Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mama

I know that I've missed posting my gratitudes here so often this month but today's thanksgiving is close to heart.

I'm grateful today for my mother. She's been gone twenty-two years and I still miss her every single day. I wish I could hear her voice, I wish I could feel her arms around me hugging me. She had the biggest, most loving heart of anyone I've ever known. You've heard the saying, "They don't have an unkind bone in their body?" Well, I think that saying was written for Mama. She took care of my bedri
dden father for the last ten years of her life. It was not easy, Daddy could be a difficult man. But she remained patient and kind and did what had to be done day after day, what she considered her duty for those vows she'd taken years earlier, "for better, for worse; in sickness and in health." I sometimes think that all that Mama got was the worst part of that agreement but the minister who preached her funeral, a long time friend, wept as he recalled her love for her children and her devotion to us. We four were her life, her everything. She extended her love to others, people who by either fact or circumstance were orphans like her. She'd had a difficult life. Her mother died when she was only five. Until the day she died, she recalled that heartache of sitting by the fire in her little rocking chair and clutching a beloved doll while she said it felt as if her little heart would split in two with the pain. Her father passed just nine years later. She nursed him in his final days and then was left on her own at fourteen. I hear people constantly making excuses for crimes and mistakes and even poor decisions by saying they've had a hard life. My mother's life was extremely difficult almost from her beginning but she never become bitter or hard. Instead, every hardship that she went through in her life made her more understanding of pain and want in others. She told me, not long before her death, that she'd stayed trapped in that house for so many years caring for Daddy that when she died, there would be no one to attend her funeral, no friends left outside of her kids' friends who would come to pay their respect to them not her. I hope she was looking on at her funeral because it was a packed house and the majority of the people there were there because she'd touched their loves in some way. So many told me that day that she had touched them with her kindness, generosity and love. One of my friends told me that she'd never seen so many tears outside of the family section at any funeral. Grown men were weeping with abandon after telling me that when they were children my mother had shown them the only kindness and love they'd every known. My mother didn't think that her life mattered beyond her kids. She was the wisest person I've ever known but that was one time she was very wrong. I know how very, very blessed I was to have had her in my life for thirty-five years and to have known not only her all encompassing love but her friendship as well. She always told me that we were more than mother and daughter, we were buddies, best friends, pals. She was the best friend I've ever had and I'm so very thankful today to have known her.

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