May 7, 2005

I miss my Mama

A favorite memory of my mom took place at our church. The “Mother-Daughter Banquet” was an annual Mother's Day event, held the day before mother's day. The men cooked and provided entertainment following the meal. We were early, and how I hated being early but my parents were religious about promptness. As the tables started to fill I noticed my mother was nowhere to be seen. and the activities were about to begin. Then I saw my mom standing at the door, holding the hand of a rather shy, dumpy looking woman.

My mom was beaming, so thrilled the daughter-less woman had accepted her invitation and actually showed up! The younger woman was the mother of two rumble-tumble rowdy little boys with crew-cuts who attended Sunday School. Her husband was a heavy drinker and life was difficult. I still remember, though nervous and a bit scared, the weary, dowdy woman seemed to feel so happy and safe with my mom. Something about that picture never left my mind. My mother was not demonstative, but there she was holding that strange woman's hand. I now know it was a little window into my mom's soul where she cared for others and cared for the unnoticed. She always did things quietly, she was faithful, dependable and reliable....but she was quiet.

Lately, I miss her terribly. Maybe because I see that we share the same weaknesses, and I need her help. Maybe because I waited until she was 90 to begin to really know her and have a little friendship. Maybe because I went to her house and walked inside where a stranger now lives. Maybe it is because I am beginning to write about the past and there is nowhere to find those answers.

No, I think it's because I remember that Mother Day's dinner and how she held that lady's hand.

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