Reflections Of An Orphan

“Motherless children have a hard time when the mother is dead…”

All quoted material is from the song ‘Motherless Children’ by Blind Willie Johnson c. 1927

I was orphaned at the tender age of 65. Among the things I miss desperately is my mother’s approval. I never got it from my father but my mom more than made up for that lack with her unconditional interest in what I was up to.

She was a huge support in my motorcycle riding. She well knew the risks I take every day but at some level understood the reward. Over 50 years ago she laid down her one and only rule for riding: Always wear a helmet.

She rode on the back of several of my motorcycles, but decided she’d had enough when she turned 80. Her one and only effort at riding came on my first Yamaha which didn’t last long or end well.

“They’ll not have anywhere to go,
Wanderin’ around from door to door”

I always had a place to go. Even when I lived more than 1000 miles away I kicked my feet under my mom’s table at least once per year. It’s never been the only place I’d go, but it was the only place I knew I’d go any given year…

“A wife or a husband may be good to you,
But, better than nothing has proved untrue.
Nobody treats you like Mother will when, when Mother is dead, Lord.”

I miss my mommy. In so many ways.

I’m just sayin’

The song has had meaning for me for most of my adult life. I first heard the Steve Miller Band version in 1969. It produced my search for the blues which goes on today. The Blind Willie Johnson version is available here. 


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