Sunday, May 11, 2014

The heart remembers

My mother died in 2009, but her memory lives on in my heart and my brothers' hearts. That's the way it is with those you love--their life story and its impact on you continues for as long as the heart remembers.

After my father died in 1996, my younger brother called my mother every day. I know his calls pulled her through her grief until she cold find her spark for life again. Mother loved all three of her children, but Mark was her favorite and no wonder. He adored her as only the baby boy in a family can adore his mother, and their daily conversations were filled with gossip, sports, and laughter.

After she turned 80, Mother started pulling in her world. She went to the nail salon and the hair salon, but she had Mr. Ennis do her grocery shopping, pick up her mail at the post office, and run other errands around town. She stayed home, watched sports, and read books that Mark brought her by the armload. She loved to read, but had to put her initials at the end of a novel so she would know she'd read it already (or she'd begin it again and be half-way through before she realized the storyline was familiar). I have to admit, though I am still in my 60s, I have to put my initials at the end of the books I read.

One of my strongest memories is a time when we had driven to Oklahoma City to see relatives on my dad's side of the family. We stopped at I-Hop for breakfast, and we both got the Senior Special. Her mother had died when she was in her 30s, so I always felt blessed that Mother and I were able to grow old together .

We called her the Queen Mother, and I grew up in her shadow, for she was so boldly beautiful and steely strong and people smart and just so darn dazzling that I felt like the waning moon to a bright, bright sun.

But the truth is, I have her genes... which makes me the Princess-of-Quite-a-Lot.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone.