By Floyd Miller
Publisher’s Note: This article about Mamie Lee Ferell-Frazier was originally published in May 2005, the West Texas Tribune’s inaugural issue.
By Floyd Miller
Mama, Mom, Mother, “Muh” are just a few of the names that we use in referring to the person that birthed us. These names are some of the most powerful names in the universe. Mothers have always been special and held in high esteem. If it is the Lord’s will, I will call my mother this morning and I’ll tell her how much I love her. If God spares our lives, Marilyn and I will travel to Austin later this month to help my Mother celebrate her 78th birthday. My Mother truly has a special place in my heart.
I could devote this article to Marilyn, my wife, the mother of our three children, and the love of my life. However, I have not chosen to write about my mother or my wife.
Today, I want to remember “Muh”.“Muh” was my Mother-In-Law. I want to write about her for a couple of reasons:
1.) She truly was a special lady
2.) Mothers-in-law are the brunt of too many jokes, and I just want to set the record straight.
I met “Muh,” Mrs. Frazier, a few days before Marilyn and I were married. I had talked with her via phone many times, but now we were face to face. I was a bit nervous because I wanted to make a good impression.
One of our first conversations was about the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. I was talking about all the activities at the round up, and she was asking a few questions, and I felt I was making a good impression. I told her how they skinned the snakes, and how they cooked the snakes. I should have stopped at that point, but I said, Mrs. Frazier they also milk the snakes. It was then that she asked me “Do they milk them like they milk a cow?”
It was then that I, a recent graduate of Prairie View A&M College, with a BS Degree in Animal Science stood speechless. It seemed like an eternity but it was probably a few seconds when she said, “I’m joking.”
Well, after that icebreaker, I began to really think that just maybe this lady and I would make it.
I’m happy to say that we have had a wonderful friendship for almost 27 years.
“Muh” lived in Chattanooga and I can still see her in the kitchen preparing breakfast for her grandchildren, making sure it was nutritious.
I remember attending worship service with her. I cannot hear “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” without thinking about her.
She was good at remembering birthdays. I think I have every card she sent me. I’m not a pack rat; I just keep the good stuff.
“Muh” came to live with us in 1994 as dementia began to take its toll. It gave us an opportunity to give something back to a lady who had given so much. Our children learned a valuable lesson in serving during her five-year stay with us.
On April 24, 1999, I was holding “Muh’s” hand when she took her last breath. I don’t know if she knew I was there or even if she remembered me, however that was not the point. The point was that I remembered who she was and what she had meant to me over those last 26 years of her life.
Cutline, top photo: Mamie Lee Ferell-Frazier May 4, 1923 – April 24, 1999
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