May, Mom, and Memories

#52essays2017 – Essay #Week 19 – May 14, 2017

It’s been a rainy and cold spring here in Rhode Island. I keep wondering if we’ll ever experience the warmth of the sun. And just as I go into despair, we get one of the glorious spring days – in the 60s with lots of sun. And I have hope again.

I don’t know if these conditions are “best” for spring flowering trees and bushes, but as I drive around my neighborho

od, I see color and vibrancy all around. The dogwoods, and azaleas, and rhododendrons, and cherry blossoms, and phlox, and so much more are magnificent this year. Perhaps it’s been like this every year, but this year I notice them that much more because the days have been so bone-chilling and gray.

1953?-revAnd I also find myself remembering my mother often this month — in fact, everyday especially as I see the dogwoods. I specifically recall a picture of her taken maybe in 1953, probably around the time of her 27th birthday. She is standing tall in front of a dogwood tree.

Today is Mother’s Day. My mother would have been 91 at the end of this month. She passed in 2008, and as I near the 10th anniversary of her death, I find my memories of her voice and smell beginning to fade. But when I hear my own voice and look at my own aging hands, I hear and see familiarity. I remember her love. I miss her less as years go by but my fondness for and my memories of her remain strong.

As with most mothers and

daughters, we didn’t always get along. I know I learned from her about courage, kindness, honesty, laughter, creativity, and other important values. But I also know that I interpreted those values slightly differently than she. As a result, I have made many life choices that puzzled, perhaps even frightened, her. If she were still alive, she would be both proud of my successes but still perplexed/concerned about ways I move through the world.

Today (May 14, 2017) is yet another gray, cold, and rainy day, but this picture of mom’s smile brings warmth and love, and fills me with hope for sunnier days ahead. Happy Mother’s Day mom!

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