A Little Parable for Mothers
By Temple Bailey
The young mother sat her foot on the pathway of life.
“Is the way long?” she asked.
And her Guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard, and you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”
But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything would be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the clear streams, and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
Then night came and storms, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, “Oh, Mother, we are not afraid for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of the day for I have taught my children courage.”
And the morning came and there was a hill ahead and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.”
And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength.”
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth – clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the Mother said, “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” And the children looked and saw, and it brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on, and the weeks and months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent, but her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was light as a feather. And at last they came to a hill and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and the golden gates flung wide.
And the Mother said, I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children walk alone, and their children after them. And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates. And they stood and watched her as she went alone and the gates closed after her, and they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
“My grandmother, Rosie Smith Morris, told me she wanted this read at her funeral. When it came time for her funeral, there was not a copy of it available and her daughters were not aware of her wish. It was not read. So, I have put it with her genealogy information in hopes it will from now on be a part of her legacy. She is certainly a living presence through me and always will be. Hopefully, my children will appreciate this and pass it on to future generations. Motherhood is the most difficult job.”
January 22, 2008
Biloxi Daily Herald
June 24, 1928
Main St. Methodist Church Choir Watermelon Cutting
The choir of the Main Street Methodist Church enjoyed a watermelon cutting at the home of H. B. Rickey in Bay Terrace, following choir rehearsal last Friday night. A very gay time was had by these choir members, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Barbour, Miss Laurine Barbour, Miss Nelson, Miss Irene Morris, Miss Martha Morris, Mrs. Adams, H. B. Rush, Miss Helen Rush, Miss Stella Harkness, Miss May Harkness and Miss Naomi Lockett.
THINGS SEEN IN BILOXI
(Q. Q. McIntryre)
Last Friday evening the choir of the Main Street Methodist Church met for rehearsal, after which they motored out to the beautiful home of H. B. Ricky in Bay Terrace where one least sees any sort of disturbance. Soon after the arrival of the first division H. B. Rush came with a bountiful supply of luscious watermelons that would tempt a Southern darkey to spend his last nickel.
These were sliced so as to give each one a full feed. Everything was calm and serene. In fact you would have suspected nothing but perfect harmony, but such was not the case. The evidence of war were to be seen. The smoke of battle was beginning to appear. Suddenly W. L. Barbour and Mr. Rush were the victims of an attack. This they could not stand. The call to the front was made instantly. Rush, Barbour and Rickey were in line of battle, eyes distended, teeth tight, fists clenched, ready for the fray. This was met by the second line, with Miss Naomi Lockett, the Morris sisters of Mobile, who are visiting their aunts, the Misses Harkness, assisted by Miss Helen Rush who acted as spy to the enemy. The battle raged. Soon all army rules were forgotten, the borders of the battlefield were enlarged, ranks were broken, no respect for lines. It was a hand to hand fight with H. B. Rush claiming the victory in the first skirmish and retired with a look of serene satisfaction. The ammunition was the cold juicy, red meat of the watermelon. All during the long battle, Miss Stella Harkness of the post office, remained neutral and with the utmost indifference, wielded her fork steadily. Much damage was done to clothing and permanent waves, but all were forgiven and the jolly, fun loving pastor, the Rev. W. M. Sullivan, poured oil on the troubled waters, as all good preachers should, and with both sides claiming the victory, all declared Mr. Rickey to be a wonderful host and were sorry that they trampled his spacious and well kept lawn.
Stella and May Harkness were my 2nd great aunts, sisters of my great great grandmother Edna Irene Harkness. They were daughters of John Rankin Harkness, Biloxi architect and engineer.