Breath of Sunshine
11 x 14 oil on linen board
Mother’s Day is very hard for me as it is for many. This week a friend of mine, lost his mom way before her time. He is devastated. I met her once, at his wedding last year. But, I heard what a wonderful mom she was and his love for her through our conversations. She will miss so much of his life but she remains in his heart.
Momma, I can’t believe that this will be the fourth Mother’s Day since you’ve been in your eternal home.
How I miss you. I miss your voice, I miss your encouragement. I miss your unconditional love.
We had our differences, we had our “fusses”, we even had our angry words. But, what we never had was a doubt that we loved each other, and that nothing could separate us.
I’ve always said I was going to write a book one day of the strongest women who made an impact on me. Of course you are at the top of the list.
As children, we don’t always recognize or realize how very much a parent sacrifices while raising their children. It took me working at the dry cleaning plant, to realize how very hard you worked, six days a week until I was 19 years old. Along, with a spotless home and wonderful home cooked meals. Eating out was a special time, not a given. Driving us to music lessons, Camp Fire Girl meetings, being a room mother at school, taking our friends to movies, shopping, sleep overs. Even taking us to “roll” houses, (even if you did drive off and leave us when the porch light came on!!!!) I remember a time that I surprised you by bringing home my sixth grade art teacher, Miss Hilton, for dinner without first asking you. You weren’t very happy, but you set an extra plate and carried on… Thank you!
I witnessed so many times that you had to “set an extra” and carry on and you did this with much grace.
After your divorce, at 50 you found a wonderful job. You excelled. I remember us carpooling together until your office moved out of downtown Dallas to the north. You were upset to have to drive the freeways. But, you learned a “back” route and your “true grit” carried you through until retirement. You were well loved by your co-workers. (Your retirement party was a testament to the love and respect your co-workers had for you) You were also their friend, confidant and mentor. You accepted all and judged none. A lesson you taught by example. Thank you.
I’ll never forget during a college class on racism, an AH HA moment. The professor was asking us questions to examine ourselves. On my way home, I called to thank you for never showing any sign of bigotry or hate. It is learned and you never taught it to me. Thank you.
One thing that defined you was the love you had for your family. It showed by example. You loved your mother, you loved your brothers and sisters, your cousins, you nieces and nephews. You taught us how important family is and to always stay in touch. You had friends but they never replaced your family in your devotion and love. You were bonded to your brothers and sisters through a childhood when each other was all you had as love and support. It wasn’t often and way into my adulthood before I heard so many stories of your childhood. Those I treasure but how I wish I had cared more to ask and listen. Often these stories explain so much. And, they are often buried. Ask, ask, ask, listen, listen listen, but most importantly care enough to want to know one’s story before it is buried with you loved one.
Oh and the love of your “Grands” as you called them. You loved them and they loved you. I could go on and on about this one but I have all of these memories in my heart…but over the years you stepped in when I stepped out, you were present at every important moment no matter the sacrifice, sports, proms, livestock shows, plays, everything! You planted, nourished, and then sowed love in them. Thank you!
Momma, everyday you are with me. I try not to have regrets and “what if’s”, “I wished I would have’s”. Instead, I remember the woman you were, your example, your words, your advice (I didn’t always heed your advice ( and you didn’t always heed mine!!!!) but often I wish I had and I still do. Were you perfect? NO…did you make mistakes? YES…Did you make bad decisions? YES. Thank the Lord, because you sure would be disappointed in me!!
But, through it all love was NEVER doubted. I know this is silly to some who may be reading it, but it has taken me four years to put in words, what I never said to you.
One last note, (I truly could go on forever) you taught me to be selfless…selfish was never a word to describe you. You’d give anybody anything, you’d go hungry before you took the last piece, you never forgot birthdays, anniversaries, or thank you’s!! You ALWAYS put others before your self. A wonderful example… Thank you!
I’m 62 for a few more months, and I can say that until you left us, a week or so, didn’t go by that we didn’t talk, even when I lived on the East Coast, even when we were not so happy with each other, I still called you or you called me. I miss those calls. Even after this time, I occasionally have the inclination to call.
I miss you…I love you…but I’d not wish you back here…you are walking the streets of gold…not so good here…
“God is good all the time”… “Right is right and wrong is wrong”… thank you for these words I heard a thousand times from you.
Thank you for being a wonderful mother and friend
Blessings and hugs….