In the last few years I have grown closer to my mother. As she ages and grows more dependent on me, I am learning from her how to be a gracious maturing person. I see deeper into her character and appreciate the kind woman she is. She is wise and has a clear mind, and speaks gently of others. She follows the news and reads novels, but will gladly reminisce of her youth and answer questions about life back then.
This small, frail woman has lived a long and wonderful life although many times were hard. She grew up in the Great Depression and money was tight for most of her life. But she is grateful for all that she has done and seen. This lovely woman who stayed home to raise her children until they were all teenagers, and then only worked as a housekeeper a few days a week, would now be a role model for Feminism. In between our weekly grocery trips on Fridays nights, she would walk to town to pick up things we needed. She was a master at stretching money and saving whatever she could. She was self-taught at the sewing machine and made my angel outfit for the school Christmas production, along with some drindle skirts made from odd pieces of fabric she came across.
She has been independent since my father passed away 25 years ago, taking flights to visit us when we lived several states away. She stayed active at the local Senior Center as long as she could.
Her children are all older and have their own busy lives. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are scattered so family gatherings are infrequent. When they visit she still enjoys cooking for them, or at least making their favorite dessert.
Today I spent a quiet Easter with her. After breakfast we enjoyed a sunny but chilly drive, followed by a walk through the cemetery to check on the daffodils I planted last fall. The bright yellow flowers were reassuring on this unusually cold spring morning. She said this was the last time she would walk up the hill to her brother’s grave. Each time gets a little harder for her. So I joked that her relatives had their nerve dying and being buried on the hill. Why couldn’t they have waited until the graves in the new, flat section were used? At least I can still make her laugh.
We all need to slow down and enjoy the flowers, and hold onto moments that are gone too soon.
Have a Happy Easter, Passover, or beautiful Sunday. Whatever this day means to you, I wish you well.