If you want to laugh, be sure to read this story on Page 60 in my book, “Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep-Fried South.”
Southern folks love to celebrate family and many have rituals that span decades. My family had a Christmas tradition that lasted close to one hundred years. There is only thing that can stop a tradition from happening in the South—death. For some families, even the passing of a loved one won’t stop the beloved family ritual but it sure can spin into a good tale… and even a better sweet tea southern secret.
This story was told to me by my friend who is a funeral home director.
“Several years ago,” my friend said, “a family contacted me concerning a possible passing of their momma. Honey, I ain’t makin’ none of this up.”
Every year, the whole family went crusin’. They had their tickets bought and the details were finalized. The one thing they did not plan was Momma getting sick…bad sick.
The children surrounded their momma’s hospital bed to say goodbye. Then the cruise topic came up. Right there in front of God and Momma, the family concluded that Momma would want them to go on their trip while the Lord was calling her home.
Ice Her Down
The funeral home was contacted and in the presence of Momma, they collected her burial clothes, jewelry, and teeth. My friend was instructed that when she “passed,” to “ice her down” till they got back.
“Well,” my friend continued, “them churin’ soon discovered that jist ‘cause momma ain’t talkin’, don’t mean she ain’t listening.”
A funny thing happened during the cruise; Momma did not pass. In fact, she heard everything they said and knew exactly what was happening.
When the cruise crowd called, my friend shared the news. “Well, your momma was not called home. In fact, she called me. “I know you got my teeth,” she said. I’m hungry so how ‘bout bringing them to me. I am mad, too. I heard everything they said. My churin’ asked you to “ice me down….jist like a fish.””
I told them children, “Your Momma got mad…real mad.”
When the children came to get the rest of their momma’s stuff from the funeral home, one of them told me that their momma may have needed them teeth for chewin’ food but not for chewin’ them out.
Here is a sweet tea secret with quite a bite to it: jist ‘cause momma ain’t talkin’, don’t mean she ain’t listening.”
Jane Jenkins Herlong is a multi-talented Southern belle who can make you laugh, sing, and even teach you a thing or two. She’s a Sirius XM Humorist and an international best-selling author and professional singer, she’s got the literary and vocal chops to keep you entertained.
And as a professional speaker, she’s earned a coveted spot in the Speaker Hall of Fame, which is like winning an Oscar for public speaking. With her trademark blend of humor, storytelling, and wisdom, Jane will make you feel like you’ve just had a glass of sweet tea with your favorite friends!
Hey, grab a copy of her newest book in Cracker Barrel nationwide!