that’s what’s most important, and I owe my mama for that bit of knowledge. I reckoned if Sheriff wants to arrest me, I ought to give him good enough reason to. So I gave him my right fist just under the temple, just how mama taught me to, knocked him out and busted his face wide open with blood spilling. I helped him up and he said, “Your mama sure would be proud with that hook you got.” I told him, Shit, that I know that.
Down there at the courthouse, Judge sentenced me to seven years in prison and Mama said she was going to beat the Jesus into that there Judge and she all but did it right then and there. Pulled him out from behind that oak desk and wailed on him. Took three guards to take her off from whipping the love of Christ into that mean ole Judge. Well, me and Mama went to prison that same day together like two little peas in the same pod. When she got out, she’s the only one come visit me every day. My own wife only came two or three times a week. Mama even ended up taking a job serving food in the cafeteria so she could just see me all the time.
Jeffery-Anne asked before if I love Mama more than I do her, my own wife, the mother of all my children. And I said to her, told her, “Don’t be jealous baby, God don’t even hold up to my Mama.”
M is for more love and more grit and more balls than any of y’all, the most God ever blessed a woman with. A is for all the things she taught me, all the times she hollered when I done wrong and all the times I said Yes’m. The second M is the same as the first one, about time you pay attention now. And that last A is for Ain’t you heard me yet, there’s no finer a flesh and blood than my Mama. Goddamn.
Mama, if you’re listening, I want to tell you I love you, kindly I do. Ain’t ashamed to say it. You got you six little grandkids too just a learning everything now that you ever taught me. How to fish, how read about Jesus and how to fight with their hands and do everything on this here green earth with their almighty heart. Thank you Mama.
P.S. Me and Jeffery-Anne is going down to Panama City Beach for the month of July and we’ll be bringing the kids by your place to stay during all that time. They sure love nothing more than spending time with their grandma, that’s you, not Jeffery-Anne’s Mama, but my Mama.
Thank you for fighting.
Thank you for holding on despite all the hurt you endured.
Thank you for being there for just as much as you could.
Thanks Mom, for fighting cancer the first time so we could have all the years in between.
Thank you for the apology, knowing you wouldn't make it to my wedding day.
Thank you for waiting until I came to say goodnight, to say goodbye.
Thank you for the signs that you're okay now...
and the courage you gave me to stay strong when this happened.
Thanks mom, for never quitting, and neither will I.