My Mama Told Me

Maybe you have observed there is a new virus going around? Maybe you’ve heard we have a rather tumultuous election pending? Maybe you’ve noticed the stock market is on a bit of a roller coaster? I’m learning to mute and disconnect regularly or the news absolutely does me in.

I am unable to stop touching my face. I don’t think it is possible for us to do that. When I go out I start watching people and all the ways we touch and mingle and hand each other debit cards and pens and such and I don’t believe there is such a thing as a way to not have contact with other humans.

I like hugging people and shaking hands and taking communion and shopping and I don’t see how we can actually keep ourselves isolated and germ free.

Meanwhile our family is just days away from a big celebration that no virus, election, or stock market antics can hinder. Our son Reed is about to marry his love, Taylor, and our level of joy is through the roof.

I’ve been around long enough to know there are plenty of things to worry about in this life. We have no shortage—any of us—of hardship, sad stories, true grief and difficult things to carry. On the other hand, we might really have a shortage of true joy… things to just pause and celebrate.

When my daughter was pregnant she confessed to me that she felt strange about so many people wanting to give her meals, gifts, and baby showers. I told her, “We all need a reason to celebrate. Let people celebrate. Allow it for their sake.”

I’ve never been the mother of the groom before. I love the challenge of a new role. It has been so fun so far. After the wedding and a few speeches, my son and I will get to take the dance floor for a mother son dance. We chose our song carefully and selected one by Van Morrison called Days Like This.

Milestone moments are not lost on me. This happens after a cancer diagnosis. Such a thing has a way of making your priorities clear all of the sudden. It has been almost nine years since I was diagnosed. In the scary beginning time of that journey I never asked for, I did not know what would happen. I did not know that I’d be happy and healthy on his wedding day. I did not know if I’d be here to see him meet a strong beautiful woman and take this big step. To be here to dance with him is just luxurious to me. It is pure grace.

Flashing through my mind are all his moments. I see the chunky blonde haired baby who didn’t crawl on time because his sister brought him all he needed. I see the little boy with a ball in his hands always. I see him dancing to Barney videos, playing soccer in his little purple jersey, riding his bike, holding puppies, being afraid of a scary jack-o-lantern he carved. I see the high school quarterback, the baseball pitcher, the Aggie cadet, the coach and now the groom. I see the future too.

In the song Days Like This, the chorus is, over and over, my Mama told me there’ll be days like this. When you really listen to the lyrics you are surprised by the fact that the days like this Mama is talking about are not days filled with worry, stress, mishaps or defeat. What Mama is talking about are good days, days of pure joy and celebration... when no one is complaining, when everything falls into place, when there is no need to worry, no one is in a hurry, you don’t get betrayed, you don’t need an answer, you don’t meet a chancer, all the pieces of the puzzle start to look like they fit… my Mama told me there’ll be days like this.

Oh my, oh yes. Joy. Celebration. Love. Health. All your best people gathered for a couple of hours in happiness. Dancing despite viruses, stock markets, politics and trouble.

I am so grateful to be here and to be the Mama taking a break from worry and woe, just dancing with my son on his best day ever. Yes, yes, there will be days like this.

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, Mama of three, mother of the groom, Mosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor. To see where she is speaking next go to

6 thoughts on “My Mama Told Me”

  1. As a mother of two boys, neither married yet, I look forward to all the feelings you described! Thank you for sharing and I am so happy for your family to celebrate this special day together!

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