Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I was sitting in the car the other day, watching my mother on her way to an errand, and it struck me, "My mother is healthy." It was not so five-and-a-half years ago when she moved here. I remember well gathering the courage to ask the doctor, "How long do you think she has to live?" when we were having one of our many update conversations. How grateful, deeply and truly and happily grateful I am that my mother is healthier now, at the age of 81, than she was then. She is a gift to my life, a cheerful presence in my little granny flat, and a companion for my children.

A friend was telling me yesterday of the one word that represented her mother. I could not come up with one word (what else is new?) but I found a plethora of images flying through my mind as I thought on it:

* Stacks of books
* Beautiful pictures and pottery
* Blues music
* Little jars of candy for her grandchildren
* Perfectly.pressed.pants
* Crossword puzzles, neatly completed
* Deep, contagious laughter
* Baked potatoes
* More books
* Loyalty, of the fiercest kind
* Quiet, liturgical faith
* Learning. Always learning.

These are a rich legacy. I am really not good at the pressed pants thing, but as my bookshelves sag, my eye catches the blues and greens in a vase or bowl, when I open my Book of Common Prayer, when loyal love wells up inside me like a roaring lion, I am reminded that my mother's roots are growing deep in my soul. I am grateful to know and love such a woman.

Happy Mother's Day, precious Mama.

“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.” Wendell Berry

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