A Letter from momma Bailey

First, an intro: my mom (here on known as "Momma Bailey") is the sweetest, most supportive person you'll ever meet. She has had her fair share of heartbreaks throughout life, and because of that, she's the best at finding the good in any situation. Momma Bailey hates technology, loves to be outdoors, and has a fierce love for animals of all kinds – in my life alone, she's owned an iguana, several ferrets, the cutest sugar glider, and farm animals of all types. Way before I was born, there was a time when literal deer lived in our backyard.

Momma Bailey is the most honest person you'll ever meet: she goes back to the grocery store to pay for things anytime a cashier accidentally forgets to ring something up. She's made my sister call and apologize to her employer when she faked being sick to get out of work. In her 61 years of life, I don't think she's ever told even the smallest fib. (In fact, she was very disappointed in me when two years ago, I admitted to lying about the cost of a play-dough set when I was 8 just so she'd buy it for me. She still hasn't let me live it down.)

I love Momma Bailey to death, and everyone who meets her says the same. She is humble and kind and strong and everything I want to be when I grow up. Knowing her birthday was coming up, and knowing she is the best at giving advice, I asked my mom to write a blog post in celebration of her 61 years of life. I told her it could be whatever she wanted it to be, and she decided to write a letter to everyone amidst all the stress surrounding COVID-19. Here it is, in all its glory:

April 1, 2020

Hello Internet Peeps,

Today is the "day after," and for those fun loving folks, it's also April Fool's Day. I find it odd that I'm sitting in front of the laptop 'blogging' a letter. Why can't we just call it what it really is... "Writing a letter to my friends." 

My birthday was yesterday, it was a super fun day observing all the different innovative ways my friends and loved ones expressed their birthday wishes in the midst of social distancing. I woke up this morning on the "day after" thinking about some of the most life changing events of my past and what I have learned from them. I hope you don't mind if I share a few. I know of course you don't mind, because friends just 'don't mind' – simple as that.

I was elected the treasurer of my Girl Scout troop when I was 12 years old. The dues back then were 10 cents a month. I kept perfect records; it was such an important job keeping track of who paid and who didn't and how much each girl scout friend owed. Do you know I lost that list one day? I was devastated. Cried like a baby for days. My Dad, bless his heart, gave me a bit of advice that I still fall back on after almost 50 years. (Have you done the math to figure out how old I am?) He said, "Lee Ann, you're not going to realize this right now, but 10 years down the road, it won't matter that you lost the list."

I've applied that advice to many events in my life such as telling the bill collectors on the phone that 10 years down the road it won't matter that I can't pay you today, but I'll do my best to pay what I owe as soon as my husband finds a job. Or thinking to myself when the doctor told me I had cancer, "10 years down the road it won't matter because by then, I've beat the cancer" And then there's the night the DPS officer knocked on my door. I remember listening to the silence in my bedroom later on that night as I tried to go to sleep wondering if 10 years from now will it matter that I'm a widow. (It's strange how you long to hear the snoring of your loved one when they're gone.) 

My dear peeps, we're all wondering what's going to happen because of this crazy virus going around. "Will I lose my job, will I lose my house, will I have to use my favorite magazine to wipe my rear end?" Ten years from now we're all going to look back and say to ourselves, "it didn't matter." It never ceases to amaze me how life just has a way of working things out. Life is like a roller coaster: up and down and all around and so much fun, even if the person in front of you throws up. (You'll laugh about it 10 years down the road.)

Take care and keep on keeping on,

Lee Ann