Dolly Parton Recalls A Timeless Piece Of Her Mother’s Advice

While on Apple Music Country’s “The Kelleigh Bannen Show,” Dolly shared some of the best advice her mother gave her: “Always keep something back for you.”

Dolly says that the simple yet profound piece of advice from Avie Lee is what helped Dolly maintain a successful career over multiple decades.

“You can give what you’ve got, but don’t give it all away,” she said.

“I pray also that God will, you know, give me enough to share and enough to spare when it comes to my money, but also to myself. Let me share everything I can, but let me keep me.”

Dolly’s mother, who passed in 2003, but her words of wisdom live on inspired her iconic song, “Coat of Many Colors” was based on a coat her mother made for her out of a bunch of rags.

RELATED: Dolly Parton Admits She Cringes At Being Idolized: ‘I Don’t Want To Be Worshipped’

Before she was a household name, Parton grew up with 11 siblings in the Smoky Mountains. Her family was so poor that both she and her family struggled to keep clean, she revealed in a 1978 interview with Larry Grobel.

“We bathed once a week once a week whether we needed it or not, as the saying goes,” she recalled.

“Finding a way to put everything to good use, that was a way of life in the Smokies,” she wrote. “It wasn’t just about taking care of what we’d been given. It was about survival, about trying every day, every minute, to make things a little bit better.” 

As Parton wrote in an essay for Guideposts, “It was so cold the day I came into the world that when the kitchen in our one-room cabin was mopped, the water left a film of ice on the floor.”

And in an interview with Larry Grobel, shared that when her siblings wet the bed, she savored it.

RELATED: This Is Actually Why Dolly Parton Always Wears Long Sleeves

“That was the only warm thing we knew in the wintertime,” she shared after Grobel asked if she got up to wash herself. “That was almost a pleasure to get peed on because it was so cold. Lord.”

Parton also suffered from tragic physical trauma as well. In an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, Parton shared that when she was a kid, she almost lost some of her toes.

“I was probably about six or seven,” she explained per People.

“I had jumped across the fence onto a broken mason jar and cut three of my toes, just my little toes on my right foot, almost off and they were just kind of hanging there.” 

But thankfully, Parton’s mother was able to sew her toes back on using kerosene as an anesthetic. “But they worked and they healed and I’m still walking on them,” Parton added.

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