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Everybody calls someone Mama

By Floyd Miller



Everybody calls someone Mama. In the case of Mrs. Bessie May Sadler-Legrand there were 16 children that called her mama. She and her husband Junus had 16 children. That is 16 children with the same mama and the same daddy. I talked with Lafayette, who is the youngest of the 16 and I asked him, what he remembered most about his mother.{{more}} He said that she was a good woman; she was always at the home taking care of them. I asked him what it was like being in a family that large. He said “It was good for him having many brothers and sisters”. There was always someone who looked after him. He said that they never missed a meal, but they did not sit at the table because the table was not large enough. He remembered them sitting on stools, or sitting on the floor, or wherever. At bed time it was not much different. He said the girls had a room to themselves and the boys just normally got a blanket and slept on the floor. Lafayette oldest brother Roy carried a lot of responsibility. Roy began to work when he was old enough. He would share his money with the family. It was Roy that helped provide some of the toys for Christmas. Lafayette said that he was reared in a loving family where his parents took care of them. His brothers and sisters worked in the fields, picking and chopping Cotton. His dad worked at the compress he was a cotton sampler looking at the cotton and determining what grade it was.Growing up in a large family, he said that everyone worked hard around the house, keeping the yard, and doing those type things. He said they were all taught to work. I asked Lafayette what he would say to young men in relationship to their mothers. He said “if you are fortunate enough to have your mother, treat her with love and respect no matter what may have happened in that relationship, no one that is going to love you like your mother”. In fact, he said” he would be willing to give up his life to see his mother again”. “It’s nothing his mother would not do for him”. Lafayette believes that more tough love needs to be issued out today. When he was growing up, you didn’t talk back to your mother. In fact, you didn’t talk back to your pops. He said that “his dad probably would have killed him if he had talked back to his mother”. . Lafayette is in Narcotics Anonymous. He said “it’s not his mothers fault. She had nothing to do with it. It was my own choices’”. Lafayette told me that his mother did not live to see him clean, but he knows today that she is aware that he’s clean and that “he’s not doing anything bad.” Mrs. Legrand died many years ago but Lafayette still misses her and he said “he will never forget her.”

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