“You get to everyday by winning, you know that don’t you?” Was what she used to say to us kids, when we’d taken a tumble or were feeling real low.
“So don’t you be telling me you failed, or nothing as stupid as that,” she’d say, just before she’d give you a smile that could span an ocean.
“You ain’t done wrong and you ain’t done let anyone down and don’t let me hear you saying you have – ‘cause you ain’t. To get here, to this moment where we are stood, you must have fought a million and one battles – and………AND……,” she’d say twice just so’s you’d have to listen, then she’d shake her big pointy finger straight at your face:
“AND…not only have you fought all those goddamn fights but you must have won them all, or else you wouldn’t be here standing in front of little old me. Now ain’t I right, or ain’t I right?”
Then she’d shuffle in her slippers to the little room where she kept the whiskey – and as she shuffled, she’d holler and laugh all the way there. If you were here, you were winning. Simple as that.
I can still hear her now after all these years – and you know what? I’m still winning.
bobby stevenson 2017