Delta Mae Memorial
MEMORIES OF A SUPERMOM, WIFE,
MOTHER, FRIEND, AND HELPER
This part of the website is devoted to Delta Mae Talbert - wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend and helper-SuperMom. Iíll first share some highlights of my own, then Iíve asked other family members to share special memories.
In my earlier days of childhood were some special times. She could be described as a faithful wife, caring mother and homemaker, which was the center of her life - the home. My earliest memories involved her reading stories of Jesus, cooking lots of sweets like oatmeal cookies, chocolate oatmeal drop cookies, and chocolate meringue pies (thatís back when I could eat chocolate.) I would come home from a bad day at school, and she would have those drop cookies ready. That would take me out of any mood swing any school could hit me with. Also, her faithful pickups from school were always there when needed. That is until I had to get the Volkswagon.
Her greatest interest was the home, and her kids -- she was indeed a full time mom. She sometimes said her only job was working for the telephone company, but that was far from her only job. She had a lifetime of work on her hands. Her other interests, especially as we left home, were her pets, plants, and her yard. Then a few specialties included crocheting, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and birthdays. One particular birthday specialty was preparing an "India Supper" on my birthday. It was a dish brought over from Africa by my aunt, Peggy Wilks, where she and my uncle were missionaries.
While the good times and memories could fill this website, above all Iíd have to say she was my helper in ministry. Above all, she was my hands on partner. She did the typing, the stuffing and stamping of envelopes for ministry reports, and kept track of the lessons. She often would sit in her recliner (even as recent as with the previous report sent out) with reports, envelopes and stamps all around her. She had her own assembly line. Then other times in the same chair, she would sit and grade the NewLife Behavior and World Bible School lessons. On top of that for a while she even went into the nursing home with me. She was indeed super. She didnít like me bragging about her, but there are some things she just canít keep me from doing.
The following comments are a few items Iíll share that show more about her endurance, her faithfulness as a wife, a grandmother, a sister and sister-in-law, and as an aunt. These are notes from others in the family.
By Ronnie Talbert
50th ANNIVERSARY POEM
Who are these folks who are still together
After 50 long years of tug and push and hug and kiss?
How shall I describe them? The givers, the enablers,
the selfless persons who are always there?
All knowing, all efficient, meeting my needs as well as their own.
Let me tell of the bits and pieces that have kept them close -
The nuts and bolts and tacks and screws, the laughter and tears.
The things I saw and the things I heard, and see and hear today.
My mom, the caretaker, the lover, with her wisdom and shrewdness.
"Where is he going to put it this time?" sheíd ask herself.
How did she know he had sneaked around?
How did she know about the car, the truck?
Can she see right through his head?-his ideas, his thoughts, his intentions.
They are not solely his. But oh how glad he is that she is there.
"Where you at?" he hollers. He just has to know.
But sheís there and always will be, if he needs her.
And often they end up at the same place, at the same time.
Two recliners, one computer, one T.V. - Companionship.
But it does seem a little strange to me-
"He canít hear"Ö"Ďcause she donít talk loud enough."
Yet itís amazing how Dadís hearing improves when she whispers.
She knows his needs, his likes, his patterns.
Just as he knows hersÖAnd they both know mine.
Many times they could have said, "Take a hike." "Hit the road." "Youíre on your own."
But no, not them.
Another bed is always there, another meal.
And even if Iíve fussed at her, sheíll have my favorite food.
And when I snap at him-thereíll be oil for my truck, or money for my needs.
And when I say, "Stop sending cash through the mail,"
Sheíll do it anyway. And Iíll get it and spend it, knowing sheíll do it again and again.
When I teach, I speak of the enable who keeps the addict where he is -
Then Iíll find cash in the mail with a note signed, "Your Enabler."
And on top of all that, thereís help in other ways-
The Super Mom of mines use the computer (that Dad has paid for)
to help me help others.
Although, to some point, they are enabling me to continue to have a problem-
Yet theyíve kept me from going over the edge,
from giving up, from saying, "What is the use?"
And because of that-I wonít hit the bottom-
Hit the bottom never to get up again like many of those I teach.
For itís by Godís grace and the help of my wonderful parents
Iíll go on, Iíll reach for higher ground.
So-itís 50 years and going.
Can we look forward to 75?
Mom says, "Iíll always finish what I start."
And she will.
By: Ronnie Talbert - November 2000
Arranged by Ina Booth
MEMORIES FROM THE FAMILYÖÖÖÖ..
Mama, as she was known to her family loved having her family all together, especially having them all come to church with her and sit on the same pew.
She didnít like to talk about politics, and didnít like anything controversial brought up at family gatherings.
She was known as Mamaw by her grandchildren. She always wanted to be made aware of anything that her grandkids had done, and always made sure to either call, or send them an email or a card telling them how proud she was of them. Each grandchild has at least one afghan that Mamaw crocheted for them, and most have a handmade quilt or blanket that they can always remember her by.
Bobís fondest memory of his grandmother was that when he was little, he went to Mamaw and Papawís house every Friday, and Mamaw always took him to McDonaldís to get a Happy Meal. He always could count on getting that Happy Meal for breakfast, come rain or shine. And then lunch would be chicken, broccoli, and Birdís Eye corn. These were his favorites, so she always made sure she always made what he wanted.
Bradley and Gage always looked forward to the endless supply of Chocolate Chip Cookies. Mamaw always made sure to have homemade chocolate chip cookies in the freezer, ready for the grandkids when they came to visit. Even when she became unable to make them herself, she would have Papaw make the dough with her step by step directions so that the cookies were there when the kids arrived.
Mason loved her Salmon Patties - always served with Macaroni & Cheese. He always knew if the meals involved a vegetable he didnít like, Mamaw would always throw some Macaroni & Cheese in the menu-just for Mason.
Jade remembers Mamaw always making peas and corn for her when she came to visit. And there was always cookie making. Mamaw taught her how to crochet, braid, and the basics of sewing-like making pot holders for the family.
Oftentimes she would have "tea" parties where she would have the grandkids over and serve cookies and Sprite mixed with Orange Juice to drink. Afterwards sheíd water the garden and let the grandkids get filthy in the mud. They had special "old clothes" that they would keep at her house to change into on these special days - mainly so that their Moms didnít know that they had been up to their elbows in mud!
Delta and I were close to the same age. We did a lot of things together. I was slow to take to school, didn't study nor apply myself, but before long Delta caught up with me when another grade was added to the Hobbs Strickland School at Alice. She skipped a grade and caught up with me. From that time onwards I had to study and get with it to stay with her in the same grade!
In High School, we both did well with our grades, and we attended parties together. Some of our classes were the same. Being brother & sister, I was included with the parties the girls would set up. Some of the parties were on the north end of Alice and a number of the boys would walk the girls home on the way to our house on Adams Street
Before Peggy and I married, J.D. & Delta were there for our chaperones, always opening their house to us any time.
Delta was good to write us to keep us updated with kinfolks, others there at Alice, as well as how our parents were doing after we married, moved to Kerrville in 1959, and moved to Malawi, Africa in 1964, and we retired to Rogers, Arkansas in 2005. She continued to call most Saturdays when she was so sick to keep in contact and keep us informed of the activities in South Texas.
A wonderful sister all through our lives! By Lendal Wilks
As a teenager, we sometimes let the goodness of others slip by us, or we are simply unaware of the efforts and sacrifices of others.
The goodness of Delta Maeís heart has left me with an impression I donít think I can ever forget. In the fall of 1959, I had been involved in a car accident that left me bedridden for about four months. After coming home from the hospital, I remember Delta Mae coming with a small child to assist Mother in caring for me. Nearly every weekday morning she was there helping with me and helping Mother with her household duties. I donít know how much that impressed me then, but now as an adult looking back at that time, I realize what an effort it was for Delta to do that. I was impressed with her love and devotion to Mother that made her willing to give of her time to assist her. I know it wasnít easy.
But as I think of it, that really was just one of many times that she gave of herself to her parents and family that she loved. It was less than a month before she died that she called to see if anyone was using our place at Bandina because she wanted to go up there while Lendal and Peggy were there to see them. I was shocked because I knew that she probably was not feeling well enough to do that. When I mentioned it to Joline, she paused and said that her mother thought that this would be her last time to see Lendal and Peggy. She seemed to realize that life was short when the rest of us did not realize the seriousness of her illness. Family was important to her.
I praise God that she now enjoys the joy of an eternal family that is praising and adoring our heavenly Father and is looking forward to the time when the rest of her earthly family will join her there.
By Doug Wilks
I had been thinking about Delta Maeís life and what I could say about her. The thing that stood out to me was her thoughtfulness and caring of others. She took food to lots of people on special occasions, but she took food to lots of others on a regular basis. There is no telling how many pound cakes she baked to take to others every week. She was very giving of herself.
Some of the best times I remember were when all of our children were small and we would meet at the lake late every Thursday afternoon for a good time together swimming, eating and just enjoying one anotherís company. Delta Mae helped to make these great memories for all of us. She sort of became the mother figure for the family after her own mother was gone. She loved us all and wanted the best for everyone.
We will miss her and are thankful that she was part of our lives.
By Chris Wilks
"Big sister", patient "sister-in-law" and loving "aunt"-Delta Mae represented all of these to our family.
As a "big sister," Delta Mae acted very much like a little "mother" to her brothers. She was doing this long before our Mother had passed. She was always watching out for us boys and scolding us when we got out of hand. She, of course, grabbed firmly onto the role of "mother" when our own Mother passed.
From the time that I brought Pat into our lives, she lovingly wrapped her arms of sisterhood around her. She took Pat under her wing and immediately made her a part of the family. In the beginning of our marriage, we would spend almost every night of each weekend sharing meals with J.D. and Delta Mae. One meal that we frequently had stands out in our memory-pancakes for dinner. She was such a good cook. My favorite recipe is Delta Maeís pound cake. I canít eat enough of it!
For many years, we celebrated holidays at J.D. and Delta Maeís. We would go to their home every Christmas Eve to spend the night and celebrate the Christmas holiday with them. After many years of doing this, Larry and Kim decided that they wanted to just stay home for the holiday and not travel. Well we did. After opening all of their presents and playing with them for a short time, Larry and Kim were pleading to pack up and go to Aunt Maeís house! We, of course, resumed our holiday tradition the next year.
Delta Mae always spoke in a soft voice that beckoned one to listen. She was always kind-hearted and hospitable. She had such a knack for making people feel welcome in her home. She was a true hostess.
We will miss all of the wonderful things that Delta Mae gave us. Her Christian heart demonstrated a love of the Lord, a love of her family, and a love for mankind. We are thankful for this quality that she has shared with us throughout our lives and has impressed upon our hearts.
By Wayne & Pat Wilks
Larry Wilks, & Kim Bickham
Before I turned 5, and "Sissy", as I called her, got married, she and J.D. would go out on dates and of course, Iíd have to go with them. My place, or so I thought, was standing in the middle of the front seat-between Sissy and J.D. This worked out just like I wanted-he couldnít kiss her or even put his arm around her and hold her hand. I was there to take care of my Sissy, and I would elbow them if they ever got too close. I thought I had to go everywhere she went, so I even tried to get into the car with her when they were leaving on their honeymoon.
One day, the whole family went to Lake Mathis for a family outing. We were all around the picnic table when J.D. and Sissy decided to sneak off and get some alone time. They decided to go for a rowboat ride. They managed to escape detection long enough to get a ways off shore before I started missing my sissy. I got to looking for her frantically and finally looked out on the lake and saw them in the rowboat. I had always thought that my Sissy walked on water, and that day I tried to be like Sissy and walk out to meet them in the boat. I ended up out in the water by the boat. J.D. looked down and there I was-bobbing up and down in the water. He reached down and grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled me up and said, "Hey, thatís Darwin!" I got my way again and got to get in the boat (probably between them) and go with them until they decided to row to shore.
Sissy was a mother to me and a mother to my kids. She was always there for us when we needed her and took care of them when I needed a babysitter or anytime the kids needed her. She was a nurse, a friend, a confidant, and a counselor to all of her children, grandchildren, siblings, and nieces and nephews. Anytime anyone needed anything, she was there for them.
Iíll miss you Sissy! You will be in my heart forever.
By Darwin Wilks