My mother was an extraordinary person. I suppose any son who was fortunate enough to have a loving, nurturing mother would consider his mother to be exceptional. Mine was blessed with a sharp mind along with loads of common sense – a rare combination.
Mother gave deep study to three books, “The Holy Bible,” a large, medical encyclopedia and “A History of Smith County.” First, was the Bible. She had several, but her marked Bible was one of her most prized possessions. It was a working Bible, and she worked it. Its margins were filled with notes jotted down through the years. Mother declared the answer to every problem and every situation could be found somewhere in the Bible.
Her second favorite book was the medical encyclopedia. She devoured it. Many friends and family members affectionately referred to her as Dr. McCall. She was familiar with more home remedies than you could imagine. And she had a nose for the cause of aches and pains.
Mother was a strong believer in preventative medicine, and she was always proactive when it came to heading off an ailment. When my brothers, my sister and I were growing up, she relied on two prescribed medicines. One was called Sulfose, a member of the Sulfonamide family. It was light brown in color and bitter to the taste. At the first sign of a cough or cold, we got a dose.
The other prescribed drug she relied on was cocoa-quinine. It had cocoa in it, so you could get down the quinine. When you got a dose of that stuff, you wanted to get better…fast.
Mother was oft to say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
I have often wondered what her take would have been on the COVID-19 pandemic had she been alive. I can tell you she would not have taken everything Dr. Anthony Fauci has said hook, line and sinker. She would have investigated what practicing physicians were saying out in the field – what they were finding out in the trenches.
A month or so back, my wife, Kathy, found herself standing in line at a retail establishment in Pigeon Forge. The woman standing next to her, a nurse, casually opened up a conversation regarding COVID-19. She was very knowledgeable regarding the virus as she had been on the frontlines for months. She insisted on loading specific information on my wife’s phone. The nurse stressed the fact that a strong, healthy immune system was the best defense against the virus. She recommended high levels of vitamin C, D-3 and zinc to boost one’s immune system. Then she shared the fact that the virus is inhibited by O-positive blood type. I checked to see and found 37% of the population has O-positive blood type. The nurse ended the conversation by saying, “these are things they are not telling us.” Interesting.
My mother would have been all over that information. She always insisted the human body has a marvelous ability to heal itself because we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Our mother cut our teeth on this saying. It was one of her favorites. “Every situation can make you or it can break you.” I have lived to find those words to be true. Prosperity can make you, or it can break you. It is easy for one’s purchasing power to exceed one’s better judgment. Hard times can make you or break you. When disappointments, heartache and even broken dreams come our way, we have a choice. We can become bitter, or we can get better. Every situation can make you, or it can break you.
Whenever my mother observed someone suffering the consequences of making bad decisions, she would declare, “That man drove his ducks to a bad watering hole.”
As regarding the recent presidential election and the goings-on at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. last week, my mother would have said, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.”
Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, Southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a certified speaking professional.