Mama and Claire

My beautiful mother

Ready to ride, but lipstick on point. Movie star beauty with a no-nonsense expression. She was a mother to be proud of. 

I wish I could have seen her ride. I know it gave her so much joy, but she left that part of her life behind when she moved to California and started a family. Every now and then, these pictures would surface and she would get that far away smile that told me she was reliving memories of freedom, of dusty Colorado trails, of the wind in her auburn curls.

It is now seven years since Mom's death. I usually do very well with the day-to-day missing, but right now we are preparing for Claire to head out on another adventure, and I cannot help but think how much she would love to watch the flurry of leaving and to be here to cheer her on. They really understood each other, Mom and Claire.  

Claire lives in the granny flat now, and she has made it her own version of beautiful. But now her eyes are looking elsewhere, as she leaves Saturday for three months in Europe. She plans to write and see new places and meet up with old friends. I will miss her, but I have known for a long time that she was going to travel as much as the realities of life would allow. As one who has wallpapered her bedroom with maps, she longs to see the world, to live in France, to GO! 

So my heart stretches from Madelaine in Nova Scotia, to Zack in Washington, Rex in Sacramento, Claire in France, and Brennan in Chico. Stretched in the best possible ways. All those years of us smooshed in our little house, schooling, and living and always, always cooking and cleaning, have brought us to this season. I want to live this one well, too.

Bon Voyage, beautiful Claire. I know your lipstick will be spot on. I know you will take your no-nonsense expression into cafes and churches and homes, bringing your joie de vivre to those you meet and reunite with. You are deeply loved. See you soon.

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy

never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come,
knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we
can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Book of Common Prayer ~

Kindred spirits in 2009


Kerry said…
Oh, I just love this post. Bon Voyage, Claire!
Alison said…
Have a glorious time, Claire! Good for you, Mom, that you are working to embrace this new season of life.
Claire said…
Just reading this now and - gonna be real here - I cried. It's an honor to be your beautiful mother's kindred spirit. I have thought of her so often and have told so many stories of her to my friends here new and old. One of my highlights was when I minimized a page on my laptop and a friend catching site of my wallpaper - this same photo of Gram with the horses - asked "is that you?" I hold my head higher even now months later.
I'll see you in nine days, my darling Mum! I can't wait to see you.
- all my love from France
Elizabeth said…
Hello, I have always liked the name of your blog. I first found your lovely blog 10 years ago, before I even had a blog of my own. I became inspired to blog after reading many beautiful blogs.

I am so excited for your daughter and her travels! I have about ten maps of different counties on my bedroom wall, so I can relate to her maps. I like learning the cities of different countries and being able to visualize where people live. It really helps me to pray for people when I know what their geography looks like.

Blessings on your family,
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