Last year, I wrote a Mother’s Day column about my mama and how she always finds a way to make things happen. I also explained some don’t have mothers, others have mothers who have passed away and some just don’t have good relationships with their mothers, but I’d like to think there’s at least one person in everyone’s life who serves as a mother figure — even if it’s a dad.

So I concluded the column with, “Whoever you’d like to honor, give them a big hug and let them know how much you appreciate them.”

I never thought there would be a time where I couldn’t write a sentence like that. We’re living in a world where even the non-huggers are craving hugs because they’re strictly not allowed with people outside their households. We can’t even shake hands and we have to stay 6 feet apart. 

This has been an exceptionally hard time for Mama and me because, well, if you’ve ever read any of my columns about her — there have been a lot — you know we’re thick as thieves. 

We text just about all day every day and throughout the pandemic she’s found ways to keep us connected. 

She spruced up her yard — and when I say spruced up, well, you’d just have to know my mama to know she went all out and it looks like a page out of Better Home and Gardens but she acts like it was no big deal —  and she sent me a five-minute video tour. She walked me through all the flowers she planted and the names she gave them — the Swingers, the Pink Ladies, a creeper vine named Morticia because Mama says “it’s actually creepy,” the Sherelles, and of course the petunias which are named Petula Clarks. Again, you’d just have to know my mama. She’s since added a chicken coop full of hens with family namesakes who have a motto of “Cluckin’ 9 to 5” — Mama’s a Dolly fan — but I digress.

It’s been hard not having physical contact with Mama because we normally see each other at least every other weekend. Our outings aren’t fancy. They consist of talking and laughing while aimlessly wandering through thrift stores — usually only one because we accidentally spend the entire day there with no time left for a second stop. 

That sums up a lot about our relationship because it demonstrates how she raised me to appreciate the little things. There’s no better feeling than finding a secondhand designer shirt for $1.50 and nothing is more fulfilling to the heart than good conversation and a laugh with someone you love. 

She taught me to understand less is more and you don’t need more out of life than it wants to give you. But seeing my mama less — or not at all — has not been more and I sure want more out of life than being stuck in my house. 

It has been a tough time, that’s for sure, and I know I speak for so many when I say that. Everyone is battling something amid this pandemic and even though restrictions are being lifted and relaxed, that doesn’t mean things are getting better. Numbers of COVID-19 cases are growing more than ever before and I don’t think the peak has hit yet. I certainly don’t want to slack off what I’ve been doing and I won’t, but I told you Mama finds a way for everything, and she’s done it again for this Sunday. 

She’s been asking me for weeks to come see her and I’ve held strong because of social distancing requirements and the risk of exposure. My dad has all the odds against him if he gets COVID-19 — he’s over 65, has diabetes and an autoimmune disease and nearly died from a battle with West Nile virus — so I haven’t wanted to risk it for him, mostly. However, I got a text a few days ago that said, “You’re coming Sunday. I’m cooking supper. Our souls need it. The end.” 

I may very well be 25 years old but when Mama says do something, I do it.

We won’t touch or hug; we’ll all stay 6 feet apart and we’ll wash our hands after we touch anything. We’ll follow all the rules and then some, but my mama wants to see me for Mother’s Day and I’m taking a page from her book and finding a way. 

Santana Wood is managing editor of Tallapoosa Publishers’ newspapers. She can be reached at santana.wood@alexcityoutlook.com.