April 14, 2003
Seventeen years ago.
I have to look this date up every year. I know it is in mid April. It is the day my mother passed away. It was the Monday before Easter that year. And it was a blessing, as she was suffering from the extensive pain of bone cancer. She was, as she had said, “Ready to go,” and she knew where she was going. But she left an empty space behind.
Seventeen years. If you think back another seventeen years before that, our daughter was only two years old, and our son wasn’t born yet.
Seventeen years ago. So much happened in that intervening time. Our children married. Our grandchildren born. My husband and I retired and are growing old together.
While I ponder on the time that has passed, I have trouble realizing the amount of years gone by. I have recently been “cleaning out” (haven’t we all?) and I have uncovered and organized family pictures and other memorabilia. So my parents are fresh on my mind.
In truth, they always are.
Today a redbird – two redbirds – hopped around on our deck and looked in the kitchen door at us as we ate our lunch. A visitor from heaven, as the old tales say? If so, then I reply, “Hello, Mama! I’m thinking of you today.”
And I was cleaning out a bookshelf today, I came across this book I hadn’t thought of in years. It was a gift from a friend when Mama died:
So many reminders. Happy memories to make me smile.
Maybe she is thinking of me, too. “Love you, Mama!”