April 4 is the date Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.  April 4 is also the birthday of my late mother.

I was visiting my mother on her birthday when the assassination of Dr. King was broadcast. 

My mom exclaimed, “Oh, Lord, help us to get right,” as she scrambled to get out of her big chair and rush to the bathroom.  I do not know if she cried.  I was too stunned to notice.

My mom, Katie, was an extraordinary person.  She only went to the third grade in school, but because she loved to read, took pride in speaking “good” English and kept up with what was happening in the world, one was not aware of her limited education when talking with her.

Katie read the newspapers and the Bible every day.  She encouraged her children to read, to do well in school and to be kind to others.  She was a great observer of and commentator on people, as the following quotes show.  

“I wish I had some of these mirrors people have.”

“A ten-dollar hat on a two-cent head.”

“One should use one’s head for more than a hat rack.” 

“He’s just breath and britches.”

“What you don’t have in your head you have to have in your feet.” 

“Some people don’t know they don’t know.”

“Some people not liking you is a compliment.”

“Too many people have the Lord in their mouths and the devil in their hearts.” 

“I didn’t create the world, so I don’t know all that’s in it.”

“Heaven may be my home, but I’m not homesick.”

Years have passed since my mom died and Dr. King was assassinated, but Katie and Dr. King will always be remembered for their strengths and concern for others.