Sunday, November 30, 2008


Me and Mary Jo

She's my cousin because my daddy is her mother's brother.

She's more than a cousin because...

She's always been there.

She's always loved me as much as I've loved her.

I've never felt the need to compete with her.
Only to enjoy every minute I'm with her.

When Corky Cumbie didn't fall in love with me-
he didn't fall in love with her either.

She's always been there.

She never made me feel bad when she stayed
on the straight and narrow,
and I took every detour I could possibly find.

I would bet my last dollar she still knows the words to
"Billy Jo McAllister Jumped Off the Tallahatchee Bridge"

She never judged me when, every night,
no matter how late it was,
she would read her "daily Bible reading"
while I rolled over and went to sleep

She's always been there.

When I fell in love with her next door neighbor,
she didn't try to talk me into it
and she didn't try to talk me out of it.

Even though she was so very sick,
she chose to be with me on my wedding day.
I was so self-absorbed at the time,
I didn't realize what a sacrifice it was.

She's never told me I was stupid.

She's always been there.

She's never flaunted the fact
that she inherited more of Granny's cleaning gene
than the rest of us.
(Actually, she may have inherited all of it.)

When Ethan got hurt,
she was the first person to come be with us in Gainesville.
She took off a week from work to stay with us.

When I couldn't talk to people over the phone
in the ICU waiting room, she did.
Over and over again, she tirelessly gave the same updates.
And, reminded people to pray.

She's always been there.

There was never a cleaner,
more organized, efficient ICU waiting room
than the one we lived in for 16 days.

When she ran out of clothes in Gainesville,
she just went to WalMart to buy more.
She never thought about leaving us.

When she asked me if I needed anything from WalMart
and I said, "hair color" she didn't say
"How can you think about your hair at a time like this?"
She just bought it for me.

She rubbed my back when I had spent hours
sitting beside Ethan's hospital bed.
Even when I didn't want her to.

She's always been there.

She's never ever judged my child for his mistakes

She knows that sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh.
Like when the homeless man came into the ICU
and told us more than we needed to know
about him getting shot in his private parts.
We laughed so hard that we were crying.
Imagine, at the worst time in your life,
when your world is falling a part,
you have someone to laugh uncontrollably with.
God knew she's the only one I could do that with.
And, I think He knew that if I didn't forget for a few seconds,
that I wouldn't make it.
So, He made sure Mary Jo was there with me, when the
homeless man started telling me about his accident.

She's never asked why I thought Ethan made the choices he made.
It's never mattered to her.

While others have forgotten
and have been too busy going on with their life,
she hasn't.
And I know she hasn't-
when I see her handwriting on an envelope in the mail,
or I see her name light up on my cell phone.

She's always been there.

She reminds me that it is better to do than to talk.

She's the best of Martha
and the best of Mary.

She knows every new low/calorie/low/fat item on the market.
And she shares the info with me.

She doesn't make fun of me
when I forget you are suppose to limit your points-
not see how many you can consume.

She's always been there.

She listens.

She prays for my children.

And she trusts me enough to pray for hers.

She's always been there.
And, I know she always will be.


  1. I love you, Cheri. You have made my birthday extra special. I am so blessed to have you in my life because you have been there for me, too!!!! You are such an encouragement to me every time we talk. Love you.

  2. Well, you said it all. I'm just wondering tonight if Papa Rainer may not be just looking down and smiling at two of his wonderful granddaughters that brought so much joy and laughter into his life. You two have always been something else. So glad you have each other. LOVE YOU BOTH.

  3. How sweet! I know Mom loves you so much and is so blessed to have you in her life! Thanks for remembering her on her bday!