Friday, July 5, 2013

Thank you, Paula Deen, From The Bottom of My Southern Fried Heart

There are certain things, or people in this world that can easily move me to tears.  My mom is one of those people.   Without a doubt, I love my mom more than I could possible truly express in words, either written or spoken.  She has done more for me than so many would ever be willing to do.  She has given so much, and I don't mean things of monetary value, but things that are worth far, far more.
So, when something upsets my mother, I take note.
The other day, we were discussing the great Paula Deen witch hunt going on.  I do believe it is a witch hunt.  For whatever reason, people just want to take her down.  I'm not saying she is perfect, but I believe that reactions should be appropriate, and not outlandish.  It is, of course, one of those things that make you shake your head, but rarely do they have you truly emotionally upset, unless you are personally involved.
My mother, it seems, does take it very personally.
As we were discussing it, she became very upset.  Her words were almost shocking to me.  I had no idea how much she really likes Paula Deen.  Paula Deen means a lot to my mom in ways that I never understood.
Several years ago, my mom found out she had breast cancer.  It was bad.  She waited, though, until after I had given birth to her first grand child to allow any treatment to begin.  She wouldn't even tell us what was going on.  She, knowing that we had problems during the pregnancy, didn't want to take any chances of upsetting me.  So, three days after her first grandchild was born, she had a partial mastectomy.  After that, she started radiation and then Chemotherapy.  She did radiation for a few months, but years of chemo.  First a long bought of IV chemo, then pill form for years afterward.  It was a tough battle, but one that she has been victorious in so far.  She is a survivor.
It was also during that time that Paula Deen really came up in the TV world.  She was on TV all the time.  My mom, who works for herself in a very small business, hadn't ever had the time to sit down and watch much TV, until then.  She loved Paula on TV.  Paula was joyous and happy when mom was struggling to keep that herself.  She made great food, and my mom is a recipe addict.  She was uplifting to my mom in a time when she desperately needed that, just by doing what she wanted to do and being herself.  Paula Deen every day gave my mom something to look forward to when she wasn't allowed to leave the house, see her friends and family, or even go to church because her immune system had just bottomed out.
Paula Deen became a sort of friend to my mom, just through the magic of television.
Now, people have taken something that Paula Deen did years ago and blown it up beyond belief.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone.  As Paula herself tried to say, and to paraphrase the Bible, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
She apologized.  She says she has mended her ways.
My mom says that as long as she meant it, then she should be forgiven.  That is good enough for God and if it is good enough for God, it should be good enough for all of us.
My mom believes in Paula Deen, and I believe in my mom.
So, to Paula Deen, I want to say thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, Thank you for being there for my mom.  Thank you for giving her joy in the hardest time of her life.  I appreciate you now so much.  Just like my mom, you may never know how many people's lives you have touch in ways that you will never know about.  I'm glad you were there, though.
Thank you.
I hope you keep having your cooking classes.  I would love to be able to send my mom one of these days.  She would love it.
I really hope you decide to self publish that cooking book that was supposed to come out.  This is one I would buy two copies of, one for mom and one for me.
I hope you come back, better than ever, so that you can be a great, smiling face that the world needs.
Keep your head held high, and please keep on being you.
And most importantly, thanks again, for all those smiles and laughs you gave my mom.