Sunday, December 13, 2009


At the Benjamin home we began to take our places as children of purpose. Our mother was the dearest person in the world to us and even at our tender age we were sensitive to her needs and learned parental respect for her. But we were, after all, children.

Mother had now achieved a level of financial stability that allowed her to purchase our first pieces of new furniture, a sofa and chair that I recall as a very pretty rose color. We were working in the cotton field and I can't recall how or when the items arrived at our home but they were left sitting on the front porch. However it came to be, we found them there and, being children, began to have a heyday climbing all over them, jumping up and down on them – in essence, having a ball. The party was to be short lived.

We saw her coming, in no particular hurry but slowly and patiently making her way across the field toward the house. She carried in her hand the dreaded hickory switch -- which on this occasion was from a tender cotton plant -- and when she arrived delivered it on the three in turn quite deftly. Her point was well made and three pairs of skinny legs told the tale. Lesson learned.

Our mother never failed to discipline us when discipline was required. It was always swift, just and thereby infrequent. Her method of parenting her children was to teach, and we learned early on that our best choice of discipline would be self-discipline.

Our mother demanded, earned and received our respect for as long as she lived. We will never forget her or the lessons she taught us.