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A TRIBUTE TO MOTHERS

The Childress Family
The Childress Family

As we enter the month of May, we want to pay tribute to mothers. We appreciate the fact that we get to travel and sing with our mother and that she brings a wisdom and spiritual knowledge to our lives and to our concerts that so many appreciate. We owe her so much and we know that many of you feel the same way.

We recalled the following recitation that was written and recorded by Jimmy Dean and also recorded by Buddy Liles (The Florida Boys). We feel that we owe so much to our mother and we know that many of you feel the same way, so we decided to share it with you. We hope it will bring a chuckle and possibly a tear to your eye as you remember how much we owe our Mamas.

Many people look through their wallet or their pocket books and, way down at the bottom, past the credit cards and baby pictures and so on, you usually find a little ‘ol piece of dog-eared poetry. I was cleaning out my wallet the other day and ran across a whole bunch of I.O.U’s, some of ’em thirty-five years overdue. And you know the funny thing, all these I.O.U’s are owed to one person and I kinda felt like that maybe now would be a pretty good time for an accountin’.

Mom, I sure hope you’re listenin’
Sweet lady, I.O.U. for so many things…..
A lot of services like night watchman for instance…..
Lyin’ awake nights, listenin’ for coughs and cries and creakin’
floorboards…..hah-hah, and me comin’ in too late.
Boy, you had the eye of an eagle and the roar of a lion,
But you always had a heart as big as a house.

I.O.U. for services like, uh, short order cook, chef, baker…..
For makin’ sirloin out o’ hamburger an’ turkey out o’ tuna fish,
And big ol’ strappin’ boys out of leftovers.

I.O.U. for cleanin’ services, The daily scrubbing of face and ears….all work done by hand.
And for the frequent dustin’ of a small boy’s pants
To try to make sure that you led a spotless life.
And for washin’ and ironin’ that no laundry could ever do.
Foy dryin’ the tears of childhood
And ironin’ out the problems of growin’ up.

I.O.U. for services as a bodyguard,
For protectin’ me from the terrors of thunderstorms and nightmares-Hah, And too many green apples.

And Lord knows, I.O.U. for medical attention,
For nursing me through measles, mumps, bruises,
Bumps, splinters and spring fever.
Oh-oh, let’s not forget medical advice….important things like;
“If you keep on scratching that, it’ll never get well” or
“If you cross your eyes, they’re gonna stick like that”.
And probably the most important advice of all,
“Boy, you be sure you got on clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident”.

And I.O.U. for veterinarian services,
For feeding every lost dog that I dragged home at the end of the rope, And for healing the pains of puppy love.

And I.O.U. for entertainment…..
Entertainment that kept the household goin’ through some pretty rough times…..
And for wonderful productions at Christmas, the Fourth of July, Birthdays…..
And for making make-believe come true…..
And you did it all on such a limited budget.

I.O.U. for construction work, for building kites and confidence, hopes and dreams an’…..
Somehow you made them all touch the sky…..
And for cementin’ together a family
So it would stand the worst kind of shocks and blows…..
And for layin’ down a good strong foundation to build a life on.

I.O.U. for carrier charges…..
For carryin’ me on your books for the necessities of life
That a growin’ boy somehow, well, they just gotta have.
Things like, hah-hah, a pair of high top boots,
With a little pocket on the side for a jack-knife.

And one thing, Mom, I’ll never forget….
When there were two pieces of pie and three hungry people…..
You were always the one who decided, well, I’m not really that hungry anyhow.

These are just a few of the things for which payment is long overdue.
The person that I owe ’em to worked very, very cheap….
She managed by simply doin’ without a whole lot o’ things that she needed herself….
My I.O.U’s add up to more than I could ever hope to repay,
But you know the nicest thing about it all….
That I know, that she had marked the entire bill ‘Paid In Full’
For just one kiss and four little words….Mom, I Love You!

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Childress Family
Ken and Marlene Childress began singing with their children, Teresa, Carla and Shannon, almost 40 years ago. Ken had been singing with a quartet called The Golden Keys. But when he and Marlene discovered that their children were blessed with the ability to sing harmony and play instruments at a young age, they decided to form The Childress Family. Teresa played the piano and a short time later, Carla picked up the bass guitar and began to play. Their son, Shannon, was a high tenor singer until about age 13, when his voice went to the other end of the spectrum and he sang low bass. Marlene has been blessed with the ability to write some wonderful songs that have been recorded by numerous artists in the gospel music industry.