Glory Glory Hallelujah!
I say ag’in, Glory Glory Hallelujah Amen!
We got us a rise out o’Mama! Me’n Luce! We got us a rise out o’Mama! I jest know she’s on her way back, I jest know! She rested a bit this side o’Jordan, weighed the Pearly Gates and them golden streets ag’inst wild heathen child’urn under foot and mangy houn’dogs needin’ feedin’ and durned if she didn’t turn herself a’roun’ and set her sights back to the land o’ the livin’!
I say it one more time, Glory Glory Hallelujah!
The Good Lord in Heaven, he heard our prayers, pitiful and sorrowful as they was, and durned if he didn’t ‘llow his daughter to return to us fer a spell!
This here’s Liam Goodwell. Of the Denton County Goodwells! An’ proud and grateful son and offspring and kindr’d spirit of one Lila Elizabeth Aubry Franklin Michelwait Goodwell, the finest Mama and warmest Christian woman on the face o’ this world!
Law, i cain’t get myself over it. Don’t really want to, the joy wellin’ up in my soul jest washes me plumb clean and tingly ever’ time I see it in my mind!
See, here’s the sto-ry.
Me’n Luce, we, at the same durned minute, got us a tuggin’ and a pullin’ in our hearts, GO SEE MAMA!
Didn’t have to tell us twice, whomsoever was a’doin’ the tellin’. We lit out lickity split, ninety to nothin’, ol’ Buck the horse workin’ hisself into a froth. Took us no time to get to Doc Allen’s, other side o’ town from the Goodwell place, half hour tops. We was flyin’! God bless Buck. He’s a tough ol’ piece o’ horseflesh, but he loves Mama his ownself.
She’ll save him an apple ‘r two when she’s a makin’ pie. An’ ol’ Buck, he don’t forget.
Luce says, and I’ll vouch, she don’t even recollect slidin’ from the sweaty back o’ that ol’ boy, nor racin’ in the house, no knockin’, no “halluuin'”, no doubt scarin’ the livin’ daylights out Mrs. Allen, Doc Allen’s kindly wife.
Reckon some apologizin’ will be in order soon, but that thought there, it douses a mite of that joy what was worshin’ over me….I’ll ponder that tidbit later.
But right now, baskin’ in the rememberin’, that’s healin’ the deepest part o’ my insides and I figure I’ll rest here sometime longer.
Truth be tol’, I don’t recall much neither, till we found ourselves, one side t’other, lookin’ down upon Mama’s sweet face. Her eyes was closed, same as always. Her hair was fluffed jest so, same as before. Peaceful, her hands was folded atop the white cloud of bedclothes comfortin’ her. The thin lacy curtains, they was blowin’ inwards, little breeze driftin’ and sashayin’ ‘roun’ the room. I seem to recall Mrs. Allen a’standin’ at the door, but I cain’t be shore.
Now, we didn’t know what we was expectin’, rightly. Did we think Mama’d be up dancin’ and swayin’ ’bout the room, smellin’ all the sweet wildflowers we set ‘roun’? Did we figure she’d be helpin’ Mrs. Allen, Doc Allen’s kindly wife, with the worshin’? Did we figure she’d leap up and greet us with hugs and kisses like she done ever’ other wakeful day o’ her life?
Well, I think that one there, that may have been it.
Howsomever, here she was, there she lie, no diff’ernce, just that blankness spread like sweet honey ‘cross her face.
Heck a’fire, if me’n Luce, we didn’t have us another ‘xact same thought pass through our heads.
An’ we both, both us together, me the melody, Luce the harmony (always seemed fittin’ Luce, she sang harmony. Just a bit askance n’ off kilter was her pre-ferred way, but still headin’ the same di-rection, making the way all the more complete) we struck into “Amazin’ Grace”, all four verses, even the “Praise God” verse at the end. Well, then we slid into “Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land” and then we got to goin’, rippin’ out “Jest Over in the Glory Land” then raisin’ our voices to “I’ll Fly Away” and “Caanan’s Happy Land!”
Don’t even remember jest when it happened, it was so sly and right-like, but dogged if they wudn’t one more voice a’chimin’ in, quiet and purty and tinklin’ like little bells!
You got it! You nailed it! Why, our Mama, eyes closed, hands folded on them soft white sheets, was a singin’, a’praisin’, and Law, if me n’ Luce, tears slidin’ freely down our faces, we kept ‘er goin’! We sung choruses and verses and hymns and Sunday Night tunes and Sunday School ditties till we was hoarse, then ,why, we sung some more! Mama, too, all the while her eyes closed but her voice a’ringin’ and a’singin’.
Never did know how long it was till we all plumb run out o’gas. But then we went to gigglin’, and eyes still closed shut, Mama, she give a smile, wiggled a couple fingers, like she was a’sayin’, “Come back soon!”
Not for one second, not one iota of a slice of a moment, did we ever think this was less than a miracle from the Good Lord’s own hand!
An’ Mrs. Allen, Doc Allen’s kindly wife, she, as our witness, she shooed us out, but in the nicest o’ways, sayin’ Mama’d had enough excitement fer one day, an’ she’d be callin’ Doc right away to have him see the improvement. She’d seen the happenin’, too. ‘Twasn’t nothin’ short of a miracle!
Don’t recall much of the blisterin’ ride home, but Buck, he’d waited sure and steady where we’d left him till me’n Luce exploded from the Allen home, then he did his own explodin’, bustin’ his backside gettin’ us back home.
Never once occurred to us to ask Mrs. Allen, Doc Allen’s kindly wife, if we could use her telephone (party line, o’course) to alert all the Goodwells left at home.
Thankfully, Mrs. Allen, she done it for us, and when ol’ Buck tossed us off hisself, done with us fer the time bein’, walkin’ hisself back into his stall and his interrupted afternoon repose, why, the rest o’ we Goodwells, all of ’em, Grandpap and Daddy on down, why we had us a dance fest in the dusty back yard.
Mama! Mama was a’goin’ to make it!
Glory Glory Hallelujah!
Amen and Amen!