To be continued the next day. On Mother’s Day.

My mother is steadfast. She pulled my father off the toilet in Collinwood, Tennessee, while I cowered behind the bed. “My feet hurt too much for this,” was my excuse. Almost four hundred miles of walking. Day after day.

I thought I earned the right to avoid the sight of my father’s manhood.

Mom never flinched, though. She hung with me for three weeks. Through swamps. And oozing blisters. And lots of crying.

Not to mention the crap Dad did. (Really. He spread his essence across three states.)

I started my 444-mile walk of the Natchez Trace thinking it would help me understand my Dad, but I ended it a Mother Lover. Because Mom didn’t cringe at whatever my trek dredged up.

Bloody feet.

Muscle cramps.

Vomiting and dizziness.

Not to mention how grouchy the rest of it made me.

For a decade, I wished Mom would accept who I’d become. And somewhere in Mississippi, she did. Or maybe she did before, and I refused to see it. Pain is a great magnifying glass; stupidity a microscope.

On this Mother’s Day, I hope my own mother knows how much she means to me, how grateful I am for everything she’s always been. Even when I was too stupid to see it.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


MTM surprised me and crashed my Montreat writing getaway. A Tumblr of what that means for my writing: Andra Watkins Tumblr

Get the book even my mother loves. You know you need a gift for Father’s Day. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.


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