By Josh Handy
For My Mama
For those of you who have read this column on a normal basis, please know that I promise to try my best to be a tenth as good as my Mother, Regena. As many of you know, she had not been able to write her column in recent weeks due to medical issues. I know how much she enjoyed these columns as it allowed her to hone a craft that was her favorite pastime. I believe I loved reading her handy work even more. Every other week, I was able to take a look into the history, beliefs, and thoughts of my Mother. This was something that not many children get a chance to realize. By seeing my Mom’s column, I was able to hear stories that had never heard before, see into the history of my family, and feel what she was trying to say in a very personal way. This final text, under her column name “Musings,” will not be an article written in the same mode as her others. This one is for my Mom, Regena, so I can tell her what a truly great woman, role model and Mom she was.
The two traits about my Mother I have heard about more over and over this past week since her passing have been “sweet” and “kind.” Many of these words have been told to me through tears by my Mother’s friends and family as they came to help us get through this tough time. These words are an apt description of how my Mom treated those around her. She was always civil, to a “T,” and she always tried to help others find middle ground. She was absolutely a peacemaker who wanted the best for all. This ability and style made my Mother a perfect fit for the positions she held in county government. Even after being in a position where many are criticized by those in the community, I have been lucky enough to never hear one person have a bad word to say about her. I realize that I am a son saying this, but I have also heard the identical from friends and family who say the same. I truly believe my Mother was one of those few people in the world who was genuine enough to be a good person and really mean it.
If there was any description I would give my Mom, Regena, it would be a great role-model. There is no way I could have ever had a better example of how to be a good person. She was so supportive in every aspect of my life, no matter how trivial. She would always want to know what she could do to help others. A friend of my mother’s post on Facebook in response to her death epitomized her mentality completely. She said “The first thing Gena did when she arrived in Heaven was to check and to make sure everyone was comfortable and happy. Before she ever paused to think about her own well-being, she always had to check on everyone else.”
My point in all I am writing is that in today’s age, where no one knows who is real or not, my Mother, Regena, was the genuine article. I cannot explain the size of the hole in the hearts of those who love her. We mourn the loss of her sweet laugh, caring nature, and gigantic capacity for love. And of course, her love for stories. Many of you may have one that involves my Mom, Regena. Please remember her through this and through all the love she spread in this imperfect world. I love you, Mama!
(Regena Handy, who wrote the Musings column for many years, died June 7. Her son, Josh Handy, wrote this, the final Musings column.)