Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Live On In Hearts and Memories

It's Mother's Day weekend, a time to celebrate mothers whether they are still with us or live only in our hearts and memories now. My mother passed away over nine years ago. She spent a bit more than  a year prior to that in a nursing home far from where I lived. I couldn't vist her that Mother's Day, so I wrote a poem that seemed fitting.  

Mother’s Day Visit

Her step has slowed;
her hands shake.
Age has left its mark.

The sparkle’s gone;
her eyes no longer shine.
Years have taken a toll.

Yet, deep inside
the thin, frail body
lives my mother,

she who nurtured and
created a haven where
I rested, safe and loved,

a mom who taught me
all about devotion
and how to make a home.

She shared my joys
and wept at the sorrows
sprinkled in my life,

rejoiced at each new birth,
listened to my tales,
counseled and cared.

I hold her trembling hand,
and whisper thanks and love.
Please God, let her know,

before our time is gone,
that her love lives on
within me now and evermore.

      *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *  
After my mom passed away, Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning. I wrote the following short personal essay which was later published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I read the story on a TV show in Topeka close to Mother's Day that year. The next day, I received a phone call from a woman who had lost her mother earlier in the year, had seen me on TV and was moved by the story. She told me that she'd been dreading Mother's Day but my story would help her through it. And that is one of the main reasons I write--to touch the hearts of others. 

With Us In Spirit (written in 2005)

I stopped at a Hallmark shop the other day to buy Mother’s Day cards for my daughter and daughter-in-law. The aisle where the cards for this special day rested was a long one. There were Mother’s Day cards appropriate to send to everyone from your cleaning lady to your best friend. The colors were soft and spring-like, fitting for the month of May. I moved up and down the aisle looking for cards that worked for Karen and Amy, and suddenly without any warning, an ache started deep inside. It swelled and moved upward, hit my heart and pushed a tear from my eye.

The one card I really wanted to buy was one for my own mother, but she passed away more than two years ago. I could buy the card, write a special note, sign it with love, then seal and stamp it. But where would I send it? Heaven has no post office. A curtain of sadness dropped down and covered me like a shroud for a moment or two. My hand reached out to a card that I knew she’d love. It was lavender and purple, her favorite colors. I read the verse and smiled. This was the one I’d buy her if I could only send it to her. I slipped it back in the rack, picked it up and read it again, then replaced it.

I’m a mother and a grandmother of four, but I still miss my mom. I miss our long talks. She had little formal education, but she possessed a marvelous instinct and insight into human behavior. I learned so much listening to her observations. I miss the stories she told about her childhood in a coal mining town. She made me appreciate the differences in people’s lives. I miss the wonderful pies and cakes she made. I miss her terrific sense of humor and hearty laughter. I miss her hugs.

But as I look around my home, I see her in many places. I see her warm smile in photos carefully arranged in several different rooms. I see her every time I sift through my recipe box and finger the many cards with her handwriting, all so precious now.  I see her when I use my rolling pin, once hers, now mine. Whenever I use it, I’m reminded of the day she taught me how to put just the right pressure on a pie crust with the heavy wooden rolling pin. I see her when I show visitors to our guest room, for the bed is covered with a quilt she made by hand.

On Mother’s Day I will be with my daughter and her family at a Mother’s Day Brunch. To spend the day with a child I love and her husband and children will give me great pleasure. It wouldn’t surprise me if we sense another presence that day, for my mother will be with us in spirit, spreading her love once more.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, what a lovely tribute to your mother. You were lucky to have her for such a long time! Happy Mother's Day!