Happy Mothers' Day

Look at my mom. Just look at her. I’m not sure where this photo was taken. Obviously she is relaxed and having a good time. I only know that it was taken sometime during the past two or three years. I snagged it from her facebook page. The picture could have been taken on a cruise ship. The girl’s been on a few cruises. It could have been taken at a fancy dinner/dance somewhere. Liz probably danced before she walked, and she’s still dancing. It might have been at a church function. Could have been a lot of places. She’s rarely still for very long. If she is still for very long, she might be napping. But she enjoys going and doing more than sitting and idling. It makes Mr. Bobo quite happy to know that chances are, if he tries to catch his mother at home, she won’t be there. She’s out celebrating life.

Elizabeth Ann Lauterbach was born in October, 1936. When ‘Lizabeth Ann was eight years old, her mother, Katherine, died struggling with Tuberculosis. She was twenty-six and had six children (and a couple of miscarriages). No doubt Katherine’s body was just too tired to effectively fight the disease. Liz was the second child, the oldest girl, and tried to be a good big sister and some kind of substitute mom to her younger siblings. Papa Harry was a carpenter in rural southwest Arkansas and provided for them as best he could as a single dad. . The extended family and the community stepped in to help some, too. But it couldn’t have been easy. She and her siblings have sweet and sad and funny and poignant stories about those years. You’ll have to ask Mom or Aunt Mary or Aunt Gail or Aunt Linda or Uncle Jack or Uncle Dan for their memories of those days. Uncle Donald and Uncle Bill are both gone, but I’m sure there are good stories about them.

Later, when she was nineteen, Liz married my dad. I was born a year and three days later, and then, eventually, the others came along. Larry, then Charlotte, then Sheila. Our family of six used to pile into the metallic blue Chevy Impala station wagon and go from Dallas, Texas, to Hope, Arkansas, and back again. The Bobos kept old U. S. Highway 67 hot. We had baloney sandwiches. We had a lot of fun. And more than once those sweet old familiar phrases might be heard: "Don’t make me pull over." "Don’t make me turn this car around." and from the back seat: "I’m not touching you." And every summer we would spend a week at church camp. Liz usually went along since she was the Sunday School teacher for the teenage girls at Calvary Baptist Church. I think this picture was taken in the girls’ cabin in the middle of one those seemingly unbearably hot and humid Arkansas summers.

Though she lost her mother when she was only eight, she became a great parent to her own four children. My mom was never my friend. Liz somehow knew that wasn’t her job. She was (and is) a nurturing caretaker, a caring teacher, a benevolent disciplinarian - and a really good hugger. She is a great cook who may or may not regret beginning the tradition of chocolate gravy and biscuits on Christmas morning. Her pantomime performance of Etta James’s "Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)" is legendary in some circles. There are many, many things that she is great at. Her beautiful blue eyes and sweet smile can light up any room. I am one lucky boy to have such a wonderful mom. Thanks, Mom, and Happy Mothers’ Day.


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