Friday, May 11, 2007

It is well... remembering Mama

It's impossible to ignore Mother's Day. Ads in the newspaper, ads on TV, magazines, store displays -- they all scream "MOM. Call your mom. Send her a card....a"

I'm really, really trying not to see it.

I did last year, too, the first Mother's Day without my mother, and was more successful than I've been this year. For whatever reasons, this one is harder to not see.

My undoing was a column in yesterday's Record Searchlight by columnist Jim Dyar, whose mom died just a few weeks ago. I understand his feelings. This one won't be easy for him either. Nor will any of them.

My conversations with my mother are one-sided too, but I have them anyway, because I can hear her voice in my head. I can see her soft, wrinkled face with softly rouged cheeks smiling at me, listening. I can feel her fine hair under my fingertips. I remember her voice. Calm. Matter-of-fact.

I stay away from Mother's Day card displays and gift ideas and try to overlook the glossy ads in the paper -- but I still think "she'd like that" when I see a book or a movie or a cute shirt that would cover her thin arms and thick middle -- thick because of the devastating osteoporosis that curled her back into a comma and forced her inner organs to share a much reduced space in her abdomen. I used to shop for hours to find clothes that would work with that poor little body -- the body that used to be tall and elegantly hour-glassed --

So Sunday I'm going to attend a choral evensong at Grace Cathedral with my friend Julie. I'll say prayers for my mother of gratitude for her gifts to me, for her strength and honesty, and for her life that graced the lives of my brother and me, and my father. And I'll listen as the voices sing clear up to heaven. I hope one of the hymns will be "It is Well with My Soul." It was her favorite.

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