As we journey our way into 2024, I can’t resist reminiscing about my mother’s healthy habits advice for the coming year. If she were to offer some New Year wisdom, it’d go something like this: “Remember, that spirit, humor, and unwavering determination are like the most precious ingredients in life’s recipe book. Momma demonstrated that even a sprinkle of wit and a heaping bucket of gumption can transform any health obstacle into a grand adventure. ENjoy this excerpt from, “Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep-Fried South.”
Imagination Gone Wild
After surviving a rollercoaster ride that included open-heart surgery, multiple ICU visits, a third-floor stint, and some rehab, my sister and I discovered that our dear mother had undergone a complete transformation. Her sense of humor had evolved into a wild and vivid imagination.
Every morning, as we entered the ICU, she would wield her suction tube like a magic wand, pointing it at unsuspecting doctors and nurses, regaling them with outrageous tales of their sensual escapades the night before. Another highlight was when she spun a yarn about one of her nurses eloping with Dr. McSteamy in a helicopter that made an emergency landing right by her bedside. Her stories were so captivating that the “culprits” couldn’t resist gathering around her bed, begging for encore performances.
Momma’s Hair-Raising Request
We knew it was time for her to return to the third floor when she demanded her hairdresser’s presence in the ICU. My mother carved her name into the annals of Roper Hospital history as the first woman to get her hair “done” in the ICU – minus the hairspray, of course (oxygen and hairspray don’t mix, you know).
Just Roll With It
After nearly two months in the hospital, it was heart-wrenching to witness my once lively and glamorous Southern mother, now a shadow of her former self, attempting to navigate with a walker. I did my best to support her, but the tears welled up as she clumsily bumped along. Then came the moment. On the third step, the rubber tip of her walker wedged itself between two boards. At first, Momma showed remarkable patience, but that patience had an expiration date. Colorful words erupted from her mouth, and she sent her walker soaring through the air, narrowly missing the kitchen table. The grand finale was a vocabulary masterpiece of “wirty dords,” and she shuffled down that hall with the determination of a woman on a mission. The healing process had officially commenced.
Momma’s condition improved, and along the way, she taught me a valuable lesson – adding humor to life’s challenging moments. To honor her memory, I now celebrate her “sweet tea moments” by relaxing on my front porch with a tall glass of the same, reflecting on her influence, and finding inspiration in my own journey. It keeps me both grounded and uplifted, just like Momma would have wanted.
From farm fields to fame, Jane Jenkins Herlong is a Sirius XM Humorist and international best-selling author. Alongside Jeff Foxworthy, Ray Romano, and Jerry Seinfeld, her comedy is known far and wide.
Not just a funny lady, Jane is also an international best-selling author and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. She’s churned out five award-winning books, each one more Southern-fried than the last. Her latest gem, “Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep Fried South,” is on the shelves of Cracker Barrel nationwide.