Somewhere in my infinite wisdom two Beatles’ songs having been playing round and round as an LP (Album) spins in precision on a turn table.
The first is ‘My Life’. There are places I remember all my life though some have changed…
My mother wasn’t a Beatles fan by any stretch of the imagination but since the recent passing of her has caused me to reflect upon the places I remember. I suppose it could be because my parents are both gone and I live in Louisiana and my desire to rush home to Cleveland will slowly begin to fade like the descending of a glorious sunset in the far off horizon.
The life my mother gave me and the memories will be a staple in my heart as if I was opening a pantry door and reaching for that feel good food item. I will also keep those memories to share for my precious grandchildren just so they know what family is to me and what it means.
Mom was so many things, energetic, lively, vibrant, determined, passionate and loving. She had the ability to see a blueprint of a house and turn it into her own Starry Night or if you will, her masterpiece. Castles of various sizes painted in hope, possibilities, life and love with the occasional tear.
Every castle was different and unique and she customized each home to fit her family. Her interior design tastes at the time and her kitchen in her last home would be her favorite room where most of us could gather and be together in the warmth of what Dad or my sister might be cooking.
These are places that she made a home for all who crossed the threshold and within moments you became part of her family. Each castle had an endless list of parties, Christmas and New Year’s being the pinnacles of her favorite season. The biggest party she threw yearly was for my Dad’s Birthday which fell on December 26. Her mission was to give Dad his own day and make it special. As I said my mom was determined the day after Christmas is sort of a tough day for a birthday. Her love for him brought the masses to the castles to celebrate his life. And sadly his death.
Yes these are places I remember and though those places have aged seeing them again– it doesn’t matter. The castles remind me of magical christmases, going to school for the first time, right up to graduations, weddings and grandchildren. Also the call to say ‘Mom can we stay with you until we get back on our feet?’
The next tune I hear is ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ just the title of the song really, but I hear her. Her voice whispering in the wind calling out to touch my hand. Small and meek in my early days her hand was soft to the touch and smelled like perfume. Being small I was nose level to her lovely hands.
I once deliberately dropped a snowball she had made me without gloves to start a snowman. Only because the beautiful gliding motion was better than any lopsided winter creation I could build.
Her hands were so graceful in movement that sometime growing up I would be hypnotize and forget she was angry with me because the motions were more graceful than a prima ballerina. Truthfully, I would get in more trouble for not paying attention. If I told her I was watching her hands the lecture and the gestures would sound like a sonic boom and her hands could move like a mushroom cloud, I would just take my punishment.
Hands that stroked my cheek when I was sick. Hands that pulled me in when she thought I was going to cross the street into traffic, hands that she would swing wildly into my chest when she hit the brakes to hard.
The hand that held mine when we walked into a store or simply just wanted to take my hand just because.
The hands that as she lay dying held one out to my sister and one out to me and whispered ‘I love you’.
Her love was in the grasp of her hands and what little strength she had reached for the two children she loved.
Those places that I remember and the hand that held mine through life silently slipped away in the night on March 13 in the wee hours of the morning.
The imprint of her hands reaching for mine in her castles will live in my heart as I stare at the stars seeing the brightest light of her knew castle in the sky.
I love you mom and when my time here on earth is done I know it will be your hand waiting to take mine.